BalanScope: Endoscope Holder Robotic Manipulator for Endonasal Skull Base Surgery (BalanScope) | RASIM ALIZADE MECHATRONICS LABROTARY WEB PAGE

BalanScope: Endoscope Holder Robotic Manipulator for Endonasal Skull Base Surgery (BalanScope)

Endoscope Holder Robotic Manipulator for Endonasal Skull Base Surgery

Funding Agency THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF TURKEY (TÜBİTAK)  BalanScope
Program 1001
ID/Acronym 219M483  / BalanScope
Grant Period 2020-2022
Principal Investigator Dr. Gökhan Kiper
Project Group Dr. M. İ. Can Dede, Dr. H. Seçil Artem, Dr. Levent Aydın, Dr. Volkert van der Wijk, Dr. Mustafa Berker, Dr. Şahin Hanalioğlu, Dr. İlkay Işıkay, İbrahimcan Görgülü, Ataol B. Aldanmaz, H. İrem Erten, Tuğrul Yılmaz, Emirhan İnanç, Rüstem Can Öztürk

Summary of the Project

Pituitary gland is a special endocrine organ located in between the two optic nerves on the skull base. The prototype of a special robotic system is developed for guiding the visualization device (endoscope) according to the surgeon’s demands during pituitary gland tumor surgeries within the scope of a TÜBİTAK-ARDEB funded project called NeuRoboScope with project number 115E725 which was completed in 2018. Among several sub-systems developed in this project, the so-called active arm mechanism for guiding the endoscope is the subsystem with most important effect on the success of the surgery. The active-arm mechanism is designed with a remote center of motion, which is a common requirement for minimally invasive surgical robots. A patent application is filed for this mechanism.

The active-arm mechanism developed in the NeuRoboScope project is a parallel manipulator. Some of the unfavorable results observed during the tests of the mechanism prototype designed for using the advantages of parallel manipulators are as follows: (1) the end-effector with ~300 gr endoscope has uncontrollable displacements due to joint clearances, elasticity of the links and gear reducer system with clearances; (2) since the mechanism does not possess any mechanical gravity compensation solution, most of the actuator system effort is used for gravity compensation and due to practical limitations (such as the resolution of the command information processed in the motor driver) this complicates accurate control application; (3) the microprocessor faces difficulty to run the solution of the dynamic equations of the parallel mechanism for model-based control in real time; (4) the mechanism does not possess any inherent elasticity to tolerate the external forces, but these forces are measured with a force/moment sensor.

This project is proposed for solving the above-mentioned problems regarding the active-arm mechanism of the NeuRoboScope project. In this project, a new inherently balanced active-arm mechanism will be designed, and also the current active-arm mechanism will be modified for comparison purposes. A novel output of the project will be development of an inherently balanced mechanism with a remote center of motion capable of moving about a pivot point which can be used in minimally invasive surgeries. Another novel output is the use of a series-elastic actuator structure for such a surgical robot. For a delicate surgery scenario such as a pituitary gland tumor surgery, it is important that the mechanism can sensitively guide the endoscope, but it is also important that the mechanism can comply with external physical interactions in an environment where also the surgeon is working on the patient.

In the project, first the design requirements for the surgical robot mechanism will be updated in collaboration with the surgeon team. Inherently balanced mechanism design methods will be used for development of the new mechanism design. Also, necessary precautions will be taken to prevent that the series-elastic actuators result in parasitic motions of the endoscope and test will be conducted with simple prototypes. Design modifications on the mechanism developed in the NeuRoboScope project will be made for comparison with the new mechanism. After the design process, produced mechanisms will be tested for the performance targets and will be put into use of the surgeons who are the end-users on a physical model and a cadaver for functional tests.

At the end of the project a minimally invasive surgical robot will be obtained and also methods will be developed for designing robots to be developed for such surgical operations. The generated knowledge will contribute to design of inherently balanced mechanisms and also surgical robots area. Researchers working on this subject will be trained and the developed know-how will be shared with interested audience through workshops.


Publication List

Alzanmaz AB, Ayit O, Kiper G, Dede MİC, Gravity Compensation of a 2R1T Mechanism With Remote Center of Motion for Minimally Invasive Transnasal Surgery Applications, submitted to Robotica, December 2021.

Theses

MSc Thesis by Tuğrul Yılmaz: Design, Production and Tests of an Inherently Balanced Mechanism to be Used as an Endoscope Holder for Endonasal Skull Base Surgery (Ongoing – Supervised by Dr. Kiper and Dr. Van der Wijk)

MSc Thesis by H. İrem Erten: Design of Series-elastic Actuator using Topology Optimization (Completed on December 2021 – Supervised by Dr. Artem)

MSc Thesis by Ataol B. Aldanmaz: Gravity Compensation of a 2R1T Mechanism With Remote Center of Motion for Minimally Invasive Transnasal Surgery Applications (Completed on September 2021 – Supervised by Dr. Kiper and Dr. Dede)

BSc Study (TÜBİTAK STAR scholarship) – Emirhan İnanç: Research on Mechanisms with 2R Remoter Center of Motion (Completed on July 2021 – Supervised by Dr. Kiper)