Concurrent nonparametric estimation of organ geometry and tissue stiffness using continuous adaptive palpation

Preetham Chalasani, Long Wang, Rajarshi Roy, Nabil Simaan, Russell H. Taylor, Marin Kobilarov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Surgeons often manually palpate tissue or organs in order to find tumors or other anatomical structures. Information about organ geometry and tissue stiffness gained from palpation can also be extremely useful in robotic surgery for diagnosis, surgical guidance, and registration to other preoperative information. However, it is not always easy to obtain, even if the robot is equipped with force sensors. This paper reports our approach for concurrent estimation of stiffness and surface geometry, using a continuous motion similar to a sweeping palpation motion used by surgeons. Our method relies on force data captured by a tactile sensor rigidly attached to an end-effector probe. We use Gaussian processes to simultaneously estimate geometry and stiffness. The method is not tied to any specific robotic platform and is consistent with a variety of palpation strategies. For simplicity, we discuss the results based on two different palpation primitives. This is our first step towards developing an adaptive high fidelity model reconstruction and path optimization technique.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467380263
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016
Event2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: May 16 2016May 21 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation


Conference2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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