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3 April 2012 Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs) as dexterous manipulators and tactile sensors for minimally invasive robotic surgery
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Robot-assisted surgery provides the surgeons with new tools to perform sophisticated surgical operations in a minimally invasive manner. Small robotic end-effectors at the tip of the surgical forceps are the key advantage of robotic surgery over laparoscopic surgery and any improvement on the design of these small robots can significantly improve the overall functionality of the surgical robots. In this sense, novel bio-compatible electro-active polymeric actuators can improve the design and functionality of these robotic end-effectors particularly by introducing smaller and more flexible robotic tools. Here, we introduce the applications of IPMCs as flexible actuators with embedded tactile and force feedback sensors in minimally-invasive robotic surgery. A new design for the robotic manipulation of the organs is presented in which a two dimensional IPMC actuator is replaced with the rigid robotic distal tip. It is shown that with a customized design, IPMC actuators maintain the required dexterity for two-dimensional bending of robotic distal tip. The overall design of the robot could be considered as a hybrid robot with the combination of rigid robotic links and flexible IPMC actuator with two degrees of freedom. On the other hand with the current robotic distal tips, no tactile force feedback is available during surgery and the surgeons rely solely on vision feedback. With the proposed design of actuator, the IPMC based distal tip could be used to deliver force feedback data by using an embedded IPMC tactile sensor. Design considerations, kinematics and chemo-electro-mechanical model of the proposed actuator is presented.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Y. Bahramzadeh and M. Shahinpoor "Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs) as dexterous manipulators and tactile sensors for minimally invasive robotic surgery", Proc. SPIE 8340, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2012, 83402O (3 April 2012);

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