Systems

MICA - Actuated and Sensorized Instruments for Minimally Invasive Surgery



DLR MICA alone (left) and attached to the MIRO robot arm (right)

The DLR MICA is the second generation of versatile instruments for minimally invasive surgery developed at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. This interventive instrument is coupled to the MIRO arm for minimally invasive procedures. MICA is a 3 degrees of freedom (DoFs) robot, which – in the MiroSurge scenario – is combined with the 7-DoF robot MIRO. Therewith, MICA adds the joints 8, 9 and 10 to the telemanipulator. It consists of a drive unit, a tool interface and the task specific tool with its shaft and end-effector.

Various tools targeted at different surgical applications can be used with the MICA drive unit, differing in the number of DoFs, functionality of the end effector, and range of motion. Propulsion for the tool is provided by means of 3 linear motions transmitted through a tool interface between drive unit and tool. The tool interface provides suitable propulsion scaling for the tool as well as standardized digital communication with any sensors located in the tool, such as the DLR force/torque sensor. In the present configuration the tool is comprised of a 2 DoF wrist, gripper and 7 DoF force/torque sensor, providing dexterous manipulation and haptic feedback from the operation site. However, tools range from grippers over scissors to needle holders in minimally invasive surgery.

Tool interface of the DLR MICA
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Tool of the DLR MICA

The versatile design approach followed for the MIRO and conformance to the MiroSurge setup outline a number of requirements for the instrument design:

  • Clear separation between the robotic platform and the instrument: The MIRO robot provides a single mechatronic interface to any instrument consisting of a mechanical attachment as well as an electrical power connection and a high-speed digital communication interface. Still, quick instrument changes have to be possible during surgical procedures. This requires the MICA drive unit to contain all necessary motors, power, communication, motor control, and sensor signal conditioning electronics.
  • Lightweight design: Weight saving at the instrument improves the dynamic properties of the robot arm and permits the application of higher manipulation forces.
  • Small size of the drive unit, particularly in diameter: Multiple robotic arms will be working in close proximity around the operating table. Interference and collisions of instruments have to be avoided.

Specifications

Parameter Value Comment
Number of joints (for gripper) 3 2 (wrist) + 1 (functional end)
Mass 850 g drive unit, tool interface and tool
Size of drive unit 220 x 60 mm (L x D) drive unit and tool interface
Tool diameter 10 mm  
Control cycle 3 kHz cartesian 100 kHz joint intern torque control
Joint range of motion +/- 40° Wrist DoF
Joint dynamics 7.5 Hz  
Force/Torque Sensor 6+1 DoF Manipulation and gripping forces at tooltip
Force range/resolution 10 N / 0.015 N  
Moment range/resolution 150 Nmm / 6 Nmm  

 

Publications

S. Thielmann, U. Seibold, R. Haslinger, G. Passig, T. Bahls, S. Jörg, M. Nickl, A. Nothhelfer, U. Hagn and G. Hirzinger, "MICA - A new generation of versatile instruments in robotic surgery" in Proc. of the 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Taipei, Taiwan, October 2010.elib

U. Seibold, B. Kübler, S. Thielmann, and G. Hirzinger, "Endoscopic 3 DoF-Instrument with 7 DoF Force/Torque Feedback", workshop contribution presented at ICRA 2009, Kobe, Japan, May 2009.elib

U. Hagn, T. Ortmaier, R. Konietschke, B. Kübler, U. Seibold, A. Tobergte, M. Nickl, S. Jörg, and G. Hirzinger, "Telemanipulator for remote minimally invasive surgery", IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 28–38, December 2008. elib

U. Seibold, B. Kübler, and G. Hirzinger, "Prototypic force feedback instrument for minimally invasive robotic surgery", in Medical Robotics, Vienna, Austria, I-Tech Education and Publishing, 2008, pp. pages 377–400. ISBN-13: 978-3-902613-18-9 elib

B. Kübler, G. Passig, U. Seibold, and G. Hirzinger, "Prototypic setup of a surgical forced feedback instrument for minimally invasive robotic surgery", in Extended abstract and lecture, CURAC 2006, Hannover, Germany, October 2006. elib

B. Kübler, U. Seibold, and G. Hirzinger, "Development of actuated and sensor integrated forceps for minimally invasive robotic surgery", The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 96–107, April 2005. doi: 10.1002/rcs.33 elib

U. Seibold, B. Kübler, and G. Hirzinger, "Prototype of instrument for minimally invasive surgery with 6-axis force sensing capability" in Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Barcelona, Spain, April 2005, pp. 498–503. elib

B. Kübler, U. Seibold, and G. Hirzinger, "Development of actuated and sensor integrated forceps for minimally invasive robotic surgery", 3. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Computer- und Roboterassistierte Chirurgie (CURAC), Munich, Germany, October 2004. elib

U. Seibold, B. Kübler, H. Weiss, T. Ortmaier, and G. Hirzinger, "Sensorized and actuated instruments for minimally invasive robotic surgery", in Proc. of EuroHaptics 2004, Munich, Germany, June 2004, pp. 482–485. elib

U. Seibold, and G. Hirzinger, "A 6-axis Force/torque Sensor Design for Haptic Feedback in Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery", in Proc. of the 2nd VDE World Microtechnologies Congress, Munich, Germany, October 2003.


Contact
Ulrich Seibold
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
, Mechatronic Components and Systems
Tel: +49 8153 28-1374

Fax: +49 8153 28-1134

E-Mail: Ulrich.Seibold@dlr.de
Sophie Lantermann
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
, Mechatronic Components and Systems
Tel: +49 8153 28-2122

Fax: +49 8153 28-1134

E-Mail: Sophie.Lantermann@dlr.de
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