Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Computer Engineering


Burg, Timothy J

Committee Member

Dawson , Darren

Committee Member

Walker , Ian


As proper levels of force application are necessary to ensure patient safety, and training hours with an expert on live subjects are difficult, enhanced computer-based training is needed to teach the next generation of surgeons. Considering the role of touch in surgery, there is a need for a device capable of discerning the haptic ability of surgical trainees. This need is amplified by minimally invasive surgical techniques where a surgeon's sense of tissue properties comes not directly through their own hands but indirectly through the tools. A haptic device capable of producing a realistic range of forces and motions that can be used to test the ability of users to replicate salient forces in specific maneuvers is proposed. This device also provides the opportunity to use inexpensive haptic trainers to educate surgeons about proper force application.
A novel haptic device was designed and built to provide a simplified analogy of the forces and torques felt during free tool motion and constrained pushing, sweep with laparoscopic instruments. The device is realized as a single-degree-of-freedom robotic system controlled using real-time computer hardware and software. The details of the device design and the results of testing the design against the specifications are presented. A significant achievement in the design is the use of a two-camera vision system to sense the user placement of the input device. The capability of the device as a first-order screening tool to distinguish between novices and expert surgeons is described.

Included in

Robotics Commons