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Proceedings Paper

Virtual reality robotic telesurgery simulations using MEMICA haptic system
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Constantinos Mavroidis; Mourad Bouzit; Benjamin P. Dolgin; Deborah L. Harm; George E. Kopchok; Rodney A. White
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Paper Abstract

There is increasing realization that some tasks can be performed significantly better by humans than robots but, due to associated hazards, distance, etc., only a robot can be employed. Telemedicine is one area where remotely controlled robots can have a major impact by providing urgent care at remote sites. In recent years, remotely controlled robotics has been greatly advanced and the NASA Johnson Space Center's robotic astronaut, Robonaut, is one such example. Unfortunately, due to the unavailability of force and tactile feedback the operator must determine the required action by visually examining the remote site and therefore limiting the tasks that Robonaut can perform. There is a great need for dexterous, fast, accurate teleoperated robots with the operator's ability to feel the environment at the robot's field. The authors conceived a haptic mechanism called MEMICA (remote MEchanical MIrroring using Controlled stiffness and Actuators) that can enable the design of high dexterity, rapid response, and large workspace haptic system. The development of a novel MEMICA gloves and virtual reality models are being explored to allow simulation of telesurgery and other applications. The MEMICA gloves are being designed to provide intuitive mirroring of the conditions at a virtual site where a robot simulates the presence of a human operator. The key components of MEMICA are miniature electrically controlled stiffness (ECS) elements and Electrically Controlled Force and Stiffness (ECFS) actuators that are based on the use of Electro-Rheological Fluids (ERF). In this paper the design of the MEMICA system and initial experimental results are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4329, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (16 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.432667
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Constantinos Mavroidis, Rutgers Univ. (United States)
Mourad Bouzit, Rutgers Univ. (United States)
Benjamin P. Dolgin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Deborah L. Harm, NASA Johnson Space Ctr. (United States)
George E. Kopchok, Harbor-UCLA Medical Ctr. (United States)
Rodney A. White, Harbor-UCLA Medical Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4329:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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