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Optical merger of direct vision with virtual images for scaled teleoperation

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5 Author(s)
Clanton, S.T. ; Pittsburgh Univ. Sch. of Med., PA, USA ; Wang, D.C. ; Chib, V.S. ; Matsuoka, Y.
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Scaled teleoperation is increasingly prevalent in medicine, as well as in other applications of robotics. Visual feedback in such systems is essential and should make maximal use of natural hand-eye coordination. This paper describes a new method of visual feedback for scaled teleoperation in which the operator manipulates the handle of a remote tool in the presence of a registered virtual image of the target in real time. The method adapts a concept already used successfully in a new medical device called the sonic flashlight, which permits direct in situ visualization of ultrasound during invasive procedures. The sonic flashlight uses a flat-panel monitor and a half-silvered mirror to merge the visual outer surface of a patient with a simultaneous ultrasound scan of the patient's interior. Adapting the concept to scaled teleoperation involves removing the imaging device and the target to a remote location and adding a master-slave control device. This permits the operator to see his hands, along with what appears to be the tool, and the target, merged in a workspace that preserves natural hand-eye coordination. Three functioning prototypes are described, one based on ultrasound and two on light microscopy. The limitations and potential of the new approach are discussed.

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Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )