News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Surgical Tool, Surgical Robot Having the Same, and Remote Control Robot System", for Approval

January 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors LEE, Hyung Kew (Gunpo-si, KR); Lim, Soo Chul (Seoul, KR); Park, Joon Ah (Hwasung-si, KR); Lee, Bho Ram (Sungnam-si, KR); Han, Seung Ju (Seoul, KR); Lee, Hyun Jeong (Hwaseong-si, KR), filed on March 4, 2013, was made available online on January 16, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "One or more embodiments of the following description relate to a surgical tool, a surgical robot having the same, and a remote control robot system.

"Medically, surgery refers to medical treatment in which a subject's skin, mucous membrane, or other tissues are cut or opened using a surgical tool so that a medical professional (e.g., a surgeon or doctor) may repair, remove, or replace a diseased or damaged part.

"Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) refers to a type of a surgical operation to minimize a burden borne by a patient. For example, MIS minimizes a size or area of tissue which is opened during surgery, which may result in a shorter hospital stay or the surgery may be performed in an outpatient facility. MIS refers to a type of surgery in which a small insertion hole is punctured instead of cutting the skin. A surgical tool, such as an endoscope, a laparoscope, a microscope for microsurgery, and the like, for example, may be inserted through the insertion hole to perform the surgery within a body.

"The above MIS may be performed manually by a medical professional (e.g., a surgeon or doctor), and may also be performed in such a manner that the medical professional may elaborately control a surgical tool through a surgical robot instead of directly controlling the surgical tool. The surgical robot may adjust a level of the medical professional's motion that is transferred to the surgical tool. Trembling of the medical professional's hand may be prevented on the way and thus, the surgical robot may be employed for surgery that requires minute and precise control of a surgical instrument."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The foregoing and/or other aspects are achieved by providing a surgical tool, including: a support member to be guided to a surgery portion; a plurality of detection parts provided on the support member and of which a front surface contacts with a surgery portion or a surgical instrument; and a detection sensor disposed between the support member and each of the plurality of detection parts to measure force transferred to each of the plurality of detection parts.

"The detection sensor may include an optical fiber disposed along a rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts, and the optical fiber may be disposed within a groove formed in the support member.

"The optical fiber disposed on a bottom surface of each of the plurality of detection parts may be provided with an optical fiber bragg grating (FBG). Due to force transferred from each of the plurality of detection parts, the FBG may receive a tensile force from a lengthwise direction to measure force applied to each of the plurality of detection parts.

"The plurality of detection parts may be separated from each other to be mutually independently movable upward and downward, and a biocompatible elastic material may be provided between the respective detection parts or between each of the plurality of detection parts and the support member.

"A convex protruding portion may be formed on a rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts, and a concave groove portion in a shape corresponding to the protruding portion may be formed in the support member. The detection sensor may include an optical fiber disposed along the rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts, and an optical fiber positioned on a center of a bottom surface of the protruding portion may be provided with an FBG. Due to force transferred from each of the plurality of detection parts, the FBG may receive a tensile force from a lengthwise direction to measure force applied to each of the plurality of detection parts. A single FBG may be provided on the rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts, and the magnitude or distribution of the force applied to each of the plurality of detection parts may be measured by measuring a change in a wavelength of light reflected from the FBG.

"The foregoing and/or other aspects are achieved by providing a surgical robot, including: a master input unit having a controller; a robot arm to operate according to a control of the master input unit; and a surgical tool including at least one grasper connected to a front end of the robot arm. Each of the at least one grasper that is provided with a pair of grips capable of being opened and closed based on a joint, may include: a support member included in each of the pair of grips; a detection member provided on the support member and of which front surface contacts with a surgery portion or a surgical instrument; and an optical fiber disposed between the support member and the detection member to measure force transferred to the detection member. A plurality of FBGs may be formed on the optical fiber disposed on a bottom surface of the detection member, and due to force transferred from the detection member, each of the FBGs may receive a tensile force from a lengthwise direction to measure force applied to the detection member.

"The detection member may be divided into a plurality of detections parts, and the plurality of detection parts may be separated from each other to be mutually independently movable upward and downward.

"The plurality of detection parts may be disposed along parallel rows, and a plurality of optical fibers may be disposed in parallel to locate the FBGs on the rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts.

"Alternatively, the plurality of detection parts may be disposed along parallel rows, and a single optical fiber may be disposed in a zigzagged form or pattern to locate the FBGs on the rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts.

"A convex protruding portion may be formed on a rear surface of the detection member, a concave groove portion in a shape corresponding to the protruding portion may be formed in the support member, and the FBG may be disposed on a center of the protruding portion.

"A display may be provided to the master input unit, and distribution or magnitude of the force measured by the plurality of FBGs may be visually displayed on the display.

"The force measured by the plurality of FBGs may be transferred by the controller of the master input unit to provide appropriate feedback to an operator.

"The foregoing and/or other aspects are achieved by providing a remote control robot system, including: a master input unit having a controller; and a slave robot to operate according to a remote control of the master input unit, the slave robot having a robot arm with a surgical tool including a grip on a front end of the robot arm. The grip may include a support member connected to the front end of the robot arm; a plurality of detection parts provided on the support member to contact with a target object gripped; and an optical fiber disposed between the support member and each of the plurality of detection parts to locate a single FBG on a rear surface of each of the plurality of detection parts. A wavelength signal of light reflected from each of the FBGs may be transferred to the master input unit and magnitude or distribution of force applied to each of the plurality of detection parts may be measured based on a change in a wavelength.

"The surgical tool may include a grasper to hold an object, having a pair of grips to perform an opening and closing operation, and at least one of the grips includes the support member and the plurality of detection parts. The optical fiber may be disposed in a groove, the groove being formed in a lengthwise direction on a front side of the support member facing the detection member. Each of the plurality of detection parts may include a front side to contact the target object and a rear side facing the support member, a portion of the rear surface protruding toward the support member having a convex shape, and the support member may include a plurality of concave groove portions, each corresponding to the convex protruding portion of the respective detection parts. Each of the respective FBGs may be disposed in a space between the convex protruding portion and the concave groove portion. Each of the respective FBGs may be disposed in the space at a position corresponding to a center of the convex protruding portion. A biocompatible elastic material may be disposed between each of the plurality of detection parts and the support member.

"Additional aspects of embodiments will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"These and/or other aspects will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

"FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a surgical tool according to an embodiment;

"FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate side views of an operation of opening and closing a surgical tool according to an embodiment;

"FIG. 3 illustrates a side configuration view of a surgical tool according to an embodiment;

"FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged view of a portion A of FIG. 3;

"FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of a surgical tool according to an embodiment;

"FIG. 6 illustrates a support member of a surgical tool according to an embodiment;

"FIG. 7 illustrates a detection part of a surgical tool according to an embodiment;

"FIG. 8 illustrates a detection part of a surgical tool according to another embodiment; and

"FIG. 9 illustrates a surgical robot according to an embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: LEE, Hyung Kew; Lim, Soo Chul; Park, Joon Ah; Lee, Bho Ram; Han, Seung Ju; Lee, Hyun Jeong. Surgical Tool, Surgical Robot Having the Same, and Remote Control Robot System. Filed March 4, 2013 and posted January 16, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1191&p=24&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140109.PD.&OS=PD/20140109&RS=PD/20140109

Keywords for this news article include: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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