A Pneumatic Tactile Ring for Instantaneous Sensory Feedback in Laparoscopic Tumor Localization

IEEE Trans Haptics. 2018 Oct-Dec;11(4):485-497. doi: 10.1109/TOH.2018.2854753. Epub 2018 Jul 10.


We aim to achieve intraoperative localization of an early-stage gastric tumor that cannot be visually detected during laparoscopic surgery. In this study, we developed and evaluated a pneumatic tactile ring, which is a clinically applicable tactile device to provide instantaneous feedback from a tactile sensor directly manipulated by a surgeon. It was designed to be worn on the finger of the manipulating hand and to present pressure to the finger pad. It is lightweight, cost-effective, disposable, and sterilizable. We also developed a compact pneumatic drive unit to control the pressure and investigated its fundamental performance. The bandwidth of the pressure control was at least 1.3 Hz with a controllable range of up to 79.7 kPa. Moreover, a psychophysical experiment was performed to obtain the Weber ratio of the pressure and evaluate the effectiveness of the instantaneous tactile feedback of the sensor output through the tactile ring. The Weber ratio was 0.40 at the reference pressure of 22.7 kPa. The provided tactile feedback significantly reduced the absolute localization error and increased participants' confidence in their answers. It was shown that the tactile feedback through the ring is effective in laparoscopic tumor localization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design*
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / instrumentation*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Surgeons*
  • Touch Perception / physiology*