4th Wearhap Consortium Review Meeting

The WEARHAP Consortium met in the Madrid, Spain for it 4th Consortium Review Meeting. It was held in Madrid, Spain on 17th and 18th of November 2014. The meeting was reviewed by Prof. Karen Maclean of University of British Columbia and Dr. Patrick Helmer, CEO of Force Dimension. All the partners involved in the consortium were represented in the meeting.

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The venue was Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, hosted by Prof. Miguel Otaduy. This gathering of the consortium reviewed the progress and forged ideas to moved towards the ultimate objectives of the project. The meeting ended on a high note as the progress of the project is as planned. All the outstanding and future issues came under rigorous discussions and presentations, lasting two days.

UNISI participated in the meeting with a lot of enthusiasm and managed to appreciate the beauty of Madrid and the generosity of our hosts after the work-sessions. It was a joy able work and personal experience for everyone who took part in this Review Meeting from Siena.

Here are some of the pictures from the event.
Pictures of 4th WEARHAP Consortium Review Meeting

Teleoperation of steerable flexible needles by combining kinesthetic and vibratory feedback

A new journal article has been accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Haptics!

Reference:
C. Pacchierotti, M. Abayazid, S. Misra, D. Prattichizzo. “Teleoperation of steerable flexible needles by combining kinesthetic and vibratory feedback”. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2015.

PaAbMiPr-TOH15
Abstract:
Needle insertion in soft-tissue is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that demands high accuracy. In this respect, robotic systems with autonomous control algorithms have been exploited as the main tool to achieve high accuracy and reliability. However, for reasons of safety and responsibility, autonomous robotic control is often not desirable. Therefore, it is necessary to focus also on techniques enabling clinicians to directly control the motion of the surgical tools. In this work we address that challenge and present a novel teleoperated robotic system able to steer flexible needles.

The proposed system tracks the position of the needle using an ultrasound imaging system and computes needle’s ideal position and orientation to reach a given target. The master haptic interface then provides the clinician with mixed kinesthetic-vibratory navigation cues to guide the needle toward the computed ideal position and orientation.
Twenty participants carried out an experiment of teleoperated needle insertion into a soft-tissue phantom, considering four different experimental conditions. Participants were provided with either mixed kinesthetic-vibratory feedback or mixed kinestheticvisual feedback. Moreover, we considered two different ways of computing ideal position and orientation of the needle: with or without set-points. Vibratory feedback was found more effective than visual feedback in conveying navigation cues, with a mean targeting error of 0.72 mm when using set-points, and of 1.10 mm without set-points.

Full-text PDF:

http://sirslab.dii.unisi.it/papers/2015/Pacchierotti.TOH.2015.Haptics.Fin.pdf

VIDEO:

ACANTO: A cyberphysical social networks using robots friends

The project “ACANTO: A cyberphysical social networks using robots friends” is at the service of the older adults. ACANTOconcerns a robotic integrated system whose main objective is to stimulate the elderly to perform physical activity in order toprevent many of the their typical pathologies by improving their quality of life. The wearable robotic devices will monitor thephysical and mental well-being of users involving them in a Social Network able to suggest the activities that can be done by creating a network among the community of older adults, relatives and all health care workers.

The draft is approximately 4 million and 300 thousand euro funded under the Call of Health HORIZON 2020, which concerns”Health, demographic change and well-being Personalizing and health care: Advancing active and healthy aging H2020-19-2014-PHC Research and Innovation Action”. The project is coordinated by Prof. Luigi Palopoli, University of Trento, andinvolves the University of Siena, the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, INRIA Renne, FORTH Heraklion, the public buildings Spanish Servicio de Salud Madrileno, and companies such as Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Oesterreich, Atos Spainand Telecom Italy SpA. 

The research group of the Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena is led by Prof.Domenico Prattichizzo. The group will be principally involved in the development of wearable robotic devices, in the construction of environmental maps and the development of the CyberPhysical Social Network.

ACANTO