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Title: Robotic manipulators for single access surgery
Author: Wisanuvej, Piyamate
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 3445
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores the development of cooperative robotic manipulators for enhancing surgical precision and patient outcomes in single-access surgery and, specifically, Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM). During these procedures, surgeons manipulate a heavy set of instruments via a mechanical clamp inserted in the patient’s body through a surgical port, resulting in imprecise movements, increased patient risks, and increased operating time. Therefore, an articulated robotic manipulator with passive joints is initially introduced, featuring built-in position and force sensors in each joint and electronic joint brakes for instant lock/release capability. The articulated manipulator concept is further improved with motorised joints, evolving into an active tool holder. The joints allow the incorporation of advanced robotic capabilities such as ultra-lightweight gravity compensation and hands-on kinematic reconfiguration, which can optimise the placement of the tool holder in the operating theatre. Due to the enhanced sensing capabilities, the application of the active robotic manipulator was further explored in conjunction with advanced image guidance approaches such as endomicroscopy. Recent advances in probe-based optical imaging such as confocal endomicroscopy is making inroads in clinical uses. However, the challenging manipulation of imaging probes hinders their practical adoption. Therefore, a combination of the fully cooperative robotic manipulator with a high-speed scanning endomicroscopy instrument is presented, simplifying the incorporation of optical biopsy techniques in routine surgical workflows. Finally, another embodiment of a cooperative robotic manipulator is presented as an input interface to control a highly-articulated robotic instrument for TEM. This master-slave interface alleviates the drawbacks of traditional master-slave devices, e.g., using clutching mechanics to compensate for the mismatch between slave and master workspaces, and the lack of intuitive manipulation feedback, e.g. joint limits, to the user. To address those drawbacks a joint-space robotic manipulator is proposed emulating the kinematic structure of the flexible robotic instrument under control.
Supervisor: Yang, Guang-Zhong Sponsor: Imperial College London ; Mahawitthayaalai Kasewtsat ; Department of Health ; Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral