SURS--the new SJTU Unfoldable Robotic System
"The SURS (Shanghai Jiao Tong University Unfoldable Robotic System) is one of the recent developments dedicated for SPL. The SURS can be inserted into abdomen through a ∅12mm incision in its folded configuration and can then be unfolded for dual-arm interventions with integrated visual guidance. With the design descriptions, modeling and experimentation reported in a recent manuscript, this paper presents the follow-up investigations to enhance the SURS’s capabilities. Bending ranges of the continuum manipulation arms are enlarged to enhance the system’s distal dexterity. An additional tool with an electrical cautery spatula was fabricated and assembled into the system to realize tissue resection. With the dexterity and functionality augmented, the SURS could be further tested in animal studies.
During the ex-vivo experimentation, the SURS’s motion capabilities were found to be worse than what were expected due to the limited extensions and contractions of its segments. In order to enhance the distal dexterity, this paper proposes to extend the kinematics model for bending beyond 90°, making full use of the arms’ physically allowed bending ranges. With the circular-arc bending assumption verified up to a 180° bending, the simulation and experimental results quantified the improvements on the distal motion capabilities."