December 5, 2023

Robotic surgical systems such as the da Vinci X are impressive, with their two arms controlled by the surgeon’s two hands. The experimental new system goes a step further, though, by adding two arms controlled by the user’s feet.

This four-arm laparoscopic device was developed by scientists at the Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

Each hand of the user holds a separate controller, which looks a bit like a set of scissor handles.Using these, it is possible to simultaneously manipulate two main Robotic arms, each of which can hold a different primary surgical tool (such as a scalpel or retractor).

At the same time, each foot of the user is on a separate pedal.One of the pedals controls a smaller pedal middle school One arm controls the endoscopic camera, and the other controls the other arm, which holds the gripper. Actuators in both pedals provide tactile feedback to guide the surgeon’s movements so they don’t apply too much force to delicate areas of the patient’s body.

Needless to say, operating four instruments simultaneously can be very tiring and confusing. Thus, the system is able to predict some basic movements of the surgeon and guide their movements accordingly. For example, if a knot is tied in a suture, the endoscope can automatically move to a position that provides the best view while the clamps can be removed.

Mohamed Bouri, head of the REHAssist group at EPFL, said: “Our system opens up new possibilities for surgeons to perform four-handed laparoscopic surgery, allowing one person to perform a task normally performed by two (sometimes three) people. .”

Clinical trials of the technology are currently underway in Geneva.A paper on the system led by doctoral students Jacob Hernandez and Walid Amanhoud was recently published in International Journal of Robotics Research.

The video below demonstrates the system.

Four-arm robot-assisted surgery

source: EPFL