A force-feedback methodology for teleoperated suturing task in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery

Armin Ehrampoosh, Bijan Shirinzadeh, Joshua Pinskier, Julian Smith, Randall Moshinsky, Yongmin Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


With robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RAMIS), patients and surgeons benefit from a reduced incision size and dexterous instruments. However, current robotic surgery platforms lack haptic feedback, which is an essential element of safe operation. Moreover, teleportation control challenges make complex surgical tasks like suturing more time-consuming than those that use manual tools. This paper presents a new force-sensing instrument that semi-automates the suturing task and facilitates teleoperated robotic manipulation. In order to generate the ideal needle insertion trajectory and pass the needle through its curvature, the end-effector mechanism has a rotating degree of freedom. Impedance control was used to provide sensory information about needle-tissue interaction forces to the operator using an indirect force estimation approach based on data-based models. The operator's motion commands were then regulated using a hyperplanar virtual fixture (VF) designed to maintain the desired distance between the end-effector and tissue surface while avoiding unwanted contact. To construct the geometry of the VF, an optoelectronic sensor-based approach was developed. Based on the experimental investigation of the hyperplane VF methodology, improved needle-tissue interaction force, manipulation accuracy, and task completion times were demonstrated. Finally, experimental validation of the trained force estimation models and the perceived interaction forces by the user was conducted using online data, demonstrating the potential of the developed approach in improving task performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7829
Number of pages20
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022


  • force sensing
  • haptic feedback
  • optoelectronic sensor
  • robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery
  • robotic needle driver
  • virtual fixture

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