Motion Scaling Solutions for Improved Performance in High Delay Surgical Teleoperation

Florian Richter, Ryan K. Orosco, Michael C. Yip

Robotic teleoperation brings great potential for advances within the field of surgery. The ability of a surgeon to reach patient remotely opens exciting opportunities. Early experience with telerobotic surgery has been interesting, but the clinical feasibility remains out of reach, largely due to the deleterious effects of communication delays. Teleoperation tasks are significantly impacted by unavoidable signal latency, which directly results in slower operations, less precision in movements, and increased human errors. Introducing significant changes to the surgical workflow, for example by introducing semi-automation or self-correction, present too significant a technological and ethical burden for commercial surgical robotic systems to adopt. In this paper, we present three simple and intuitive motion scaling solutions to combat teleoperated robotic systems under delay and help improve operator accuracy. Motion scaling offers potentially improved user performance and reduction in errors with minimal change to the underlying teleoperation architecture. To validate the use of motion scaling as a performance enhancer in telesurgery, we conducted a user study with 17 participants, and our results show that the proposed solutions do indeed reduce the error rate when operating under high delay.

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