Virtual remote center of motion control for needle placement robots

Emad M. Boctor, Robert J. Webster, Herve Mathieu, Allison M. Okamura, Gabor Fichtinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Surgical robots, including those with remote center of motion (RCM) mechanisms, have demonstrated utility in image-guided percutaneous needle placement procedures. However, widespread clinical application of these robots is hindered by not only complicated mechanical design but also the need for calibration and registration of the robot to the medical imager prior to each use. In response, we propose a Virtual RCM algorithm that requires only online tracking or registering the surgical tool to the imager, and a five degree-of-freedom (DOF) robot comprised of three prismatic DOF decoupled from two rotational DOF. The robot can be unencoded, uncalibrated, and does not require pre-operative registration. An incremental adaptive motion control cycle both guides the needle to the insertion point and orients it to align with the target. The robot executes RCM motion "virtually" without having a physically constrained fulcrum point. The proof-of-concept prototype system achieved 0.78 mm translation and 1.4 degrees rotational accuracy (within the tracker accuracy), within 17 iterative steps (0.5-1s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Virtual remote center of motion control for needle placement robots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this