Bionics Lab › Research > Surgical Robotics > Surgery Project 18

Autonomous Suturing Framework and Quantification Using a Cable-driven Surgical Robot


Suturing is required in almost all surgeries but it is challenging to perform with surgical robots due to limited vision and/or haptic feedback. To tackle this problem, we present an autonomous suturing framework which encompasses a novel needle path planner, as well as an accurate needle pose estimator and a 6 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) controller. A novel needle grasper is developed which enables needle pose estimation both inside and outside the tissue. The framework was evaluated experimentally using the Raven IV surgical system and important suture parameters were quantified. The experiment results confirmed a needle pose estimation accuracy of < 0.87 mm in position and < 3.46 degrees in orientation across all directions. Moreover, the results revealed that using the proposed framework enabled following the reference needle trajectories with errors of 2.07 mm in position and 4.29 degrees in orientation. These are drastic improvements of more than 10x in position and 5x in orientation compared to the Raven IV kinematic controller. Additionally, the results verified that our framework delivered the desired clinical suture parameters successfully across tissue phantom environments with different mechanical properties and under various needle trajectories.



Raven 4

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[ CPXX] Sahba Aghajani Pedram, Changyeob Shin, Peter Walker Ferguson, Ji Ma, Erik P. Dutson, and Jacob Rosen, Autonomous Suturing Framework and Quantification Using a Cable-driven Surgical Robot, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2020 (In Press).