Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Michael Naish

Second Advisor

Dr. Rajni Patel


With the introduction of robots into laparoscopic surgery, surgeons have difficulties in selecting the placement of the incisions required to insert the robots instruments into the body and also determine which patients are suitable for robotically assisted surgery. Poor selection of these two items mentioned above can result in a conversion to a more invasive form of surgery during the procedure. This work introduces the design and development of a surgical simulation environment to assist in the research for optimal incision placement and patient selection.

The simulator allows importing any serial link robot that was designed in a computer aided modelling package. With minimal added information, the imported robot can be controlled using a multi-degree of freedom user input device. The simulator allows for importing patient geometries along with the robot to allow for the simulation of surgical procedures. A Jacobian transpose algorithm was added onto the simulator in a modular format to control the simulated robots, as well as to allow for other control systems to be created and implemented.

Experiments were performed to determine the effects of patient geometry models on rendering speeds. The control system could control the tested robots with a maximum lag time of 15 ms between moving the input device and the simulated robot moving to the correct desired position.

The simulator makes importing and controlling robots a simple and intuitive matter, without putting a large restriction on the type of robots to be simulated. The simulator also allows for importing models of a patient, to make real world analysis of a patient possible. Further improvements on the presented simulator include the addition of collision detection and more testing on the control system for stability and response over a larger range of robots.



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