A force-sensing surgical tool with a proximally located force/torque sensor

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Background: Robotic surgery has seen a rapid increase in popularity in the last few decades because advantages such as increased accuracy and dexterity can be realized. These systems still lack force-feedback, where such a capability is believed to be beneficial to the surgeon and can improve safety. Method: In this paper a force-feedback enabled surgical robotic system is described in which the developed force-sensing surgical tool is discussed in detail. The developed surgical tool makes use of a proximally located force/torque sensor, which, in contrast to a distally located sensor, requires no miniaturization or sterilizability. Results: Experimental results are presented, and indicate high force sensing accuracies with errors <0.09 N. Conclusions: It is shown that developing a force-sensing surgical tool utilizing a proximally located force/torque sensor is feasible, where a tool outer diameter of 12 mm can be achieved. For future work it is desired to decrease the current tool outer diameter to 10 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1737
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • force-feedback enabled surgical robot
  • force-sensing surgical tool
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • surgical robotics

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