Study about Hand Rehabilitation

The advantage of the proposed mechanism compared to previously presented studies, is compact, light weight and high output force due to the compliant structure using the layered springs. We introduce the mechanical structure of the proposed mechanism. The first prototype was built actuating four fingers except thumb, using a single linear motor.The output force of each finger is currently limited up to 3 N and expected to be increased. The weight of prototype is approximately 300 g including motor. This work has been done by the collaboration with ReLab. in ETH Zurich, Switzerland and CAMIT in Kyushu University.

Hand Rehabilitation Robot SMOVE

Our lab is currently working on a hand rehabilitation device based on a flexible mechanism that has been developed in our lab. The device is currently in clinical trials, and we are hoping to deliver the product to the market promptly, by having a collaboration with companies – a Kyushu University originated startup company Megwel Co., Ltd., Sanmatsu Co., Ltd. and Teijin Pherma Limited.

2.0mm and 3.5mm robotic forceps with 4 DOF for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) plays a key role in reducing the patients physical burden. While surgical robots were successfully introduced in clinics, there are still limitations in reaching deep and narrow areas of human body, and performing dexterous manipulations of tissues. These limitations are primarily caused by the size of the instruments and their bending radii. The bending radii are important for performing a surgery in a narrow cavity, to not damage the surrounding tissues into the internal walls. Further miniaturized instruments will be beneficial in MIS to reduce the physical burden of the patients. In addition, they will also make surgical applications possible in the areas of neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, and thoracis surgery where the robotic surgery has not been generally performed at present. This work was funded by ImPACT Program of Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan).

Microsurgical robot system “Smart Arm”

The robotic forceps developed in our lab was implemented to an integrated surgical robotic system “Smart Arm” to perform microsurgery. This work was funded by ImPACT Program of Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan). Smartarm was integrated with surgical robotic arms, user interface and sensors developed by multiple research organizations. The system successfully performed suturing on phantom dura matter tissue, proving a promising feasibility.

Body image transferable microsurgical robot

Our previous study showed that a robotized 1-degree-of-freedom rubber hand in the form of a master-slave system significantly enhanced the illusion compared with the classic rubber hand illusion. The illusion gives the sense that the part of body becomes part of the robot – it is thus assumed that this multisensory illusion is a potentially effective way to increase intuitiveness, and therefore increase the operability of a multi-degrees-of-freedom master-slave system. To further investigate the concept, we built a multisensory illusion inducible microsurgical robotic system and currently conducting the series of experiments.

Studies on tele-surgery

We have developed a robotic laparoscopic robot with three arms (2 arms for surgical instruments, and an arm for a laparoscope) with a capability of tele-surgery. Tele-surgery experiments including over different countries such as Japan-Korea and Japan-Thailand have been conducted for testing the feasibility of tele-surgery using the developed system. This research was conducted with the collaborations with Mitsuishi Lab. in the University of Tokyo and CAMIT in Kyushu University.

Past projects