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IEEE Int Conf Robot Autom. 2011 May 9:667-673.

Algorithms for Design of Continuum Robots Using the Concentric Tubes Approach: A Neurosurgical Example.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 USA ( ).


We propose a novel systematic approach to optimizing the design of concentric tube robots for neurosurgical procedures. These procedures require that the robot approach specified target sites while navigating and operating within an anatomically constrained work space. The availability of preoperative imaging makes our approach particularly suited for neurosurgery, and we illustrate the method with the example of endoscopic choroid plexus ablation. A novel parameterization of the robot characteristics is used in conjunction with a global pattern search optimization method. The formulation returns the design of the least-complex robot capable of reaching single or multiple target points in a confined space with constrained optimization metrics. A particular advantage of this approach is that it identifies the need for either fixed-curvature versus variable-curvature sections. We demonstrate the performance of the method in four clinically relevant examples.

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