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We describe the design and performance of a handheld actively stabilized tool to increase accuracy in microsurgery or other precision manipulation. It removes involuntary motion, such as tremor, by the actuation of the tip to counteract the effect of the undesired handle motion. The key components are a 3-degree-of-freedom (DOF) piezoelectric manipulator that has a 400-μm range of motion, 1-N force capability, and bandwidth over 100 Hz, and an optical position-measurement subsystem that acquires the tool pose with 4-μm resolution at 2000 samples/s. A control system using these components attenuates hand motion by at least 15 dB (a fivefold reduction). By the consideration of the effect of the frequency response of Micron on the human visual feedback loop, we have developed a filter that reduces unintentional motion, yet preserves the intuitive eye-hand coordination. We evaluated the effectiveness of Micron by measuring the accuracy of the human/machine system in three simple manipulation tasks. Handheld testing by three eye surgeons and three nonsurgeons showed a reduction in the position error of between 32% and 52%, depending on the error metric.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012