The Laparobot: A Telerobotic, Telesurgical, Telementoring Robot to Perform Training in Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgical Tasks

Bradley Genovese, MD, Stephen Prince, PhD, Chris Kang, PhD, Tc Tsao, PhD, Erik Dutson, MD. University of California Los Angeles

Objective of the technology or device:

We designed and manufactured a novel, minimally invasive laparoscopic robot with telesurgical and telementoring capabilities. Through meticulous mechanical design iteration and high precision fabrication techniques, we developed a reliable and robust platform for telerobotic surgery. Through computer control, we sought to provide accurate master-slave tracking, gravity compensation, and force feedback for both mentor and mentee users. The functionality of the LapaRobot was designed to offer a transparent master-slave experience for the express purpose of facilitating acquisition of the psychomotor skills necessary to perform safe laparoscopic gestures to novices both locally and at a distance if needed.

Description of the technology and method of its use or application:

The LapaRobot’s main function is to allow surgeons to teach other surgeons how to perform fundamental laparoscopic procedures, so that the newly trained surgeons can go on to independently perform the procedures without the aid of the robot or teaching surgeon. To do this the LapaRobot creates a workspace that mimics the surgical setting; specifically, the LapaRobot was designed to incorporate commonly available laparoscopic surgical tools used in the operating room. Our device provides a teaching environment that mirrors the actual surgical setting in a fashion after a standardized box trainer. This experience facilitates an accelerated learning process for the novice surgeon and in turn provides a smooth transition to the box trainer for certification requirements and ultimately to the operating room environment.

Preliminary results:

Our device was able to be used in a master slave relationship. Its mechanical design provided the ability to complete three out of the five original Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) tasks in a mentor-mentee environment. Through computer control, we were able to provide accurate master-slave tracking, gravity compensation, and force feedback for both mentor and mentee users.

Conclusions/Future Directions:

For this research, we have developed and manufactured a novel laparoscopic surgery teaching system. As such, we have completed the high level design requirements originally set forth, and further validated our design through extensive engineering analysis.  Human subjects’ data is presently being acquired and analyzed for accuracy.







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