Updates on the next-generation KidsArm robot: Minimally-Invasive Endoscopic Manipulator System (MIEMS):
"The third prototype of KidsArm, the first image-guided robotic surgical arm in the world specifically designed for pediatric surgery, is currently being tested at SickKids Hospital, and researchers are hoping that the technology might soon lend a helping hand to surgeons around the country. While more testing is needed, the robot is also promising for fetal, cardiac, neurological and urological surgeries.
Using a pair of hand controllers in conjunction with high-precision, real-time imaging technology, surgeons can pinpoint the area of concern to make it easier to reconnect delicate vessels, for example. KidsArm is also equipped with miniaturized dexterous tools that can cut, coagulate, apply suction, or use a laser. It is capable of working 10 times faster and with more accuracy than a surgeon's hands when performing intricate procedures.
Advanced technologies such as imaged-based tissue tracking and robotic assistance select and track sutures so that surgeons can compensate for the tissue motion that sometimes makes these surgeries difficult. A stereo camera generates a 3D point cloud, a set of data points that guide the tool tip and apply a series of sutures. KidsArm pushes the envelope using advanced imaging to identify suture locations. This allows the surgeon to automate the suturing of small vessels and other microsurgical tasks.
The precision required by KidsArm has to be at least 10 times better than what Dextre is able to achieve. To face this technical challenge, the MDA team adopted the virtual decomposition control (VDC) approach developed by Canadian Space Agency (CSA) engineer Wen-Hong Zhu. Thanks to this technology, KidsArm is capable of performing intricate procedures such as the suturing of blood vessels and tissues 10 times faster and with more accuracy than a surgeon's hands. The VDC is a Canadian game-changing technology for precision control of future medical manipulators and space manipulators."
"The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, made his first visit to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on March 9 to meet with scientists and staff working in the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI).
In 2010, SickKids received $10 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to support the development of KidsArm, MR-guided interventions including Focused Ultrasound and Surgical Simulation. Over the past five years, the CIGITI team has been hard at work in the research lab, building on the original KidsArm design. They are currently developing next-generation KidsArm robot prototypes, which will be ready for clinical use within the next three to five years."
"Advanced technologies such as imaged-based tissue-tracking and robotic platforms help us select suture points and [follow] these points so that we can compensate for the tissue motion that sometimes makes these surgeries difficult," said Looi. "A stereo camera generates a 3-D point cloud. This is a set of data points that guide the tool tip and apply a series of sutures. KidsArm pushes the envelope using advanced imaging to identify suture locations. This allows the surgeon to automate suturing small vessels and other microsurgical tasks."
A key element of the KidsArm platform is the vision-based system that can function in an autonomous manner. This acts as the eyes and brains of the platform and is the focus of the research efforts.
The platform also consists of two other elements: an external positioning system that is on the outside of the patient and a surgical arm that reaches inside the patient. The external system uses a human arm-scale industrial robot that has been customized to support a highly automated surgical arm and suturing device. The surgical arm is the only element that would reach inside a patient. It is as small as possible while containing all the functionality needed for dexterous positioning and deploying the sutures."See our previous report here.
Source: Industry Canada, Insight into Kids Arm development, CSA, SpaceRef