SETUP ARM PITCH JOINT ESTIMATOR

Information

  • Patent Application
  • 20220151719
  • Publication Number
    20220151719
  • Date Filed
    February 17, 2020
    2 years ago
  • Date Published
    May 19, 2022
    a month ago
Abstract
A process for determining a pitch angle of a support arm for a linkage of a robot includes receiving accelerometer readings from an inertial measurement unit of an instrument drive unit (IDU) within a frame of the IDU and calculating the pitch angle of the support arm from a horizontal of a base of the robot.
Description
BACKGROUND

Robotic surgical systems have been used in minimally invasive medical procedures. During a medical procedure, the robotic surgical system is controlled by a surgeon interfacing with a user interface. The user interface allows the surgeon to manipulate an end effector of a surgical instrument that acts on a patient. The user interface includes an input controller or handle that is moveable by the surgeon to control the robotic surgical system and a display allowing the surgeon to visualize the surgical instrument within a surgical site.


The surgical instrument is supported by an arm of a surgical robot. The arm of the surgical robot includes a setup arm and a linkage that are movable within the surgical environment to manipulate the surgical instrument. The linkage is supported by the setup arm and supports the surgical instrument within the surgical environment. The setup arm may move during the surgical procedure to reposition the linkage and/or to avoid collisions with other arms of the surgical robot.


There is a need for determining the position and/or pose of the setup arm within the surgical environment to determine the position of the surgical instrument and thus, control the surgical instrument during a surgical procedure. Thus, there is a continuing need for determining the pose of the setup arm within the surgical environment during a surgical procedure.


SUMMARY

This disclosure relates generally to systems and methods for determining the pose, in particular the pitch, of a setup arm of a surgical robot within the surgical environment using one or more sensors of a linkage supported by the setup arm.


In an aspect of the present disclosure, a process for determining a pitch angle of a support arm for a linkage of a robot includes receiving accelerometer readings from an inertial measurement unit of an instrument drive unit (IDU) within a frame of the IDU, rotating the accelerometer readings from the frame of the IDU to a frame of the support arm which supports the linkage which supports the IDU, and calculating the pitch angle of the support arm from a horizontal of a base of the robot.


In aspects, the process includes defining a home configuration of the linkage of the robot. Rotating the accelerometer readings may include rotating the accelerometer readings about a joint of the linkage from a home configuration of the joint.


In some aspects, rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm includes rotating the accelerometer readings by rotation of a first link of the linkage about a first joint between the first link and the support arm. Rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm may include rotating the accelerometer readings by rotation of a second link of the linkage about a second joint between the second link and the first link. Rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm may include rotating the accelerometer readings by rotation of the IDU about a tool axis that passes through the IDU.


In particular aspects, receiving the accelerometer readings includes the accelerometer readings being indicative of gravity acting on the IDU. The process may include repeating receiving accelerometer readings, rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm, and calculating the pitch angle of the support arm and applying a low pass filter to the calculated pitch angels. Applying the low pass filter to the calculated pitch angles may include the low pass filter having a cutoff of about 1 Hz.


In another aspect of the present disclosure, a process for controlling a surgical robot includes receiving a control signal indicative of a desired movement of a tool of the surgical robot, receiving accelerometer readings from an IDU of the surgical robot, determining a pitch angle of the surgical robot from a horizontal based on the accelerometer readings, and transmitting a control signal incorporating the pitch angle to the IDU to activate a motor of the IDU.


In aspects, determining the pitch angle of the surgical robot includes rotating the accelerometer readings form the frame of the IDU to a frame of a support arm which supports a linkage of the surgical robot, the linkage supporting the IDU. The process may include determining a status of a brake of the surgical robot is engaged before determining the pitch angle of the surgical robot.


In some aspects, the process includes determining a status of a brake of the surgical robot is released and entering a manual mode of gravity compensation which includes continually calculating the pitch angle. The process may include applying a low pass filter to the continually calculated pitch angles.


In particular aspects, the process includes allowing the pitch angle of the surgical robot to settle for a threshold time before transmitting the control signal.


In another aspect of the present disclosure, a robotic surgical system includes a base, a support arm extending from the base, a linkage supported by the support arm, an instrument drive unit (IDU) supported by the linkage, and a processing unit. The IDU includes an inertial measurement unit that is configured to generate accelerometer readings and a motor. The processing unit is configured to receive the accelerometer readings and to determine a pitch angle of the support arm from a horizontal based on the accelerometer readings. The processing unit is further configured to transmit a control signal, which incorporates the pitch angle, to the IDU to activate the motor of the IDU.


In aspects, the base includes a brake that has an engaged configuration in which the support arm is prevented from moving and a released configuration in which the support arm is movable.


In some aspects, the linkage includes a first link, a second link, a third link, and a rail. The first link may have a first portion that is supported by the support arm about a first joint and a second portion. The second link may have a first portion that that is supported by the second portion of the first link about a second joint and a second portion. The third link may have a first portion that is supported by the second portion of the second link about a third joint and a second portion. The rail may be supported by the second portion of the third link. The IDU may be slidably supported by the rail.


In certain aspects, the processing unit may include a controller that is disposed within the base.


Further, to the extent consistent, any of the aspects described herein may be used in conjunction with any or all of the other aspects described herein.





BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various aspects of the present disclosure are described hereinbelow with reference to the drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, wherein:



FIG. 1 is a schematic of an exemplary robotic surgical system provided in accordance with the present disclosure;



FIG. 2 is a side view of a robot base or cart of a surgical robot of the robotic surgical system of FIG. 1;



FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the indicated area of detail of FIG. 2;



FIG. 4 is a flow chart of a process for calculating a pitch angle of the surgical robot of FIG. 3 in accordance with the present disclosure; and



FIG. 5 is a flow chart of a process for controlling the robotic surgical system of FIG. 1 in accordance with the present disclosure.





DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present disclosure are now described in detail with reference to the drawings in which like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding elements in each of the several views. As used herein, the term “clinician” refers to a doctor, a nurse, or any other care provider and may include support personnel.


Referring to FIG. 1, a robotic surgical system 1 in accordance with the present disclosure is shown generally as a surgical robot 10, a processing unit 30, and a user console 40. The surgical robot 10 generally includes linkages or arms 12 and one or more robot bases 18 that each support one of the linkages 12. The linkages 12 moveably support an end effector or tool 20 which is configured to act on tissue. The linkages 12 each have an end 14 that supports the end effector or tool 20 which is configured to act on tissue. In addition, the ends 14 of the linkages 12 may include an imaging device 16 for imaging a surgical site “S”. The user console 40 is in communication with the robot bases 18 through the processing unit 30. In addition, the robot bases may each include a controller 32, 34 that is in communication with the processing unit 30.


The user console 40 includes a display device 44 which is configured to display three-dimensional images of the surgical site “S” which may include data captured by imaging devices 16 positioned on the ends 14 of the linkages 12 and/or include data captured by imaging devices that are positioned about the surgical theater (e.g., an imaging device positioned within the surgical site “S”, an imaging device positioned adjacent the patient “P”, imaging device 56 positioned at a distal end of an imaging arm 52). The imaging devices (e.g., imaging devices 16, 56) may capture visual images, infra-red images, ultrasound images, X-ray images, thermal images, and/or any other known real-time images of the surgical site “S”. The imaging devices transmit captured imaging data to the processing unit 30 which creates three-dimensional images of the surgical site “S” in real-time from the imaging data and transmits the three-dimensional images to the display device 44 for display.


The user console 40 also includes input handles 42 which are supported on control arms 43 which allow a clinician to manipulate the surgical robot 10 (e.g., move the linkages 12, the ends 14 of the linkages 12, and/or the tools 20). Each of the input handles 42 is in communication with the processing unit 30 to transmit control signals thereto and to receive feedback signals therefrom. Additionally or alternatively, each of the input handles 42 may include input devices (not explicitly shown) which allow the surgeon to manipulate (e.g., clamp, grasp, fire, open, close, rotate, thrust, slice, etc.) the tools 20 supported at the ends 14 of the linkages 12.


Each of the input handles 42 is moveable through a predefined workspace to move the ends 14 of the linkages 12, e.g., tools 20, within a surgical site “S”. The three-dimensional images on the display device 44 are orientated such that the movement of the input handles 42 moves the ends 14 of the linkages 12 as viewed on the display device 44. The three-dimensional images remain stationary while movement of the input handles 42 is scaled to movement of the ends 14 of the linkages 12 within the three-dimensional images. To maintain an orientation of the three-dimensional images, kinematic mapping of the input handles 42 is based on a camera orientation relative to an orientation of the ends 14 of the linkages 12. The orientation of the three-dimensional images on the display device 44 may be mirrored or rotated relative to the view captured by the imaging devices 16, 56. In addition, the size of the three-dimensional images on the display device 44 may be scaled to be larger or smaller than the actual structures of the surgical site permitting a clinician to have a better view of structures within the surgical site “S”. As the input handles 42 are moved, the tools 20 are moved within the surgical site “S” as detailed below. Movement of the tools 20 may also include movement of the ends 14 of the linkages 12 which support the tools 20.


For a detailed discussion of the construction and operation of a robotic surgical system 1, reference may be made to U.S. Pat. No. 8,828,023, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.


Referring to FIG. 2, the surgical robot 10, shown as a robot base or cart 18, has a world frame Fw that is a fixed frame defined by Xw-Yw-Zw axes which remains fixed during a surgical procedure. The world frame Fw is a frame positioned on the floor or ground of a surgical environment that can be reference by other frames within the surgical environment allowing each frame within the surgical environment a common frame of reference. As shown, the Xw axis is defined in a horizontal direction parallel to the floor, the Yw axis is defined in a horizontal direction parallel to the floor, and the Zm axis is defined in a height direction from the floor to the ceiling. It will be appreciated that the Xw and the Yw axes define an X-Y plane that is parallel to the floor. In addition, the robot base 18 defines a base frame Fb that is defined by Xb-Yb-Zb axes which are defined by the base 18. As shown, the Xb axis is defined in a horizontal direction parallel to the floor and parallel to the Xw axis, the Yb axis is defined in a horizontal direction parallel to the floor and parallel to the Yw axis, and the Zb axis is defined in a height direction from the floor to the ceiling and parallel to the Zw axis. It will be appreciated that the Xb and the Yb axes are within the X-Y plane with the intersection of the Xb and Yb axes offset from the intersection of the Xw and Yw axes.


The robot base 18 includes a setup arm 15 that supports a first portion of a first link 12a of the linkage 12 at a first joint J1 such that a longitudinal axis A-A of the first link 12a is substantially parallel to the X-Y plane defined. The first joint J1 is a single degree of freedom joint which allows the first link 12a to rotate about the first joint about an axis that is substantially orthogonal to the X-Y plane. With additional reference to FIG. 3, it will be appreciated that the first link 12a may be pitched slightly at the first joint J1 such that the longitudinal axis A-A is out of parallel with a horizontal axis H-H that is parallel to the X-Y plane to define a pitch angle α. The pitch angle α indicates the amount that the first link 12a, and thus the setup arm 15, is pitched relative to the horizontal axis H-H. The pitch angle α may be the result of manufacturing tolerances of the robot base 18, the weight of the linkage 12 and/or tool 20 cantilevered from the setup arm 15, and/or the robot base 18 being supported on the floor or ground in a non-level manner. The robot base 18 also includes a brake 19 that has an engaged configuration in which the brake 19 prevents movement of the setup arm 15 and a disengaged or released configuration in which movement of the setup arm 15 is permitted. In some embodiments, the first link 12a may be directly secured to the robot base 18 such that the pitch angle α is defined between a longitudinal axis of the first link 12a and the horizontal H-H.


As detailed below, the linkage 12 includes a plurality of sensors that can be used to determine the pitch angle α. The pitch angle α may be used as an input for control algorithms that to control position and movement of the tool 20. For example, forward or inverse kinematics may be used to control the position of the tool 20 within the world frame Fw. In addition, the hand-eye coordination calculations may be used to control the position of the tool 20 within the world frame Fw. For a detailed discussion of exemplary kinematic control algorithms, reference can be made to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 16/081,773, filed Aug. 31, 2018, and for a detailed discussion of exemplary hand-eye coordination calculation reference can be made to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/801,734, filed Feb. 6, 2019 [Attorney Docket #A0000245US01PRO (203-12277)]. The entire contents of each of the above applications are hereby incorporated by reference.


With continued reference to FIG. 2, the linkage 12 includes the first link 12a, a second link 12b, a third link 12c, and a fourth link or rail 12d. Each link is pivotally coupled to at least one other link about a single degree of freedom joint as detailed below. The second link 12b includes a first portion that is pivotally coupled to a second portion of the first link 12a by a second joint J2 and a first portion of the third link 12c is pivotally coupled to a second portion of the second link by a third joint J3. The second and third links 12b, 12c are pivotal about axes of the second and third joints J2, J3 that are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the axis of the first joint J1. In embodiments, movement of the second and third links 12b, 12c about the second and third joints J2, J3 is linked such that movement of the second link 12b about the second joint J2 is equal and opposite to movement of the third link 12c about the third joint J3 such that the third link 12c remains parallel to the first link 12b. The fourth link 12d is coupled to a second portion of the third link 12c about a fourth joint J4. Movement of the fourth link 12d about the fourth joint J4 is about an axis parallel to the axes of the second and third joints J2, J3.


The linkage 12 includes an instrument drive unit (IDU) that is slidably supported along the fourth link 12d to define a linear fifth joint J5 which allows the IDU to move along a tool axis T-T that is parallel to a longitudinal axis of the fourth link 12d. A sixth joint J6 is a roll joint of the IDU about the tool axis T-T which permits the IDU, and thus the tool 20, to rotate about the tool axis T-T.


One or more of the joints J1-J6 may include sensors to determine the position or joint angles of the respective joint. For example, the first joint J1 includes a first sensor 112 that is configured to determine the position of the first link 12a relative to the setup arm 15 about the first joint J1. The second joint J2 includes a second sensor 114 that is configured to determine the position of the second link 12b relative to the first link 12a about the second joint J2. The fifth joint J5 includes a third sensor 116 that is configured to determine the position of the IDU along the rail 12d. The sixth joint J6 includes a fourth sensor 118 that is configured to determine a roll of the IDU about the tool axis T-T. In embodiments, the first, second, third, and fourth sensors 112, 114, 116, 118 may be encoders or potentiometers which determine the joint angle of the respective joint J1, J2, J5, J6. In addition, the IDU includes an inertial measurement unit (IMU) 120 that may be an accelerometer that is configured to determine the inertia of the IDU, e.g., to determine the gravitational forces on the IDU.


Referring now to FIG. 4, a process or method 200 of determining the pitch angle α of the setup arm 15 at the first joint J1 is provided in accordance with the present disclosure with reference to the robotic surgical system of FIGS. 1-3. The method 200 may be controlled by the processing unit 30 or within the controller 34 of the base or cart 18. As detailed below, the method 200 uses the inertia measured by the IMU 120 and the joint angles of the joints of the linkage 12, e.g., joints J1, J2, J5, J6, to determine the pitch angle α. Initially, a home configuration of the linkage 12, as shown in FIG. 2, is defined (Step 210). In the home configuration, the first link 12a extends from the setup arm 15 in a direction away from the base 18, the first and third links 12a, 12c are parallel to one another and spaced apart in a vertical direction from one another, and the rail 12d is positioned perpendicular to the third link 12c about the fourth joint J4. The joint angles of the joints J1, J2, J5, J6 in the home configuration are considered to be the zero values for each of the respective joints J1, J2, J5, J6.


With the home configuration of the linkage 12 defined, the accelerometer readings ACCIMU from the IMU 120 in a frame of the IDU are received in the processing unit 30 or the controller 34 (Step 220). The accelerometer readings ACCIMU are received in the x, y, z coordinates in a frame of the IDU as follows:







A

C


C
IMU


=


[



0


0



-
1





0


1


0





-
1



0


0



]



[



x




y




z



]






where x, y, z are the readings from the IMU 120 taken in a frame of the IDU.


The accelerometer readings ACCIMU are then transformed from the frame of the IDU to the base frame Fb using the joint angles of the first, second, and sixth joints J1, J2, J6 (Step 230). To transform the accelerometer readings ACCIMU to the base frame Fb the rotation of each joint J1, J2, J6 is applied to the accelerometer readings ACCIMU to provide an acceleration vector in the base frame ACCb as:






ACC
b
=R
j1
R
j2
R
j6
ACC
IMU


The rotation about each joint is represented as follows:







R

J





1


=



[



1


0


0




0



c

J





1





-

s

J





1







0



s

J





1





c

J





1





]







R

J





2



=



[




c

J





2




0



s

J





2






0


1


0





-

s

J





2





0



c

J





2





]







R

J





6



=

[




c

J





6





-

s

J





6





0





s

J





6





c

J





6




0




0


0


1



]







where “c” and “s” are cosine and sine, respectively. The acceleration vector ACCb is then used to calculate the pitch angle α relative to the horizontal H-H which is parallel to the X-Y plane (Step 240) as follows:






α
=

a





tan





2


(





ACC
N

×

g
N




,


ACC
N

·

g
N



)






where









ACC
N

=


A

C


C
b





ACC
b





,

g
=

[



0




0






-

9
.
8



1




]


,


and






g
N


=


g


g



.






and where custom-characterpitch=sign(ACCN,x)*custom-characterPitch, and where ACCN,x refers to the x-component of the ACCN vector, and the “sign” function is taking the + or − sign of that value. In other words, the SA pitch angle is multiplied by either +1 or −1 depending on the “sign” of the x-component of the acceleration vector.


When the pitch angle α is determined, the pitch angle α may be verified by repeating the calculations with updated accelerometer readings from the IMU 120 (Step 250). This may be repeated until the calculation of the pitch angle α settles out, e.g., remains the same for a threshold period of time or number of calculations. The threshold period of time may be about three seconds. Additionally or alternatively, a low pass filter with a cutoff of about 1 Hz may be applied to calculations of the pitch angle α until the pitch angle α settles out.


The pitch angle α is then saved for the position of the setup arm 15 of the robot base 18 (Step 250). The pitch angle α can be used in control algorithms to control the tool 20, e.g., movement or a function of the tool 20 during a surgical procedure as detailed below (Step 260).


Referring to FIG. 5, a process or method 300 of controlling the surgical robot 10 is provided in accordance with the present disclosure with reference to the robotic surgical system 1 of FIGS. 1-3 with the processing unit 30 and/or the controller 34. Initially, a control signal is received from the user console 40 (Step 310). When the control signal is received the pitch angle α is determined using the method 200 as detailed above (Step 320). The processing unit 30 then determines the status of the brake 19 of the setup arm 15 (Step 330). When the brake 19 is engaged, or TRUE, the pitch angle α is valid such that the pitch angle α can be used for control algorithms to move the tool 20 in response to the control signals (Step 340).


When the brake 19 is released, or FALSE, the pitch angle α may fluctuate as the setup arm 15 moves. For example, the brake 19 may be released to allow the setup arm 15 and/or the linkage 12 to move to reposition the setup arm 15 and/or the linkage 12 and/or to avoid a collision with another object within the surgical environment, e.g., another setup arm 15 or linkage 12. When the brake 19 is released the processing unit 30 may adopt a manual mode of gravity compensation such that the pitch angle α is continually calculated to compensate for potential changes in the pitch angle α (Step 350). The method 200 may be used to continually calculate the pitch angle α. In addition, the processing unit 30 may apply a low pass filter to the pitch angle α to avoid unintended movements of the tool 20 and/or until the calculated pitch angle α settles out (Step 355). The low pass filter may be a first order filter with a cutoff frequency in the range of about 1 Hz (Step 360). When the pitch angle α settles out or passes through the low pass filter, the pitch angle α may be used for the control algorithms to move the tool 20 in response to the control signals (Step 340).


While several embodiments of the disclosure have been shown in the drawings, it is not intended that the disclosure be limited thereto, as it is intended that the disclosure be as broad in scope as the art will allow and that the specification be read likewise. Any combination of the above embodiments is also envisioned and is within the scope of the appended claims. Therefore, the above description should not be construed as limiting, but merely as exemplifications of particular embodiments. Those skilled in the art will envision other modifications within the scope of the claims appended hereto.

Claims
  • 1. A process for determining a pitch angle of a support arm for a linkage of a robot, the process comprising: receiving accelerometer readings from an inertial measurement unit of an instrument drive unit (IDU) within a frame of the IDU;rotating the accelerometer readings from the frame of the IDU to a frame of the support arm which supports the linkage which linkage supports the IDU; andcalculating the pitch angle of the support arm from a horizontal of a base of the robot.
  • 2. The process according to claim 1, further comprising defining a home configuration of the linkage of the robot.
  • 3. The process according to claim 2, wherein rotating the accelerometer readings includes rotating the accelerometer readings about a joint of the linkage from a home configuration of the joint.
  • 4. The process according to claim 1, wherein rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm includes rotating the accelerometer readings by rotation of a first link of the linkage about a first joint between the first link and the support arm.
  • 5. The process according to claim 4, wherein rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm includes rotating the accelerometer readings by rotation of a second link of the linkage about a second joint between the second link and the first link.
  • 6. The process according to claim 5, wherein rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm includes rotating the accelerometer readings by rotation of the IDU about a tool axis that passes through the IDU.
  • 7. The process according to claim 1, wherein receiving the accelerometer readings includes the accelerometer readings being indicative of gravity acting on the IDU.
  • 8. The process according to claim 1, further comprising: repeating receiving accelerometer readings, rotating the accelerometer readings to the frame of the support arm, and calculating the pitch angle of the support arm; andapplying a low pass filter to the calculated pitch angles.
  • 9. The process according to claim 8, wherein applying the low pass filter to the calculated pitch angles includes the low pass filter having a cutoff of 1 Hz.
  • 10. A process for controlling a surgical robot, the process comprising: receiving a control signal indicative of a desired movement of a tool of the surgical robot;receiving accelerometer readings from an IDU of the surgical robot;determining a pitch angle of the surgical robot from a horizontal based on the accelerometer readings; andtransmitting a control signal incorporating the pitch angle to the IDU to activate a motor of the IDU.
  • 11. The process according to claim 10, wherein determining the pitch angle of the surgical robot includes rotating the accelerometer readings from the frame of the IDU to a frame of a support arm which supports a linkage of the surgical robot, the linkage supporting the IDU.
  • 12. The process according to claim 10, further comprising determining a status of a brake of the surgical robot is engaged before determining the pitch angle of the surgical robot.
  • 13. The process according to claim 10, further comprising: determining a status of a brake of the surgical robot is released; andentering a manual mode of gravity compensation including continually calculating the pitch angle.
  • 14. The process according to claim 13, further comprising applying a low pass filter to the continually calculated pitch angles.
  • 15. The process according to claim 10, further comprising allowing the pitch angle of the surgical robot to settle for a threshold time before transmitting the control signal.
  • 16. The process according to claim 10, further comprising applying a low pass filter with to the pitch angle before transmitting a control signal.
  • 17. A robotic surgical system comprising: a base;a support arm extending from the base;a linkage supported by the support arm;an instrument drive unit (IDU) supported by the linkage, the IDU including an inertial measurement unit configured to generate accelerometer readings and a motor; anda processing unit configured to receive the accelerometer readings and to determine a pitch angle of the support arm from a horizontal based on the accelerometer readings, the processing unit further configured to transmit a control signal, which incorporates the pitch angle, to the IDU to activate the motor of the IDU.
  • 18. The robotic surgical system according to claim 17, wherein the base includes a brake having an engaged configuration in which the support arm is prevented from moving and a released configuration in which the support arm is movable.
  • 19. The robotic surgical system according to claim 17, wherein the linkage includes a first link, a second link, a third link, and a rail, the first link having a first portion supported by the support arm about a first joint and a second portion, the second link having a first portion supported by the second portion of the first link about a second joint and a second portion, the third link having a first portion supported by the second portion of the second link about a third joint and a second portion, the rail supported by the second portion of the third link, the IDU slidably supported by the rail.
  • 20. The robotic surgical system according to claim 17, wherein the processing unit includes a controller disposed within the base.
PCT Information
Filing Document Filing Date Country Kind
PCT/US2020/018508 2/17/2020 WO 00
Provisional Applications (1)
Number Date Country
62807072 Feb 2019 US