Experimental characterization of a tactile sensor for surgical applications
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© 2018 IEEE. This paper presents an improved piezoelectric sensor fabricated using reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-filled polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer composite that is able to sense the linear force applied onto its surface. The ultimate aim is to develop a haptic feedback interface for assisting surgeons in minimally invasive robotic surgery. A major challenge in robotic surgery systems is the lack of tactile feedback. Clinicians typically receive the visual information only about their surgical scene via the cameras. However, haptic feedback can improve the feedback information for clinicians and ultimately the surgical outcomes by aiding surgeons to differentiate between different tissue types as well as tactile feedback gives them the real feel of surgery (i.e. as performed with traditional open surgery). The results presented in this paper demonstrate that the sensor developed from graphene-filled PDMS can give robust and accurate force feedback that can be utilized as haptic feedback in further study. This paper illustrates two methods for characterizing the fabricated sensor in order to obtain force profile for a force range of 0.5 N-20 N. The main feature of the fabricated sensor is that it can be manufactured into any shape and size. It also gives compatibility for implementing the sensor externally over a robotic surgery solutions.