Acceleration Compensation for Vehicle Based Telesurgery on Earth or in Space


H. H. King, T. Low, K. Hufford and T. Broderick, “Acceleration compensation for vehicle based telesurgery on earth or in space,” 2008 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Nice, France, 2008, pp. 1459-1464, doi: 10.1109/IROS.2008.4651068.


Current telesurgical robotic systems are designed to be used exclusively in stationary environments. The ability of a robotic master and slave system to monitor and correct for acceleration induced movement errors would enable conduct of delicate medical procedures onboard moving vehicles. Such operations, without compensation, would be complicated by unintended movement of the surgeonpsilas hands and master controls, causing potentially dangerous response of the surgical robot manipulators. In caring for astronauts on long haul interplanetary missions, it is essential to compensate for alterations in gravitational acceleration when delivering telesurgical or autonomous robotic therapy in the microgravity of space or on non-terrestrial planetary surfaces. This paper introduces new work focused on compensating for unintended master and slave manipulator motion resulting from accelerations of the environment within which they are operated. Experimental results from vehicular operation show how induced motion can be reduced by introduction of dynamic electronic balancing of the master manipulator device and the addition of variable damping proportional to vehicle acceleration. A surgical master console and robot were operated in the micro-gravity and variable gravity of the NASA C-9 airborne parabolic laboratory. Robot kinematics data and surveys of surgeon and astronaut users show that compensating for different gravitational conditions improves usability of the system. Further experiments using an elevator as a motion platform demonstrate the effectiveness of acceleration compensation.

Read more from SRI