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Three-hand Surgery with Foot Control

Yanpei Huang(1), Zejian Cui(2), Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena(2), Etienne Burdet(1)

(1) Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London, UK

(2) The Hamlyn Center, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London, UK

Many surgical procedures involve three or four surgical tools, thus requiring the surgeon to cooperate with one other or several skilled persons. However, the coordination between the primary surgeon and assistant may be problematic, especially with a novice assistant or a new team. Current robotic systems include hand interfaces enabling skillful bimanual operation. For example, the Da Vinci system (Intuitive Surgical inc.) is equipped with a built-in master console enabling the surgeon to telemanipulate and switch instruments. Our objective is to expand the operation’s possibilities, and improve on the efficiency and safety of the system by letting the surgeon control three or four surgical tools simultaneously and intuitively. Our previous studies suggest that a foot can be used together with the hands to yield skillful and coordinated three-tools control. We have developed a compact foot interface with four degrees of freedom enabling an operator to control a robotic arm continuously, which can be used to operate one of multiple tools required during robot-aided surgery. The foot is supported on the ground to minimise effort, and is equipped with spring & force sensor modules that can be used to provide the user with position and force feedback as to facilitate foot positioning and control. We integrated the developed foot interface into the Da Vinci system in order to control one of the surgical robotic arms. The foot interface works together with two hand controllers (e.g. Force dimension hand controllers or the Da Vinci hand console) to control three robotic arms. This system will enable us to systematically study the feasibility of multi-limbed surgical operation and investigate suitable surgical procedures where such a setup would be beneficial.