FRK’s concept of a control console is based on a user-interface to control the position of the end effector of the STIFF-FLOP robot arm and a system of feedback information regarding the position and forces created during robot tool-environment interaction; preparing new ground in haptics, operator worn sleeves are integrated with pneumatic or vibrating actuators to relay collisions between the robot arm and the environment to the surgeon.
The main idea and technical structure of the operator/surgeon control unit is the ergonomic position that can be achieved during operation. Additionally, the operator can use a touchpad to set certain control parameters such as scaling the motion or force and the number of active sensors. Using our experience from the previous Robin Heart projects, the user interface RiH Delta has been designed and developed especially to suit the needs of the STIFF-FLOP manipulator – the interface allows the free movement of the surgeon's hands using digitally mapping and allows the surgeon to feel the force impact from the working tip (tool) of the robot in the environment of the patient transferred to their palm.
The console includes:
- The computer unit with Linux and ROS software
- Mechanical construction of the console body made from ITEM profiles
- The supply and control rack system
- Two monitors
- The Delta human-machine interface with haptic feedback
- The haptic sleeve integrated with pneumatic or vibrating actuators
The first test of the new control console was carried out during remote connections between FRK and PIAP (Zabrze –Warsaw). The pictures on this page show the construction of the Delta Master manipulator, with 3 degrees of freedom, prepared for the project STIFF-FLOP, with a force feedback. The Delta parallel manipulator has large force reflection and high stiffness due to its parallelogram-style structure. The Delta haptic system is equipped with an electronic interface and software libraries prepared to work in the ROS environment. The communication protocol between the Delta haptic system and the ROS System is coded in decimal format. After the recent tests conducted together with PIAP we could show that the connectivity between the console and Stiff-Flop arm prototype via the internet works well. The test was conducted successfully and represents an important step in the development of STIFF-FLOP control.
STIFF-FLOP - console - sketches of design concept and prototype
The remote tele-control of the SF arm during the FRK-PIAP connection via the internet (VPN)