The main objective of the project is to develop an innovative and universal robotic assistant system
to support a human in dextrous manipulation. For this reason we address methods to increase
accuracy for lightweight compliant robotic systems during surgical procedures on different levels of
autonomy. This varies from telemanipulation to autonomous behaviour. Independent of the control
status, a user has the ability to intervene into the treatment process. The approach focuses on
adaptive control by exhibiting rich sensory-motor skills and multi-sensory measurement to
distinctly increase the system accuracy.
To handle a complex working field a robot system needs a detailed description of its environment.
A natural environment is usually fuzzy and continuously changing. Thus it is a major task within
this project to find a way to model such environments with sufficient accuracy as far as possible.
This has an impact on planning a task since the model might be strongly incomplete. Therefore it is
crucial to include a method to describe uncertainties in the planning. An advanced and light-weight
robot arm which exploits a redundant structure is one component of the proposed architecture. This
allows null-space motion enabling the robot's joints to be reconfigured while the position and
orientation of the instrument remains unchanged. Basically, the advanced robot arm includes a
complex sensor system and its control devices, that is suitable for a wide range of humanoid
operations and especially complex surgical procedures. The system is based on an open and
modular architecture. For real operations the configuration can vary from one arm in open surgery
to at least three arms in minimally invasive surgery. Furthermore, a redundancy in the sensory
system is necessary to provide a collision avoiding arm control which leads to a more flexible OR
setup. As the robot is light-weight it can be easily mounted or removed by user during an operation.
As highly demanding demonstration activities we will cope with laser osteotomy and palpation.