Dual Mode pHRI-teleHRI Control System with a Hybrid Admittance-Force Controller for Ultrasound Imaging

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  • ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented extreme pressure on the medical system due to the physical distance policy, especially for procedures such as ultrasound (US) imaging, which are usually carried out in person. Tele-operation systems are a promising way to avoid physical human?robot interaction (pHRI). However, the system usually requires another robot on the remote doctor side to provide haptic feedback, which makes it expensive and complex. To reduce the cost and system complexity, in this paper, we present a low-cost, easy-to-use, dual-mode pHRI-teleHRI control system with a custom-designed hybrid admittance-force controller for US imaging. The proposed system requires only a tracking camera rather than a sophisticated robot on the remote side. An audio feedback is designed for replacing haptic feedback on the remote side, and its sufficiency is experimentally verified. The experimental results indicate that the designed hybrid controller can significantly improve the task performance in both modes. Furthermore, the proposed system enables the user to conduct US imaging while complying with the physical distance policy, and allows them to seamlessly switch modes from one to another in an online manner. The novel system can be easily adapted to other medical applications beyond the pandemic, such as tele-healthcare, palpation, and auscultation.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International