The Development

of the surgical research platform OP:Sense was started in the frame of multiple European projects in the FP6 and FP7 programme (AccuRobAs, ROBOCAST, SAFROS, ACTIVE, EuroSurge). In order to meet the demands of widely varying surgical applications, the OP:Sense system was designed to enable rapid prototyping for specific surgical procedures. In addition, OP:Sense integrates an extensive 3D camera setup for perceiving the surroundings of an intervention. Taking advantage of the rapid evolution of the field of surgical automation technology, OP:Sense is continuously extended and subject to permanent further development. In the first stage of the OP:Sense development, priority was set on integrating the hardware components, followed by the system integration with the robot operating system. The crucial step was done in the last years by performing research towards Information Guided Surgery. This includes integration of information on semantic level: (1) patient data, (2) surgical procedure plan and (3) background knowledge of the surgical procedure.

A configured surgical target system in the OP:Sense framework consists of actuators, sensors and software components. Advance planning of the patient specific surgical procedure results in an optimized involvement plan of all human and technical resources called surgical workflow plan. This plan describes in detail the sequence of parameterised actions. It is also being used as a reference for the monitoring of the surgical treatment in order to detect deviations from the plan. This will help to avoid and solve hazardous situations in order to reach the desired result of the surgical operation.

The aim of OP:Sense is the establishment of an open framework for advanced technology towards Information Guided Surgery (also called Cognitive Surgery). The platform concept enables to use different open source software modules in a modular structure, resulting in an optimal approach to adapt to the demands of future research projects.

Video: “OP:Sense – a research platform for surgical robotics” on YouTube

Acknowledgements and Contact:
Dipl.-Inform. Philip Nicolai, Member of Scientific Staff – Medical Robotics Group (MeGI)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics (IAR) Intelligent Process Control and Robotics Lab (IPR)
Engler-Bunte-Ring 8, Building 40.28
76131 Karlsruhe
Phone: +49 721 608-44829
Fax: +49 721 608-47141