Monash University

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Design and analysis of an experimental force-feedback enabled surgical robot for minimally invasive surgery

posted on 2017-02-27, 00:15 authored by Schwalb, Willem Heinrich
Surgical robotics for minimally invasive surgery has received much attention over the recent decade. This is due to the advantages that it can provide over traditional minimally invasive surgery, and include: improved dexterity, returned hand-eye coordination, 3-D view by utilising stereoscopic cameras, and further improvements such as position scaling and tremor filtering. However, current surgical robotic systems are expensive and bulky, and provide no force-feedback to the surgeon. The lack of force-feedback is often reported by surgeons and researchers to be a major limitation in these robotic systems. It is believed that adding force-feedback to these systems can improve the surgeon’s experience, and provide a safer environment. There have been many efforts in the recent years to develop a force-feedback enabled surgical robotic system, including: designing the surgical robot, designing the master console, developing force-sensing surgical tools, and finally developing the relevant force-feedback control methodologies. Many of the works focus on a specific sub-system where there exists a lack in the design and analysis of the integrated system. In this research some of the major requirements for such an integrated system was investigated, and include the development of a surgical slave mechanism for minimally invasive surgery, the development of a force-sensing surgical tool, and finally two force-feedback control modalities. For the surgical slave mechanism and the force-sensing surgical tool, specific design requirements for minimally invasive surgery were identified, where the developed systems showed desired performance characteristics. Finally, the relevant force-feedback control modalities utilised a stiffness estimation methodology to improve transparency and stability, and showed promising results.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Bijan Shirinzadeh

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Master of Engineering Science (Research)

Degree Type



Faculty of Engineering