16 July 2001 Virtual reality robotic telesurgery simulations using MEMICA haptic system
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Abstract
There is increasing realization that some tasks can be performed significantly better by humans than robots but, due to associated hazards, distance, etc., only a robot can be employed. Telemedicine is one area where remotely controlled robots can have a major impact by providing urgent care at remote sites. In recent years, remotely controlled robotics has been greatly advanced and the NASA Johnson Space Center's robotic astronaut, Robonaut, is one such example. Unfortunately, due to the unavailability of force and tactile feedback the operator must determine the required action by visually examining the remote site and therefore limiting the tasks that Robonaut can perform. There is a great need for dexterous, fast, accurate teleoperated robots with the operator's ability to feel the environment at the robot's field. The authors conceived a haptic mechanism called MEMICA (remote MEchanical MIrroring using Controlled stiffness and Actuators) that can enable the design of high dexterity, rapid response, and large workspace haptic system. The development of a novel MEMICA gloves and virtual reality models are being explored to allow simulation of telesurgery and other applications. The MEMICA gloves are being designed to provide intuitive mirroring of the conditions at a virtual site where a robot simulates the presence of a human operator. The key components of MEMICA are miniature electrically controlled stiffness (ECS) elements and Electrically Controlled Force and Stiffness (ECFS) actuators that are based on the use of Electro-Rheological Fluids (ERF). In this paper the design of the MEMICA system and initial experimental results are presented.
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Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Constantinos Mavroidis, Mourad Bouzit, Benjamin P. Dolgin, Deborah L. Harm, George E. Kopchok, Rodney A. White, "Virtual reality robotic telesurgery simulations using MEMICA haptic system", Proc. SPIE 4329, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (16 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.432667; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.432667
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