Visual and tactile feedback for a direct-manipulating tactile sensor in laparoscopic palpation

Int J Med Robot. 2018 Apr;14(2). doi: 10.1002/rcs.1879. Epub 2017 Dec 21.


Background: A surgeon's tactile sense can contribute to intraoperative tumor detection, but it is limited by laparoscopic surgery.

Methods: We have developed a simple and biocompatible tactile sensor. This study aimed to design and evaluate visual and tactile feedback from the sensor for laparoscopic tumor detection. A line graph was offered through a monitor as the visual feedback. A normal force was presented to the user's foot as the tactile feedback. Twelve novices conducted a task of detecting a phantom tumor under 4 conditions (no feedback, visual feedback, tactile feedback and a combination of both types of feedback).

Results: The visual feedback was significantly more effective in detection than no feedback. Moreover, both visual and tactile feedback led to safer manipulation with significantly smaller load and lower scanning speed, respectively.

Conclusions: The results suggest that visual and tactile feedback can be useful for laparoscopic palpation; however, their effects depend on the means in which they are presented.

Keywords: laparoscopy; palpation system; sensory feedback; tumor detection.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Feedback
  • Feedback, Sensory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Palpation*
  • Touch*
  • Young Adult