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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics - Volume 8 2011, Issue 2, Pages 237-252

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tactile feedback is a major missing feature in minimally invasive procedures; it is an essential means of diagnosis and orientation during surgical procedures. Previous works have presented a remote palpation feedback system based on the coupling between a pressure sensor and a general haptic interface. Here a new approach is presented based on the direct estimation of the tissue mechanical properties and finally their presentation to the operator by means of a haptic interface. The approach presents different technical difficulties and some solutions are proposed: the implementation of a fast Young’s modulus estimation algorithm, the implementation of a real time finite element model, and finally the implementation of a stiffness estimation approach in order to guarantee the system’s stability. The work is concluded with an experimental evaluation of the whole system.

Author: Mauro M. Sette, Hendrik Van Brussel, and Jos Vander Sloten



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