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2022 ICRA

Human-Robot Shared Control for Surgical Robot Based on Context-Aware Sim-to-Real Adaptation

Human-robot shared control, which integrates the advantages of both humans and robots, is an effective approach to facilitate efficient surgical operation.

Learning from demonstration (LfD) techniques can be used to automate some of the surgical subtasks for the construction of the shared control mechanism. However, a sufficient amount of data is required for the robot to learn the manoeuvres. Using a surgical simulator to collect data is a less resource-demanding approach. With sim-to-real adaptation, the manoeuvres learned from a simulator can be transferred to a physical robot. To this end, we propose a sim-to-real adaptation method to construct a human-robot shared control framework for robotic surgery.

In this paper, a desired trajectory is generated from a simulator using LfD method, while dynamic motion primitives (DMP) is used to transfer the desired trajectory from the simulator to the physical robotic platform. Moreover, a role adaptation mechanism is developed such that the robot can adjust its role according to the surgical operation contexts predicted by a neural network model.

The effectiveness of the proposed framework is validated on the da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK). Results of the user studies indicated that with the adaptive human-robot shared control framework, the path length of the remote controller, the total clutching number and the task completion time can be reduced significantly. The proposed method outperformed the traditional manual control via teleoperation.

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