REAL-TIME SHAPE ESTIMATION OF CURVILINEAR FLEXIBLE SURGICAL ROBOTS: METHODS, EXPERIMENTS AND ANALYSIS

Shuang Song, Changchun Zhang, Jiaole Wang, Hongliang Ren, and Max Q.-H. Meng

Keywords

Flexible surgical robot, shape estimation, electromagnetic tracking,B´ezier curve∗ Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China; email:songshuang@hit.edu.cn, 1446107091@qq.com∗∗ Department of Electronic Engineering, The ChineseUniversity of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; email: {qhmeng,jlwang}@ee.cuhk.edu.hk∗∗∗ Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University ofSingapore, Singapore; email: ren@nus.edu.sgCorresponding author: Shuang SongRecommended by Prof. Jason G

Abstract

Flexible manipulators enable curvilinear accessibility through small incisions or natural orifices for minimally invasive surgery and diagnosis. To utilize flexible manipulators in complicated and constrained surgical environments, it is of great significance to simultaneously monitor the positions and shapes of the curvilinear manipulators in real time during the procedures. In our previous work, we presented a real-time shape tracking method for wiredriven flexible robots based on electromagnetic tracking. The shape estimation algorithm is based on quadratic or cubic B´ezier curves. In this paper, thorough comparisons of the applications of the quadratic and cubic B´ezier curves and the corresponding discussion have been provided. Based on the comparison and discussion, the application scopes of the Bézier curve-based shape estimation methods, as well as guidance on applying the methods, are introduced. We also systematically present the methods, applications and experiments of the shape monitoring method. Moreover, the shape estimation and monitoring methods have been implemented on cadaver experiments as well. Experimental results show that the shape estimation method is capable of providing the surgeons with real-time shape information of the flexible manipulators. In conclusion, we summarize general guidelines for using the Bézier curve-based shape estimation method in the real-world surgical procedures.

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