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In this paper, a novel concept of two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) compliant forceps is suggested for the measure of pulling and grasp forces at the tip of surgical instrument for minimally invasive surgery robot. For the design of the compliant forceps, the required compliance characteristics are first defined using a simple spring model with one linear and one torsional springs. This model may be directly realized as the compliant forceps. However, for the compact realization of the mechanism, we synthesize the spring model with two torsional springs that has equivalent compliance characteristics to the linear-torsional spring model. Then, each of the synthesized torsional springs is realized physically by means of a flexure hinge. From this design approach, direct measurement of the pulling and grasp forces is possible at the forceps, and measuring sensitivity can be adjusted in the synthesis process. The validity of the design is evaluated by finite element analysis. Further, from the measured values of bending strains of two flexure hinges, a method to compute the decoupled pulling and grasp forces is presented via the theory of screws. Finally, force-sensing performance of the proposed compliant forceps is verified from the experiments of the prototype using some weights and load cells.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2012