Teleoperated robotic systems extend human capabilities beyond natural and physical boundaries. As a result, they can be used to perform minimally invasive surgery inside a patient’s body. This is called telerobotics-assisted surgery or telerobotic surgery. The primary goal of this technology is to use position commands at the surgeon’s console (called the “master” robot in teleoperation terminology) to control the patient-side surgical robot (termed the “slave” robot). Currently, surgeons performing telerobotic surgery can monitor the surgery through 3D visual observation. The component that is missing in the telerobotic surgical systems currently approved for patient use is the feel of contact forces generated during surgery. In general, force sensation provides information regarding the nature of physical interactions and tissue characteristics. In conventional manual surgery, the surgeon uses force sensations to (a) find pathological tissue (e.g., tumors) inside organs, (b) monitor the safety of tool-tissue interactions to avoid excessive forces that can cause damage, and (c) ensure surgical control especially in places outside the field of view of the endoscopic camera. The need for force feedback in telerobotic surgery has been studied by several researchers; however, the problem is not fully resolved yet. In this chapter, we review these and other challenges in telerobotic surgery, investigate relevant ongoing research, and discuss possible future directions.
Atashzar, S. F., & Patel, R. V. (2018). TELEOPERATION FOR MINIMALLY INVASIVE ROBOTICS-ASSISTED SURGERY (pp. 341–372). https://doi.org/10.1142/9789813232266_0012