Learning high-performance deep neural networks for dynamic modeling of high Degree-Of-Freedom (DOF) robots remains challenging due to the sampling complexity. Typical unknown system disturbance caused by unmodeled dynamics (such as internal compliance, cables) further exacerbates the problem. In this paper, a novel framework characterized by both high data efficiency and disturbance-adapting capability is proposed to address the problem of modeling gravitational dynamics using deep nets in feedforward gravity compensation control for high-DOF master manipulators with unknown disturbance. In particular, Feedforward Deep Neural Networks (FDNNs) are learned from both prior knowledge of an existing analytical model and observation of the robot system by Knowledge Distillation (KD). Through extensive experiments in high-DOF master manipulators with significant disturbance, we show that our method surpasses a standard Learning-from-Scratch (LfS) approach in terms of data efficiency and disturbance adaptation. Our initial feasibility study has demonstrated the potential of outperforming the analytical teacher model as the training data increases.
The demand of competent robot assisted surgeons is progressively expanding, because robot-assisted surgery has become progressively more popular due to its clinical advantages. To meet this demand and provide a better surgical education for surgeon, we develop a novel robotic surgery education system by integrating artificial intelligence surgical module and augmented reality visualization. The artificial intelligence incorporates reinforcement leaning to learn from expert demonstration and then generate 3D guidance trajectory, providing surgical context awareness of the complete surgical procedure. The trajectory information is further visualized in stereo viewer in the dVRK along with other information such as text hint, where the user can perceive the 3D guidance and learn the procedure. The proposed system is evaluated through a preliminary experiment on surgical education task peg-transfer, which proves its feasibility and potential as the next generation of robot-assisted surgery education solution.
Robotic-assisted surgery is now well-established in clinical practice and has become the gold standard clinical treatment option for several clinical indications. The field of robotic-assisted surgery is expected to grow substantially in the next decade with a range of new robotic devices emerging to address unmet clinical needs across different specialities. A vibrant surgical robotics research community is pivotal for conceptualizing such new systems as well as for developing and training the engineers and scientists to translate them into practice. The da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK), an academic and industry collaborative effort to re-purpose decommissioned da Vinci surgical systems (Intuitive Surgical Inc, CA, USA) as a research platform for surgical robotics research, has been a key initiative for addressing a barrier to entry for new research groups in surgical robotics. In this paper, we present an extensive review of the publications that have been facilitated by the dVRK over the past decade. We classify research efforts into different categories and outline some of the major challenges and needs for the robotics community to maintain this initiative and build upon it.
Since the first reports of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in December 2019, over 33 million people have been infected worldwide and approximately 1 million people worldwide have died from the disease caused by this virus, COVID-19. In the US alone, there have been approximately 7 million cases and over 200,000 deaths. This outbreak has placed an enormous strain on healthcare systems and workers. Severe cases require hospital care, and 8.5\% of patients require mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit (ICU). One major challenge is the necessity for clinical care personnel to don and doff cumbersome personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to enter an ICU unit to make simple adjustments to ventilator settings. Although future ventilators and other ICU equipment may be controllable remotely through computer networks, the enormous installed base of existing ventilators do not have this capability. This paper reports the development of a simple, low cost telerobotic system that permits adjustment of ventilator settings from outside the ICU. The system consists of a small Cartesian robot capable of operating a ventilator touch screen with camera vision control via a wirelessly connected tablet master device located outside the room. Engineering system tests demonstrated that the open-loop mechanical repeatability of the device was 7.5\,mm, and that the average positioning error of the robotic finger under visual servoing control was 5.94\,mm. Successful usability tests in a simulated ICU environment were carried out and are reported. In addition to enabling a significant reduction in PPE consumption, the prototype system has been shown in a preliminary evaluation to significantly reduce the total time required for a respiratory therapist to perform typical setting adjustments on a commercial ventilator, including donning and doffing PPE, from 271 seconds to 109 seconds.
External disturbance forces caused by nonlinear springy electrical cables in the Master Tool Manipulator (MTM) of the da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) limits the usage of the existing gravity compensation methods. Significant motion drifts at the MTM tip are often observed when the MTM is located far from its identification trajectory, preventing the usage of these methods for the entire workspace reliably. In this paper, we propose a general and systematic framework to address the problems of the gravity compensation for the MTM of the dVRK. Particularly, high order polynomial models were used to capture the highly nonlinear disturbance forces and integrated with the Multi-step Least Square Estimation (MLSE) framework. This method allows us to identify the parameters of both the gravitational and disturbance forces for each link sequentially, preventing residual error passing among the links of the MTM with uneven mass distribution. A corresponding gravity compensation controller was developed to compensate the gravitational and disturbance forces. The method was validated with extensive experiments in the majority of the manipulator's workspace, showing significant performance enhancements over existing methods. Finally, a deliverable software package in MATLAB and C++ was integrated with dVRK and published in the dVRK community for open-source research and development.
High-resolution real-time imaging at cellular levelin retinal surgeries is very challenging due to extremely confinedspace within the eyeball and lack of appropriate modalities.Probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system,which has a small footprint and provides highly-magnified im-ages, can be a potential imaging modality for improved diagnosis.The ability to visualize in cellular-level the retinal pigmentepithelium and the chorodial blood vessels underneath canprovide useful information for surgical outcomes in conditionssuch as retinal detachment. However, the adoption of pCLE islimited due to narrow field of view and micron-level range offocus. The physiological tremor of surgeons' hand also deterioratethe image quality considerably and leads to poor imaging results. In this paper, a novel image-based hybrid motion controlapproach is proposed to mitigate challenges of using pCLEin retinal surgeries. The proposed framework enables sharedcontrol of the pCLE probe by a surgeon to scan the tissueprecisely without hand tremors and an auto-focus image-basedcontrol algorithm that optimizes quality of pCLE images. Thecontrol strategy is deployed on two semi-autonomous frameworks: cooperative and teleoperated. Both frameworks consist of theSteady-Hand Eye Robot (SHER), whose end-effector holds thepCLE probe...
In adult laparoscopy, robot-aided surgery is a reality in thousands of operating rooms worldwide, owing to the increased dexterity provided by the robotic tools. Many robots and robot control techniques have been developed to aid in more challenging scenarios, such as pediatric surgery and microsurgery. However, the prevalence of case-specific solutions, particularly those focused on non-redundant robots, reduces the reproducibility of the initial results in more challenging scenarios. In this paper, we propose a general framework for the control of surgical robotics in constrained workspaces under teleoperation, regardless of the robot geometry. Our technique is divided into a slave-side constrained optimization algorithm, which provides virtual fixtures, and with Cartesian impedance on the master side to provide force feedback. Experiments with two robotic systems, one redundant and one non-redundant, show that smooth teleoperation can be achieved in adult laparoscopy and infant surgery.