TERC - Tremplin-ERC

COntrol and Modelling for sOft RObots in Surgery – COMOROS

Submission summary

Surgical procedures are often carried out using instruments made of stiff materials that interact with delicate biological tissues such as internal organs, blood vessel walls and small cavities. This incompatibility of stiffness is one of the sources of danger in many surgical procedures. The use of robots made of soft materials, also called soft robots, would limit such risks by reducing contact pressures and stress concentrations. Their intrinsic deformability would also increase the ability to manoeuvre in confined spaces.
However, the promising concept of using soft robots for surgical procedures cannot be practically implemented, due to the lack of precise modelling and control methods for soft robots. This scientific obstacle, identified as a pending issue by major surveys in this field, becomes particularly challenging when interacting with an environment as complex as the human anatomy.
Drawing on our background in soft tissue simulation, contact models, surgical applications, and soft robotics our ambition in this project is to:
1/ Develop accurate and generic numerical methods for continuum mechanics, adapted to strong real-time constraints in order to demonstrate the ability to model soft mechatronics systems.
2/ Reconsider parametrisation methodologies of digital models of the patient anatomy through observation of mechanical interactions with soft robots via embedded sensors and medical imaging.
3/ Rethink motion generation and teleoperation control with force-feedback so as to be compatible with the large number of degrees of freedom of soft robots and be based on accurate, rapidly computed deformable models and interaction models.

The project also targets the development of software with required performance and features, as well as the experimental validation of models and methods using prototypes in realistic environments.

Project coordination

Christian Duriez (Inria Lille - Nord Europe)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Inria Inria Lille - Nord Europe

Help of the ANR 149,994 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2017 - 24 Months

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