Emmy Noether Programm: CROSS
The Emmy Noether research group CROSS investigates continuum robots for surgical applications. In particular, CROSS research is devoted to a sub category of continuum robots so called Concentric Tube Continuum Robots (CTCR). The manipulators are composed of multiple concentric, pre-bend, and flexible tubes.The state of the art in continuum and medical robotics research will be advanced by CROSS with the following objectives: Explore the diverse design space for patient specific design of the manipulator tubes; Path and deployment planning; Assistive functions and a dedicated human machine interface for the surgeon. In addition CROSS will integrate these objectives into a surgical system.
Visual Servoing for Shape Control and Safe Navigation of Continuum Robots
Visual Servoing for Shape Control and Safe Navigation of Continuum Robots (ViSoR) is a research project conducted in partnership with FEMTO-ST Institute, Besançon, France, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Campus France. The aim is to develop methods to control the complete shape of miniaturized continuum robots online, by using shape reconstruction via visual feedback.
DFG: Parallel Continuum Manipulators
Within the scope of this DFG-funded project, the integration of continuum robots into parallel robots as continuous kinematic chains will be investigated in cooperation with the Institute for Mechatronic Systems (imes) at Leibniz Universität Hannover. The aim is to combine the advantages of parallel and continuum kinematic manipulators while leveling out the individual disadvantages.
METABot is a tendon-driven continuum robot with extensible sections. Each individually controllable section is equipped with spacer disks with permanent magnet to allow for constant bending behavior at any length. This novel robot design inherently allows for deployment along tortuous paths in a follow-the-leader fashion.
The aim of this research project is the investigation of methods for a flexible, intracorporal assistance system, which allows nonlinear delivery of surgical instrument through a single incision (port). In its initial state, the assistance system is compliant, flexible and steerable with multiple degrees of freedom. By activating the stiffening, the shape can be locked such that the system acts as a stable basis for the surgical task through its working channels. The reversible stiffening capability enables to switch between limp and stiff state such that repositioning and reorientation is possible at any time.
Neurobionics Foundation: RoboNIT
In collaboration with the International Neuroscience Institute Hannover (INI), this project, which is funded by the International Neurobionics Foundation, aims in evaluating the feasibility of robot-assisted neurosurgical interstitial tumor thermal therapy (RoboNIT). Our vision is an MRI-compatible RoboNIT system, which delivers a laser applicator to the tumor and allows to control ablation guidance tubes within the tumor for full volumetric ablation of irregular geometries.