Adjustable Remote Center of Motion Robotic Module

The invention is a robotic module that can be used to orient an end-effector about two axes intersecting at a fixed geometric point located distal to the mechanism materializing a pivot point or a Remote Center of Motion (RCM). A robotic tool (or end-effector) mounted on an RCM module will rotate about the RCM point, which can be conveniently located on the end-effector since this point is remote from the robotic module. The module presents two rotational degrees-of-freedom (DOF) with coincident axes at the geometric RCM point. The position of the pivot is adjustable along one axis by modifying the relative angle between the axes. As such, the two rotations are not necessarily orthogonal. Unlike all previous RCM mechanisms, which all possess kinematic singularity points, this new mechanism provides unrestricted rotation about both axes with no singularities. This is achieved by using a double belt-drive not previously reported. It also allows the end-effector to rotate about any initial orientation of the mechanism, folded, extended, or midway. The mechanism presents uniform mechanical properties at different orientations. Mechanic and/or electric means can be used to limit and set the desired range of motion. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) The active orientation of parts, tools, and instruments about an RCM point distal to the mechanism has multiple applications. In industry, for example, this mechanism can be used for peg-in-hole placement, for implementing a 2 axes rotary table for 5 DOF machining operations allowing the pivot to be conveniently set on the machined part. The applications of this module are essential in machine-assisted surgical procedures, especially in percutaneous and laparoscopic minimally invasive procedures in which the "tool" must preserve a consistent entry point � the RCM point � throughout the entire procedure. In laproscopic surgery, for example, instruments are manipulated though an entry port into the body and motion is performed about a pivot located in the port. This applies to abdominal, spine, ophthalmologic, neurosurgery procedures, etc. In percutaneous access a needle is initially placed with its tip at the skin entry point and then oriented about that pivot point for targeting. Patent (Set) 7,021,173; WO 03/067341

US 7,021,173

Inventor(s): Stoianovici, Dan

Type of Offer: Licensing

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