Bliss Altenhoff’s dissertation proposal

Perceiving Soft Tissue Break Points in the Presence of Friction

Tuesday, April 29th at 10:00am
Brackett 419

Committee: Dr. Chris Pagano (chair), Dr. Tim Burg, Dr. Ben Stephens, Dr. Rich Pak

Abstract: In minimally invasive surgery (MIS), surgeons face several perceptual challenges due to the remote interaction with the environment, such as distorted haptic feedback through the instruments due to friction produced from the rubber trocar sealing mechanisms at the incision site. As a result, surgeons sometimes unintentionally damage healthy tissues during MIS due to excessive force. Research has demonstrated that useful information is available in the haptic array of soft tissues, which allows novices to successfully perceive the penetration distance remaining until a material will fail based on displacement and reactionary forces of simulated tissues using a haptic invariant, Distance-to-Break (DTB). Attunement and calibration training will be used in the current study to investigate whether observers are able to identify material break points in nonlinear compliant materials through haptic force application, while ignoring haptic stimulation not lawfully related to the properties specifying DTB, including friction. A pretest, feedback, posttest, and transfer-of-training phase design will be used, allowing participants to probe four virtually simulated materials at varying levels of friction: no friction, low friction, and high friction in the first experiment, and pull the simulated tissues in the second experiment to investigate if perception of DTB generalizes to other tasks used in MIS.

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