On using an array of fiber Bragg grating sensors for closed-loop control of flexible minimally invasive surgical instruments
2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Flexible minimally invasive surgical instruments can be used to target difficult-to-reach locations within the human body. Accurately steering these instruments requires information about the three-dimensional shape of the instrument. In the current study, we use an array of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors to reconstruct the shape of a flexible instrument. FBG sensors have several advantages over existing imaging modalities, which makes them well-suited for use in a clinical environment. An
... perimental testbed is presented in this study, which includes a tendon-driven manipulator. A nitinol FBG-wire is fabricated, on which an array of twelve FBG sensors are integrated, and distributed over four different sets. This wire is positioned in the backbone of the manipulator. Axial strains are measured using the FBG sensors, from which the curvature of the manipulator is calculated. The three-dimensional manipulator shape is reconstructed from the curvature, which is used to steer the manipulator tip. We are able to steer the manipulator along various trajectories (twodimensional and three-dimensional), and also reject disturbance loads. We observe a minimum mean tracking error of 0.67 mm for the circular trajectory in closed-loop control. This study demonstrates the potential of steering flexible minimally invasive surgical instruments using an array of FBG sensors.