Claudio Pacchierotti received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Siena, Italy in 2009, 2011, and 2014, respectively. He was an exchange student at the Karlstad University, Sweden in 2010. He spent the first seven months of 2014 visiting the Penn Haptics Group at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, which is part of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory. He also visited the Dept. of Innovation in Mechanics and Management of the University of Padua and the Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine (MIRA) of the University of Twente in 2013 and 2014, respectively. He received the 2014 EuroHaptics Best PhD Thesis Award for the best doctoral thesis in the field of haptics. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Dept. of Advanced Robotics of the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, Italy. His research deals with robotics and haptics, focusing on cutaneous force feedback techniques, wearable devices, and haptics for robotic surgery
Cutaneous haptic feedback can be used to enhance the performance of robotic teleoperation systems while guaranteeing their safety. Delivering ungrounded cutaneous cues to the human operator conveys in fact information about the forces exerted at the slave side and does not affect the stability of the control loop.
In this work we analyze the feasibility, effectiveness, and implications of providing solely cutaneous feedback in robotic teleoperation.
We carried out two peg-in-hole experiments, both in a virtual environment and in a real (teleoperated) environment. Two novel 3-degree-of-freedom fingertip cutaneous displays deliver a suitable amount of cutaneous feedback at the thumb and index fingers. Results assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Cutaneous feedback was outperformed by full haptic feedback provided by grounded haptic interfaces, but it outperformed conditions providing no force feedback at all. Moreover, cutaneous feedback always kept the system stable, even in the presence of destabilizing factors such as communication delays and hard contacts.
C. Pacchierotti, L. Meli, F. Chinello, M. Malvezzi, D. Prattichizzo. Cutaneous haptic feedback to ensure the stability of robotic teleoperation systems. International Journal of Robotics Research, 2015. doi: 10.1177/0278364915603135.
Despite its expected clinical benefits, current teleoperated surgical robots do not provide the surgeon with haptic feedback largely because grounded forces can destabilize the system’s closed-loop controller.
This article presents an alternative approach that enables the surgeon tofeel fingertip contact deformations and vibrations while guaranteeing the teleoperator’s stability.
We implemented our cutaneous feedback solution on an Intuitive Surgical da Vinci Standard robot by mounting a SynTouch BioTac tactile sensor to the distal end of a surgical instrument and a custom cutaneous display to the corresponding master controller. As the user probes the remote environment, the contact deformations, DC pressure, and AC pressure (vibrations) sensed by the BioTac are directly mapped to input commands for the cutaneous device’s motors using a model-free algorithm based on look-up tables. The cutaneous display continually moves, tilts, and vibrates a flat plate at the operator’s fingertip to optimally reproduce the tactile sensations experienced by the BioTac.
We tested the proposed approach by having eighteen subjects use the augmented da Vinci robot to palpate a heart model with no haptic feedback, only deformation feedback, and deformation plus vibration feedback. Fingertip deformation feedback significantly improved palpation performance by reducing the task completion time, the pressure exerted on the heart model, and the subject’s absolute error in detecting the orientation of the embedded plastic stick. Vibration feedback significantly improved palpation performance only for the seven subjects who dragged the BioTac across the model, rather than pressing straight into it.
C. Pacchierotti, D. Prattichizzo, K. J. Kuchenbecker. Cutaneous feedback of fingertip deformation and vibration for palpation in robotic surgery. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. In Press, 2015.
Please join our workshop on “Cutaneous Feedback for Teleoperation in Medical Robotics”!
It will take place on June 22 during the 2015 IEEE World Haptics Conference in Chicago, USA.
Dr. Antonio Gangemi (University of Illinois Medical Center)
Dr. Lawton Verner (Intuitive Surgical, Inc.)
Prof. Catagay Basdogan (Koc University)
Dr. Claudio Pacchierotti (Italian Institute of Technology)
Prof. Domenico Prattichizzo (University of Siena and Italian Institute of Technology),
Prof. Allison M. Okamura (Stanford University)
Prof. Dong-Soo Kwon (KAIST)
Prof. Katherine J. Kuchenbecker (Univ. of Pennsylvania)
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.
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.
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.
The journal paper “Towards Wearability in Fingertip Haptics: A 3-DoF Wearable Device for Cutaneous Force Feedback” by D. Prattichizzo, F. Chinello, C. Pacchierotti, and M. Malvezzi is now listed in IEEEXplore as the most popular IEEE Transactions on Haptics paper, with over 400 downloads!
Domenico Prattichizzo will present his research during the event “Next”, organized by the newspaper La Repubblica.
La Repubblica is one of the most important Italian newspapers, with an average of over 300,000 copies sold daily in 2013.