A Telerobotic System for Transnasal Surgery

Burgner, Jessica; Rucker, Caleb D; Gilbert, Hunter B; Swaney, Philip J; Russell, Paul T; Weaver, Kyle D; Webster III, Robert J
IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 19 (3), pp. 996–1006, 2014
A Telerobotic System for Transnasal Surgery


Mechanics-based models of concentric tube continuum robots have recently achieved a level of sophistication that makes it possible to begin to apply these robots to a variety of real-world clinical scenarios. Endonasal skull base surgery is one such application, where their small diameter and tentacle-like dexterity are particularly advantageous. In this paper, we provide the medical motivation for an endonasal surgical robot featuring concentric tube manipulators, and describe our model-based design and teleoperation methods, as well as a complete system incorporating image guidance. Experimental demonstrations using a laparoscopic training task, a cadaver reachability study, and a phantom tumor resection experiment illustrate that both novice and expert users can effectively teleoperate the system, and that skull base surgeons can use the robot to achieve their objectives in a realistic surgical scenario.


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