From Visual to Haptic: How do Laparoscopy Experts Estimate Haptics from Visual Cues in Robotic Surgery?
One of the major drawbacks of robotic surgery is the loss of haptic feedback. The only feedback that surgeons receive is simply the visual cues. Expert laparoscopic surgeons can perform better than the novice surgeons with the loss of haptics. We hypothesise that expert surgeons achieve this by transforming the visual cues into haptic information using their memory of past experiences. The transformation from visual to haptic should be an experience or a skill that experts build in time. In this project we aim at 1) proving the hypothesis that there is a skill of transformation of visual feedback to haptic information, and 2) investigating the conditions of how this skill is best formed. We will conduct the study using a tele-operated robotic system with a standard laparoscopy training box. We will experiment with different groups of novice subjects through interaction with various tissue mimicking materials, while allowing the subjects to receive different combination/amount of feedback (haptic, audio, visual). We will analyse the visual cues in order find out the visual features that allow the subjects estimate the stiffness.
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