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Volume 25 Issue 5/6 - Publication Date: 1 May/June 2006
Special Issue on the Ninth International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 2004
 
Nonholonomic Modeling of Needle Steering
 
R. J. Webster III, J. S. Kim, N. J. Cowan, G. S. Chirikjian, and A. M. Okamura Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University
 
As a flexible needle with a bevel tip is pushed through soft tissue, the asymmetry of the tip causes the needle to bend. We propose that, by using nonholonomic kinematics, control, and path planning, an appropriately designed needle can be steered through tissue to reach a specified 3D target. Such steering capability could enhance targeting accuracy and may improve outcomes for percutaneous therapies, facilitate research on therapy effectiveness, and eventually enable new minimally invasive techniques. In this paper, we consider a first step toward active needle steering: design and experimental validation of a nonholonomic model for steering flexible needles with bevel tips. The model generalizes the standard three degree-of-freedom (DOF) nonholonomic unicycle and bicycle models to 6 DOF using Lie group theory. Model parameters are fit using experimental data, acquired via a robotic device designed for the specific purpose of inserting and steering a flexible needle. The experiments quantitatively validate the bevel-tip needle steering model, enabling future research in flexible needle path planning, control, and simulation.
 
Multimedia Key
= Video = Data = Code = Image
 
Extension
Type
Description
1
Example 1: Video of a robot designed to insert flexible needles. (1.9 MB)
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Example 2: Demonstrates the asymmetric bevel tip and the superelasticity of nitinol needles. (2.9 MB)
3
Example 3: Video of experiments in rubber phantoms with model-based simulations. (2.1 MB)
 
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