Project CISOBOT Auto-Guided

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  • Auto-guided surgical robot for minimally invasive solo-surgery

    Funding Organization: Ministerio de Ciencia e innovación. CICYT

    Reference: DPI2007-62257

    Participants: Universidad de Málaga

    Period: From 01/10/2007 to 31/12/2010

    Main Researcher: Víctor Fernando Muñoz Martínez



System Abilities


ConfigurabilityMechatronic Configuration1Start-up Configuration. The configuration files, or the mechatronic configuration can be altered by the user prior to each task in order to customise the robot system in advance of each cycle of operation.
InteractionHuman-Robot5Task sequence control. The system is able to execute sub-tasks autonomously. On completion of the sub-task user interaction is required to select the next sub-task resulting in a sequence of actions that make up a completed task.
Human-Robot Feedback2Vision data feedback. The system feedbacks visual information about the state of the operating environment around the robot based on data captured locally at the robot. The user must interpret this visual imagery to assess the state of the robot or its environment.
Human-Robot Safety1Basic Safety. The robot operates with a basic level of safety appropriate to the task. Maintaining safe operation may depend on the operator being able to stop operation or continuously enable the operating cycle. The maintenance of this level of safety does not depend on software.
DependabilityDependability2Fails Safe. The robot design is such that there are fail safe mechanisms built into the system that will halt the operation of the robot and place it into a safe mode when failures are detected. This includes any failures caused by in-field updates. Dependability is reduced to the ability to fail safely in a proportion of failure modes. Fail safe dependability relies on being able to detect failure.
MotionUnconstrained4Position constrained path motion. The robot carries out predefined moves in sequence where each motion is controlled to ensure position and/or speed goals are satisfied within some error bound.
ManipulationGrasping1Simple pick and place. The robot is able to grasp any object at a known pre-defined location using a single predefined grasp action. The robot is then able to move or orient the object and finally un-grasp it. The robot may also use its Motion Ability to move the object in a particular pattern or to a particular location. Grasping uses open-loop control.
Holding1Simple holding of known object. The robot retains the object as long as no external perturbation of the object occurs.
Handling1Simple release. The robot is able to release an object at a known pre-defined location, but the resulting orientation of the object is unknown. The object should not be prematurely released.





This proposal aims to tackle the solo-surgery problem through an autonomous robotic system provided with two arms capable of performing autoguided movements. One will be in charge of the laparoscopic camera’s guidance, and another will be used to handle an additional tool. This way, in those interventions where both a main surgeon and an assistant are required, this latter is expected to be substituted thanks to the support of these two arms. This aim will be applied to certain laparoscopic surgery procedures in which the possibility of executing specific manoeuvres in an autonomous mode will be identified by means of sources of sensory feedback. It does not consist of following the line of the robotic telesurgery systems where the robot is the only one in contact with the patient. It is expected that the robot collaborates with the surgeon, who will be present at the operating room and in contact with the patient. The communication between the robot and the surgeon will be directly developed through interfaces which do not interfere in the surgeon’s routine tasks during the intervention. Such tasks are the use of speech recognition combined with the gestures that the surgeon performs with the tools used in the intervention, and which are registered through the laparoscopic camera.

To achieve this, this project will deal with: the development of modelling techniques of a set of interventions for minimally invasive surgery with the purpose of identifying the manoeuvres that the mentioned robotic assistant can perform; the study of the precise point positioning techniques of the surgical tools which are adapted to different configurations of the robotic arm’s wrists; the strategies of human-machine motion coordination necessary to automate the identified tasks; and the whole integration in a two –arms robotic system in which particular emphasis will be placed on the safety-related aspects. It is expected to carry out a series of in-vitro experiments in order to verify the total work performed.



Proposed goals and achievements


1. To establish the tasks that a two-arms robotic system can perform in an autoguided and semiautoguided mode

The tasks will be carried out in cooperation with the surgeon during a classified set of interventions for minimally invasive surgery.


  • The in-vitro interventions have been modelled on different types of stochastic models. These models pick up the sequence of manoeuvres of a protocol and the manoeuvres’ description based on the basic actions which make them up.
  • It has been considered, through the use of these interventions, some manoeuvres related to the help of the resection of vesicle, the transport of materials like gauzes within the abdominal cavity, and the cleaning of the optic without being removed with the purpose of evaluating the robot.

2. Algorithm design for the surgical tools autoguidance system

It will be focused on the laparoscopic surgery procedures and those ones interacting with the surgeon.


  • Design and implementation of motion control algorithms of surgical tools based on motorized and non-motorized wrists. Both schemes have been analysed from the theoretical and practical point of views. Likewise, it has been developed a guidance procedure of the surgical tools managed by the robot for transporting materials within the abdominal cavity. This procedure has been put into practise on the developed robot prototype.

3. To define and introduce a fault-tolerant architecture

This will be used to integrate the developed technologies in a two-arm robotic assistant on the tasks automation field.


  • An open real-time architecture has been defined to implement the robot’s motion control. It allows the fast development of new algorithms and methods in the three levels of control considered: joint, spherical, and autoguided level. Each level examines the possible exceptions, emphasizing the surveyor performed to analyse the fault situations which can occur with the tool that interacts with the body.

4. To measure and evaluate the robotic system efficacy

It will be carried out through a series of in-vitro experiments.


  • The multimodal interface and the demonstrator’s autoguided movements have been mainly evaluated through the participation of surgeons. Concerning the first aspect, it has been studied that the level of orders recognition increases with regard to the solo-use of a speech recognition system. Regarding the autoguided movements, the surgeon’s collaboration with the robot and the detection of fault-situations have been analysed..



Main Results


Control movement through passive wrist emulationAuto-guided navigation system


CISOBOT: Voice Guidance




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