Design of Master Manipulator for Robotic Surgery Using Flexible Instruments

1. Introduction

Surgical robotics is one of the fast emerging areas in healthcare and medical science in the recent years. The da Vinci surgical system (Figure.1) is one of the most successful and commercialized surgical systems used for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. It has provided surgeons and hospitals with the tools needed to improve clinical outcomes and to help patients return to active and productive lives. It has greatly reduced the trauma and unnecessary damage of healthy tissues during surgery.

The next focus in this direction is to use natural openings for surgery and that’s how Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) came into being. It uses the natural openings of the body to access the site of the operation (Figure.2).

TeleFLEX project is one of the initiatives from University of Twente to achieve that goal. The objective of this project is to design and develop tele-manipulation system with intuitive control for endo-/trans-luminal endoscopic surgery based on master-slave approach.