A New Hardware Platform
Opportunity For New Medical Training
The Haptic Avatar system aims to take virtual reality minimal invasive surgery training to a new level. There are mainly three keys to accomplish this:
The first key is that the haptic device is enclosed in a slim design that contains all necessary functionality such as motors, sensors, power, amplifiers and control. The design allows to place one haptic device next to another, with only 50mm spacing, and this makes it possible to setup a realistic portal positioning. The quick connection of a haptic device also allows for a simple setup and change of setup.
The second key is that the instruments are decoupled from the haptic device. The trainee can pull out one instrument and put another one in. The haptic device will detect and identify the instrument type and no specific user input is needed. The new instrument will show up in the simulation and the training procedure can go on without interference. The main surgeon trainee can therefore exercise on truly difficult elements in the procedure, and if a team training is ongoing, it will also train a scrub nurse trainee a more realistic handling and prepration of instruments.
The third key is that Haptic Avatar has full force feedback in all degrees of freedom (DOF). The haptic device has four DOFs and some relevant instruments also have force feedback. An example a of instruments where force feedback brings a new sensation are, grasping forceps, scissors, staplers etc.