Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Rajni Patel


The lack of force feedback (haptics) in robotic surgery can be considered to be a safety risk leading to accidental tissue damage and puncturing of blood vessels due to excessive forces being applied to tissue and vessels or causing inefficient control over the instruments because of insufficient applied force. This project focuses on providing a satisfactory solution for introducing haptic feedback in robotics-assisted minimally invasive surgical (RAMIS) systems. The research addresses several key issues associated with the incorporation of haptics in a master-slave (teleoperated) robotic environment for minimally invasive surgery (MIS). In this project, we designed a haptics-enabled dual-arm (two masters - two slaves) robotic MIS testbed to investigate and validate various single-arm as well as dual-arm teleoperation scenarios. The most important feature of this setup is the capability of providing haptic feedback in all 7 degrees of freedom (DOF) required for RAMIS (3 translations, 3 rotations and pinch motion of the laparoscopic tool). The setup also enables the evaluation of the effect of replacing haptic feedback by other sensory cues such as visual representation of haptic information (sensory substitution) and the hypothesis that surgical outcomes may be improved by substituting or augmenting haptic feedback by such sensory cues.