CE19 - Technologies pour la santé

Multi-Actuated Continuum Robots for Minimally Invasive Surgery – MACROS

MACROS

Multi-Actuated Continuum Robots for Minimally Invasive Surgery -- MACROS

Context and aims

Flexible catheters and endoscopes are increasingly used in surgery. They offer interesting opportunities to reach deep in the anatomy with minimally invasive access. Such devices are however difficult to maneuver, which makes challenging procedures only being carried out in a reduced number of clinical centers. For this reason, robotic devices were developed. Design and control algorithms have also been developed for these robots, but remain limited by several simplifications. First, they are often specific to a given actuation mechanism, and second, they consider the patient anatomy as completely fixed in space and time. Le MACROS project aims to go beyond those limitations for building optimized robots for flexible surgery, with one or more actuators

First, planning and control algorithms for continuum robot navigation will be developed. The developed methods will allow safer navigation, in the sense that the uncertainty will be considered to infer and minimize potential interaction forces. This uncertainty typically stems from environment movements (physiological movements) or registration errors (between the pre-operative model in which the planning is typically done and the actual patient position).

Those planning algorithms will be a first step towards generic design algorithms for continuum robots, which will be developed in a second stage. Performance indicators putting in relation the physical abilities of the different actuators and the clinical problem at hand (size of the access port, dynamic movement of the target, ...) will be developed to this end. The final algorithm will then be able to propose an actuation strategy (position, number, and nature of the actuators) and motion plan, which will allow for performing complex gestures at the distal tip of a continuum robot, while minimizing unwanted interaction forces with the anatomy.

Validation will be performed both in simulation, and then on a set of experimental prototypes made at the ICube laboratory. We will develop a 3D printed environment with embedded pressure chambers, allowing a physical -yet controllable- environment in which physiological movements can be simulated. Finally, a prototype of optimized multi-actuated continuum robot will be made and validated on the model. Its performance will be compared to existing solutions employing cable or concentric tubes actuation technologies.

Applying the concepts and methods developed in MACROS in a cardiac surgery context is currently being studied.

B. Rosa, V. Bordoux, and F. Nageotte, «Combining differential
5/7kinematics and optical flow for automatic labelling of continuum
robots in minimally invasive surgery«, Frontiers in Robotics and
AI, Full text at: 10.3389/frobt.2019.00086

B. Rosa and M.T. Chikhaoui, Modeling and control strategies for
flexible devices. In Endorobotics, 25 pages. A paraître

C. da Costa Rocha, N. Padoy, and B. Rosa. (2019, May). Self-
supervised surgical tool segmentation using kinematic
information. In 2019 International Conference on Robotics and
Automation (ICRA) (pp. 8720-8726). IEEE.

Flexible structures such as catheters and endoscopes are increasingly used in surgical procedures, thanks to the ability to reach deep anatomical targets with minimal invasiveness. Those devices are notoriously difficult to steer, and the most complex procedures are often carried out by only a handful of experts, if any. For this reason, robotic actuation has been proposed to help steering. Specific design and navigation methods have been developed. They, however, are often limited by simplifications made. Amongst others, methods are tailored for a specific actuation technique, and consider the patient anatomy to be perfectly known and still. The MACROS project aims to go one step further to solve these problems, by developing generic design algorithms for continuum robots, using one or multiple actuators along the shaft of the robot.

First, planning and control algorithms for continuum robot navigation will be developed. The developed methods will allow safer navigation, in the sense that the uncertainty will be considered to infer and minimize potential interaction forces. This uncertainty typically stems from environment movements (physiological movements) or registration errors (between the pre-operative model in which the planning is typically done and the actual patient position).

Those planning algorithms will be a first step towards generic design algorithms for continuum robots, which will be developed in a second stage. Performance indicators putting in relation the physical abilities of the different actuators and the clinical problem at hand (size of the access port, dynamic movement of the target, ...) will be developed to this end. The final algorithm will then be able to propose an actuation strategy (position, number, and nature of the actuators) and motion plan, which will allow for performing complex gestures at the distal tip of a continuum robot, while minimizing unwanted interaction forces with the anatomy.

Validation will be performed both in simulation, and then on a set of experimental prototypes made at the ICube laboratory. We will develop a 3D printed environment with embedded pressure chambers, allowing a physical -yet controllable- environment in which physiological movements can be simulated. Finally, a prototype of optimized multi-actuated continuum robot will be made and validated on the model. Its performance will be compared to existing solutions employing cable or concentric tubes actuation technologies.

Project coordination

Benoît ROSA (Laboratoire des sciences de l'Ingénieur, de l'Informatique et de l'Imagerie (UMR 7357))

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.

Partner

ICube Laboratoire des sciences de l'Ingénieur, de l'Informatique et de l'Imagerie (UMR 7357)

Help of the ANR 253,800 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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