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Tactile feedback laser system with applications to robotic surgery

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2 Author(s)
Rizun, P. ; Dept. of Phys., Astron. & Clinical Neurosciences, Calgary Univ., Alta., Canada ; Sutherland, G.

Despite the potential advantages of lasers, their adoption by surgeons has been limited. Unlike hand tools, lasers do not provide haptic feedback. With advances in augmented reality, haptics, and surgical robotics, it may now be possible to add the sense of touch to non-contact surgical lasers. This manuscript presents our initial work towards developing such a tactile feedback laser system. Two prototypes were constructed that allow an operator to feel surfaces using only light but are not yet equipped with lasers powerful enough to cut. Based on optical distance measurements, the prototypes synthesize haptic feedback through a robotic arm held by the operator when the focal point of the laser is coincident with a real surface, giving the operator the impression of touching something solid. To the best of our knowledge, no other device has been built that provides the sense of touch with a laser.

Published in:

Eurohaptics Conference, 2005 and Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, 2005. World Haptics 2005. First Joint

Date of Conference:

18-20 March 2005