Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Surgical Tele-Haptics Job

I've been very poor at updating this blog recently, mainly on account of the rush to get my a complete draft of my PhD thesis to my supervisor before starting work as a research associate at Bristol robotics laboratory.

The Novint Falcon haptic inteface
This new project is looking at integrating the sense of touch into robot assisted larposcopic (keyhole) surgery. So a surgeon who is remotely controlling a medical robot will be able to feel what is inside the patient that they are working on, rather than just relying on the images provided by an endoscope for diagnosis and surgery.

From now on I'll be working a great deal with haptic technologies. Already I've been plesently surprised by the accessibility of haptics, with the Novint falcon haptics interface costing only £200 and being supported by the Chai 3D open source C++ libraries (including dynamics engines for both rigid and deformable bodies). Using only these two elements I've already got a fully enabled haptics suite that I can start my research with. This is in stark constrast to the 3 months I spent at the start of my PhD writing drivers to get my very expensive robot to move at all.

Chai 3D screenshot
Of course, I'm still working on the PhD...

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