The MICA is a versatile instrument for minimally invasive robotic surgery. Being a 3DoF-robot, it is attached to the MIRO arm and extends the kinematic chain by three joints.
In 2010 the MICA was presented to the public for the first time.
The DLR MICA is the second generation of versatile instruments for minimally invasive surgery developed at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. For minimally invasive procedures in the context of the MiroSurge scenario those robotic instruments are coupled to a MIRO robot arm. Thus the MICA extends the telemanipulator by the joints 8, 9 and 10. A MICA consists of a drive unit and a task-specific tool with tool interface, 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.
The versatile design approach followed for the MIRO and conformance to the MiroSurge setup outline a number of requirements for the instrument design:
Total view of a DLR MICA with task specific tool (left) and versatile drive unit (right).
DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
Coupling unit of the tool with scale: It transforms the translational motions of the three degrees of freedom of the drive unit into tendon motions, which actuate the degrees of freedom in tool wrist and end effector.
The force/torque sensor uses resistance strain gauges to measure forces and torques in six degrees of freedom. It can be integrated into the tool between the end effector (e.g. a gripper) and the wrist.
DLR MICA tools with two types of wrist joints: A Bending joint (using so called Müglitz kinematics), which allows passing through cables and fibers (top), and a Pitch-Yaw joint with two orthogonal non-intersecting axes (bottom).
Tips of two MICA tools with bending wrist joint (top) and Pitch-Yaw wrist joint (bottom).
Tip of a MICA tool with a cardan joint as wrist and scissors as end effector.
Tip of a MICA tool with a cardan joint as wrist and a needle holder as end effector.