A "pickup" stereoscopic camera with visual-motor aligned control for the da Vinci surgical system: a preliminary study.


Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of British Columbia, 2332 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The current state-of-the-art surgical robotic systems use only a single endoscope to view the surgical field. Research has been conducted to introduce additional cameras to the surgical system, giving rise to new camera angles that cannot be achieved using the endoscope alone. While this additional visualization certainly aids in surgical performance, current systems lack visual-motor compatibility with respect to the additional camera views. We propose a new system that overcomes this limitation.
METHODS : In this paper, we introduce a novel design of an additional "pickup" camera that can be integrated into the da Vinci Surgical System. We also introduce a solution to work comfortably in the various arbitrary views this camera provides by eliminating visual-motor misalignment. This is done by changing the working frame of the surgical instruments to work with respect to the coordinate system at the "pickup" camera instead of the endoscope.
RESULTS : Human user trials ([Formula: see text]) were conducted to evaluate the effect of visual-motor alignment with respect to the "pickup" camera on surgical performance. An inanimate surgical peg transfer task from the validated Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) Training Curriculum was used, and an improvement of 73% in task completion time and 80% in accuracy was observed with the visual-motor alignment over the case without it.
CONCLUSIONS : Our study shows that there is a requirement to achieve visual-motor alignment when utilizing views from external cameras in current clinical surgical robotics setups. We introduce a complete system that provides additional camera views with visual-motor aligned control. Such a system would be useful in existing surgical procedures and could also impact surgical planning and navigation.


Minimally invasive surgery,Robot-assisted surgery,Stereoscopic imaging,Surgical robotics,Visual-motor alignment,da Vinci surgical robot,