PLUGFEST - Teleoperation experiment

"Using a new software protocol called the Interoperable Telesurgical Protocol, nine research teams from universities and research institutes around the world recently collaborated on the first successful demonstration of multiple biomedical robots operated from different locations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The new protocol was cooperatively developed by the University of Washington and SRI International, to standardize the way remotely operated robots are managed over the Internet. The protocol will allow engineers and designers that usually develop technologies independently, to work collaboratively, determine which designs work best, encourage widespread adoption of the new communications protocol, and help robotics research to evolve more rapidly. Early adoption of this protocol internationally will encourage robotic systems to be developed with interoperability in mind, and avoid future incompatibilities."

Several universities and research labs took part in the PLUGFEST 2009 event (on July 30), where the different locations connected to each other through the new protocol to perform surgical robotic tasks, such as the peg transfer from FLS. The complete list of the robots can be found here, and the sites were:

  • SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., USA
  • University of Washington Biorobotics Lab (BRL), Seattle, Washington, USA
  • University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), Bionics Lab, Santa Cruz, Calif., USA
  • iMedSim, Interactive Medical Simulation Laboratory, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA
  • Korea University of Technology (KUT) BioRobotics Lab, Cheonan, South Chungcheong, South Korea
  • Imperial College London (ICL), London, England
  • Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen (TUM), Munich, Germany
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology (TOK), Tokyo, Japan
Check out some pictures here, until the White paper of the experiment gets published.
Source: Science Daily

Update: A recent ICRA publication from the whole group describes the experiment.

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