Pose Accuracy in Surgical Robotics

Minimally invasive surgery has transformed the medical industry by offering patients a safer and more efficient alternative to traditional procedures. The shift towards less invasive techniques has significantly shortened recovery times and minimized hospital stays. However, despite the many advantages, these procedures can still suffer from lack of precision, complex navigation, and significant use of ionizing radiation. Transitioning to surgical robotics has helped address several of these limitations. By integrating robotic systems, surgeons can perform more complex procedures with increased precision and control. While the integration of robotics has undeniably revolutionized minimally invasive procedures, existing systems still struggle with their own limitations which hinder their widespread transition from research labs to operating rooms. Current robotic platforms are limited by their lack of real-time and intuitive 3D visualization, reliable shape and orientation estimation, and options for low-cost disposable devices. As the field of surgical robotics continues to evolve, the
emergence of fiber optic shape sensing (FOSS) technology presents an innovative solution to overcome several existing limitations. In contrast to conventional navigation and visualization methods, The Shape Sensing Company’s (TSSC) navigation technology stands out for its ability to provide spatially distributed, interference-immune, and real-time shape and orientation measurements along the entire length of a flexible device.

Fiber optic shape sensing encompasses a sensor composed of either a multi-core fiber or a bundle of multiple single-core fibers, paired with an interrogation technique known as Optical Frequency Domain Reflectometry (OFDR). These components, in conjunction with TSSC’s advanced processing algorithms, facilitate the measurement and visualization of the sensor’s 3D shape. Fiber optic shape sensors offer distinct advantages-they are compact, flexible, and operate without the need for line-of-sight. Additionally, they provide real-time 3D visualization of the entire sensor length and are immune to electromagnetic interference. While the concept of fiber optic shape sensing has been around for some time, limitations in spatial resolution, sensing twist, and cost have historically impeded accuracy and adoption. In a previous white paper, TSSC demonstrated the capability of fiber optic shape sensing technology to achieve sufficient shape accuracy for surgical navigation procedures, despite known limitations. To further validate TSSC’s fiber optic shape sensing technology, our goal is to characterize the orientation accuracy, which will complement our previously described shape accuracy data.

In this study, TSSC demonstrates current orientation accuracy between two points on the shape sensor when…

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Demonstrating Orientation Accuracy in Fiber Optic Shape Sensing for Surgical Robotics – white paper