The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, pp. 77–78, 2018
Concentric tube continuum robots (CTCR) havehigh potential in robotic surgery. Due to thesmall size and high flexibility they can reach tar-gets through small orifices along non-linear paths.Thus far, CTCR have been mainly considered forminimally invasive surgery through small incisions ornatural orifices . We see them particularly promis-ing for microsurgical applications in multiple disci-plines around the head, e.g. neurosurgey, otolaryn-gology, or phoniatrics. Our vision is an integratedsetup of one or more CTCR integrated with a surgi-cal microscope to assist the physician in tasks such asbiopsy, targeted drug delivery, tissue manipulation,electrosurgery, or local imaging using US or OCT(see Fig. 1). This setup allows for semi-autonomousassistance functions to be carried out by the robotdefined by the physician in the microscopic stereo-vision (e.g. biopsy location, cutting trajectory). Asmicroscopic surgery requires high accuracy of therobot, the prevalently existing model-based controlstrategies are not suitable. This issue has recentlybeen addressed with visual servoing with eye-in-handconfiguration .In this paper, we propose visual servoing of a CTCR(3 tubes, 6 DOF) using a position-based look-and-move approach employing an eye-to-hand configura-tion for microsurgical applications. We evaluate theachievable absolute accuracy and demonstrate feasi-bility in an ex-vivo study with a tissue sample.