An Avatar Port (or in short, a Port) is a haptic device for use typically in laparoscopic, thoracoscopic or arthroscopic VR training applications.
A Port represents an access point, and has a trocar like part that can receive a representation of a surgical instrument (a 'Tool'), track its motion and provide force feedback to it.
The Tool is identified upon insertion. One or many Ports (up to 6) can be used to setup the desired training task or procedure, for a single trainee or a whole team.
The Ports are populated on a Frame structure that gives them a position that corresponds to the real position.
The Ports are connected with a USB-cable, typically to a USB-hub, which is then connected to the simulation PC. A Port is self-powered with batteries and is charged via the USB-hub.
An Avatar Tool is the simulator representation of a real surgical instrument which the trainee manipulates. It consists of a Handle and a Shaft, which are mated together. Some handles have force feedback for sensing the tissue interaction. The shaft has an identifyable tip that the Port will read upon insertion. When a tool is inserted and identified in a Port, the simulation program can let a corresponding virtual instrument appear in the portal that detected it. The handling of Avatar Tools thereby resembles real life surgical instrument handling, without need for further selection interactions. Tools with a single degree of sensing and with force feedback, like the grasper, are connected to the IBox, see below. Tools without sensing, such as a pedal activated diathermy hook does not need connection. Tools that are more complex, such as the Scope or a motorized stapler, are connected to USB.
An Avatar Instrument Box - or Ibox - is a haptic controller box that reads the sensors of the Tools and provides force feedback so the trainee can feel the resistance when e.g. grasping. Six Tools can be connected (with push/pull connectors) to one Ibox. Also, a double footswitch can be connected to the Ibox. Just like the Port, the Ibox communicates via USB and the batteries are charged via USB.
Ports are mounted on a Structure to setup their physical position. A Structure can be any mechanical frame or framework with quick connector plates for the Ports. A Structure can have fixed or movable positions. The Ports can easily (with need for tools) be moved from one Structure to another, and thereby enable a cost effective solution, with multi-disciplinary sharing of Ports. Read more about our popular Structures, such as the Laparoscopic Workstation. Follou can help you tailor a Structure for you need.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you want a customized solution. We can modify our existing tools or develop additional tools to fit your needs. We cut the instrument shafts to lengths that fits your application. We can modify a more complex real surgical tool such as e.g. a stapler, put sensors, switches, communication and control logic in it, and adapt its shaft to fit the Haptic Avatar Port. We help you choose or develop suitable rigid or flexible structures. If you need drivers to your favourite simulation/physics engine, we build plugins. We are even able to develop customized haptic devices ranging from a single motor up to six axis haptic devices. As you might expect already, the Haptic Avatar system is highly modularized and tailoring your system is therefore part of our offer.
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