Robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has enabled procedures with increased precision and dexterity, but surgical robots are still open loop and require surgeons to work with a tele-operation console providing only limited visual feedback. In this setting, mechanical failures, software faults, or human errors might lead to adverse events resulting in patient complications or fatalities. We argue that impending adverse events could be detected and mitigated by applying context-specific safety constraints on the motions of the robot. We present a context-aware safety monitoring system which segments a surgical task into subtasks using kinematics data and monitors safety constraints specific to each subtask. To test our hypothesis about context specificity of safety constraints, we analyze recorded demonstrations of dry-lab surgical tasks collected from the JIGSAWS database as well as from experiments we conducted on a Raven II surgical robot. Analysis of the trajectory data shows that each subtask of a given surgical procedure has consistent safety constraints across multiple demonstrations by different subjects. Our preliminary results show that violations of these safety constraints lead to unsafe events, and there is often sufficient time between the constraint violation and the safety-critical event to allow for a corrective action.
Real-Time Context-Aware Detection of Unsafe Events in Robot-Assisted Surgery
Cyber-physical systems for robotic surgery have enabled minimally invasive procedures with increased precision and shorter hospitalization. However, with increasing complexity and connectivity of software and major involvement of human operators in the supervision of surgical robots, there remain significant challenges in ensuring patient safety. This paper presents a safety monitoring system that, given the knowledge of the surgical task being performed by the surgeon, can detect safety-critical events in real-time. Our approach integrates a surgical gesture classifier that infers the operational context from the time-series kinematics data of the robot with a library of erroneous gesture classifiers that given a surgical gesture can detect unsafe events. Our experiments using data from two surgical platforms show that the proposed system can detect unsafe events caused by accidental or malicious faults within an average reaction time window of 1,693 milliseconds and F1 score of 0.88 and human errors within an average reaction time window of 57 milliseconds and F1 score of 0.76.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- 2020 50th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 385 to 397
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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