ARAKNES haptic interface: user-centered design approach
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) methods have revolutionized surgical care, considerably improving the results of many surgical procedures. Technological advances, in particular in robotic surgical systems, have reduced the complexity of this surgical method enhancing a surgeon's dexterity, precision and visualization. Despite all these advantages, the progress in this field is constrained by an unsolved issue: the introduction of MIS has eliminated the possibility of direct organ manipulation and palpation. Nowadays, the majority of the robotic surgical systems do not provide suitable haptic feedback integrating both kinaesthetic (force and position) and tactile information. Although, haptics is a very active field of research due to its potential application in robotic surgical systems, most of the commercially available devices provide only kinesthetic feedback. Within ARAKNES project, we are developing a bimanual haptic workstation to teleoperate surgical micro-robots located in the abdominal cavity of the patient. Our final goal is to develop a haptic interface that provides to the surgeon the kinesthetic and tactile feedback that he/she is missing because of the indirect manipulation of the distal organs. In this abstract, we described the user-centered design approach chosen for the compilation of both the functional and ergonomic specifications of the device. Two examples of design iteration are presented to illustrate the proposed.