WO2002065933A2 - Surgical master/slave system - Google Patents

Surgical master/slave system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2002065933A2
WO2002065933A2 PCT/US2002/004495 US0204495W WO02065933A2 WO 2002065933 A2 WO2002065933 A2 WO 2002065933A2 US 0204495 W US0204495 W US 0204495W WO 02065933 A2 WO02065933 A2 WO 02065933A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
instrument
rh
distal end
drive unit
guide tube
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2002/004495
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2002065933A3 (en
Inventor
David L. Brock
Woojin Lee
Original Assignee
Endovia Medical Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US26920301P priority Critical
Priority to US26920001P priority
Priority to US60/269,203 priority
Priority to US60/269,200 priority
Priority to US60/276,086 priority
Priority to US27621701P priority
Priority to US27608601P priority
Priority to US27615101P priority
Priority to US27615201P priority
Priority to US60/276,151 priority
Priority to US60/276,152 priority
Priority to US60/276,217 priority
Priority to US60/279,087 priority
Priority to US27908701P priority
Priority to US09/827,643 priority patent/US6554844B2/en
Priority to US09/827,643 priority
Priority to US60/293,346 priority
Priority to US29334601P priority
Priority to US60/313,497 priority
Priority to US31349701P priority
Priority to US31349501P priority
Priority to US31349601P priority
Priority to US60/313,495 priority
Priority to US60/313,496 priority
Priority to US60/332,287 priority
Priority to US33228701P priority
Priority to US10/034,871 priority
Priority to US34412401P priority
Priority to US10/034,871 priority patent/US6810281B2/en
Priority to US60/344,124 priority
Application filed by Endovia Medical Inc. filed Critical Endovia Medical Inc.
Publication of WO2002065933A2 publication Critical patent/WO2002065933A2/en
Publication of WO2002065933A3 publication Critical patent/WO2002065933A3/en
Priority claimed from US11/014,687 external-priority patent/US7604642B2/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B90/00Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges
    • A61B90/36Image-producing devices or illumination devices not otherwise provided for
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/20Surgical navigation systems; Devices for tracking or guiding surgical instruments, e.g. for frameless stereotaxis
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/30Surgical robots
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/30Surgical robots
    • A61B34/35Surgical robots for telesurgery
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
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    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/30Surgical robots
    • A61B34/37Master-slave robots
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
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    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/70Manipulators specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/71Manipulators operated by drive cable mechanisms
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
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    • A61B34/70Manipulators specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/72Micromanipulators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61B34/70Manipulators specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/74Manipulators with manual electric input means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/70Manipulators specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/76Manipulators having means for providing feel, e.g. force or tactile feedback
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
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    • A61B34/70Manipulators specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/77Manipulators with motion or force scaling
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B1/00Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor
    • A61B1/313Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor for introducing through surgical openings, e.g. laparoscopes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/28Surgical forceps
    • A61B17/29Forceps for use in minimally invasive surgery
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B2017/00017Electrical control of surgical instruments
    • A61B2017/00022Sensing or detecting at the treatment site
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B2017/00017Electrical control of surgical instruments
    • A61B2017/00022Sensing or detecting at the treatment site
    • A61B2017/00026Conductivity or impedance, e.g. of tissue
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B2017/00017Electrical control of surgical instruments
    • A61B2017/00022Sensing or detecting at the treatment site
    • A61B2017/00039Electric or electromagnetic phenomena other than conductivity, e.g. capacity, inductivity, Hall effect
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
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    • A61B2017/00017Electrical control of surgical instruments
    • A61B2017/00022Sensing or detecting at the treatment site
    • A61B2017/00084Temperature
    • A61B2017/00088Temperature using thermistors
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
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    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B2017/00017Electrical control of surgical instruments
    • A61B2017/00115Electrical control of surgical instruments with audible or visual output
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/00234Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery
    • A61B2017/00292Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery mounted on or guided by flexible, e.g. catheter-like, means
    • A61B2017/003Steerable
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B2017/0046Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets with a releasable handle; with handle and operating part separable
    • A61B2017/00464Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets with a releasable handle; with handle and operating part separable for use with different instruments
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/04Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for suturing wounds; Holders or packages for needles or suture materials
    • A61B17/0469Suturing instruments for use in minimally invasive surgery, e.g. endoscopic surgery
    • A61B2017/0479Packages or dispensers for MIS suturing instruments
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/30Surgical robots
    • A61B2034/301Surgical robots for introducing or steering flexible instruments inserted into the body, e.g. catheters or endoscopes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/70Manipulators specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/71Manipulators operated by drive cable mechanisms
    • A61B2034/715Cable tensioning mechanisms for removing slack
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B90/00Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges
    • A61B90/06Measuring instruments not otherwise provided for
    • A61B2090/064Measuring instruments not otherwise provided for for measuring force, pressure or mechanical tension
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B90/00Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges
    • A61B90/50Supports for surgical instruments, e.g. articulated arms
    • A61B2090/506Supports for surgical instruments, e.g. articulated arms using a parallelogram linkage, e.g. panthograph
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B34/00Computer-aided surgery; Manipulators or robots specially adapted for use in surgery
    • A61B34/10Computer-aided planning, simulation or modelling of surgical operations
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B90/00Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges
    • A61B90/36Image-producing devices or illumination devices not otherwise provided for
    • A61B90/361Image-producing devices, e.g. surgical cameras

Abstract

A remotely controllable surgical instrument comprising an instrument shaft having a proximal end drivably intercoupled to a drive unit and a distal end insertable within a subject for performing a medical procedure at an operative site within the subject, a remotely disposed user interface interconnected to a remotely disposed signal processor which processes commands received from the user interface, the signal processor interconnected to the drive unit for transmitting processed command signals received from the user interface to the drive unit characterized in that the instrument shaft comprises an elongated disposable shaft removably interconnected to the drive unit via a coupling mechanism and a distal instrument drivable via cables.

Description

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. application Serial No. 09/827,503, filed April 6, 2001, which is a continuation of U.S. application Serial No. 09/746,853, filed December 21, 2000, which is a divisional of U.S. application Serial No. 09/375,666, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,197,017, filed August 17, 1999, which is a continuation of U.S. application Serial o. 09/028,550 filed February 24, 1998, now abandoned. This application is also a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. application Serial No. 09/783,637, filed February 14, 2001, which is a continuation of PCT/USOO/12553 filed May 9, 2000, which claims the benefit of priority of U.S. provisional patent application Serial No. 60/133,407, filed May 10, 1999, now abandoned. This application is also a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority from PCT/USOl/11376 filed April 6, 2001 which claims priority to U.S. application serial nos. 09/746,853 filed December 21, 2000 and 09/827,503 filed April 6, 2001. This application is also a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. application serial nos. 09/746,853 filed December 21, 2000 and 09/827,503 filed April 6, 2001. This application is also a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. application serial no. 09/827, 643 filed April 6, 2001 which claims priority to, inter alia, U.S. provisional application serial no. 60/257,869 filed December 21, 2000 and U.S. provisional application serial no. 60/195,264 filed April 7, 2000 and is also a continuation-in-part of PCT/USOO/12553 filed May 9, 2000 from which U.S. application serial no. 09/783,637 filed February 14, 2001 claims priority. This application is also a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of priority from U.S. Application Serial No. 10/034,871 filed December 21, 2001. This application also claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §§119 and 120 to U.S.

Provisional Application Serial No. 60/332,287 filed November 21, 2001; U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/344,124 filed December 21, 2001; U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/293,346 filed May 24, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/279,087, filed March 27, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/313,496 filed August 21, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/313,497 filed August 21, 2001, U.S. Provisional

Application Serial No. 60/313, 495 filed August 21, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/269,203 filed February 15, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/269,200 filed February 15, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/276,151 filed March 15, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/276,217 filed March 15, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/276,086 filed March 15, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No.

5 60/276,152 filed March 15, 2001, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/257,816 filed December 21, 2000, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/257,868 filed December 21, 2000, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/257,867 filed December 21, 2000, U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/257,869 filed December 21, 2000.

The disclosures of all of the foregoing applications and U.S. Patent No. 6,197,017 are all

0 incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to surgical instruments and more particularly to surgical instruments which are remotely controlled by electronic control signals generated by a user 5 which are sent to a drive unit which drives mechanically drivable components of a mechanical apparatus which support a surgical instrument.

The present invention relates in general to medical instrumentation. More particularly, the present invention relates to a surgical instrumentation system that enables the interchange of any one of a number of different surgical instruments at an operative site.

:0 In open surgery a surgeon uses a variety of different surgical implements with the total number that are used being a function of the particular operation being performed. For the most part these instruments or implements are hand held devices directly held and manipulated by the surgeon through the open incision. Typical surgical instruments include forceps, needle drivers, scissors, scalpels, etc. A number of different instruments or implements maybe used during an

:5 operation depending upon the complexity of the medical procedure being performed, and even a greater number of instrument exchanges occur. Thus, a great deal of time maybe spent during the surgery simply in exchanging between different types of instruments.

In minimally invasive surgery (MIS) there is likewise a requirement, depending upon the particular surgical procedure, to exchange instruments or implements during a medical procedure. The primary difference in minimally invasive surgery is that the incision or incisions are relatively small, typically 5 mm to 10 mm in diameter, in comparison to open surgery. Also, in current MIS instrumentation, such instruments as forceps, scissors, etc., are inserted into the body at the end of long slender push rods actuated by the surgeon from outside the patient. Due to the size and increased complexity of these instruments it may be even more difficult to carry out an exchange due to the need to extract and re-insert through a relatively small incision.

Both open and MIS procedures involve control of the instrument directly by the human hand. In the case of open surgery, of course, the surgeon directly holds and manipulates the instrument, while in MIS the operable tool (scalpel, scissors, etc.) is controlled by hand, but through some type of mechanical transmission that intercouples from outside the patient to an internal operative site.

In more recent years computer control of instrumentation systems has come into being, typically referred to as robotic surgical systems, in which a surgeon controls an instrument carrying an end effector from a remote site, and through an electronic controller or the like. These robotic systems do provide an improvement in the dexterity with which medical procedures can be performed. However, even in these more advanced systems there is still a need to manually exchange instruments during a procedure.

Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a system and associated method for the ready exchange or interchange between a plurality of different instruments at an operative site, whether it be in connection with open, MIS, robotic, or other types of surgical systems, apparatus, or procedures.

Summary of the Invention

Instrument Support and Mounting

One aspect of the present invention relates to a support member for holding a medical procedure instrument holder in a fixed position relative to a patient.

In one embodiment, a medical procedure instrument is provided, including an instrument holder, an instrument insert, and a support. The instrument holder includes an elongated guide member for receiving the instrument insert. The insert carries on its distal end a medical tool for executing the medical procedure. The instrument holder is manually insertable into a patient so as to dispose a distal end of the guide member into a target site in which the procedure is to be executed. The support holds the instrument holder fixed in position relative to the patient. The instrument holder is held in fixed position in an incision in the patient between changes of instrument inserts during the course of a procedure such that trauma or damage which can result from withdrawal and re-insertion of another or the same instrument is minimized or eliminated. The distal end of the elongated guide member is preferably curved and at least the distal end of the instrument insert is flexible to enable the insert to slide through the curved distal end of the guide member.

The instrument insert typically includes an elongated shaft having a proximal end, a distal end and a selected length between the two ends. One or more portions of the elongated shaft along its length, and most typically a distal end portion, may comprise a mechanically and controllably deformable material such that the portion of the selected lengths of the shaft which are deformable are controllably bendable or flexible in any one or more of an X, Y and Z axis direction relative to the axis of the shaft thus providing an additional three degrees of freedom of movement control. Flexible cables, rods or the like which are connected at one end to a deformable or flexible portion of a shaft and are drivably intercoupled to a controllably drivable drive unit are typically included for effecting control of the bending or flexing.

In one embodiment, the support includes a bracket that holds an instrument holder to the support at a fixed reference point. The instrument holder is then pivotally supported at this reference point from the bracket.

In various embodiments, the instrument insert is manually engageable and disengageable with the instrument holder. Generally, the instrument holder is inserted into the patient first, and then the insert is engaged to the holder, such that the medical tool at the distal end of the insert extends beyond the distal end of the guide member at the target site. One advantage is to maintain the guide member with its distal end at the target site upon withdrawal of the instrument insert. This enables exchange of instrument inserts during the procedure and facilitates ease of placement of the next instrument insert.

The instrument insert preferably includes a mechanically drivable mechanism for operating the medical tool. The instrument holder also includes a mechanical drive mechanism such that the drive and drivable mechanisms are engageable and disengageable with one another, in order to enable engagement and disengagement between the insert and holder. Preferably, a drive unit for controlling the instrument insert and holder is disposed remote from the insert and holder, outside of a sterile field which may be defined by the area above the operating table.

In another embodiment, a medical procedure instrument is provided which includes an instrument holder, an instrument insert, and a support. The instrument holder includes an

5 elongated guide member for receiving the insert, the insert carrying at its distal end a medical tool for executing a medical procedure. The support holds the instrument holder with a distal end of the guide member at a target site internal of the patient. The insert is adapted for ready insertion and withdrawal by way of the guide member, while the guide member is held at the target site. Again, this facilitates ready exchange of instrument inserts during a medical

.0 procedure. The instrument inserts are preferably disposable, so they can be discarded after a single insertion and withdrawal from the patient.

In a further embodiment, a remote controlled instrument system is provided which includes a user interface, an instrument, a support, and a controller. The user interface allows an operator to manually control an input device. The instrument has at its distal end a tool for

.5 carrying out a procedure, the instrument being manually inserted into a patient so as to dispose the tool at a target site at which the procedure is to be executed. The support holds a part of the instrument fixed in position relative to the patient. A controller coupled between the user interface and the instrument is responsive to a remote control by the operator for controlling the instrument at the target site.

10 Another embodiment is a method for remotely controlling an instrument having multiple degrees-of- freedom. The instrument is manually inserted into a patient so as to dispose its distal end at a target site at which a procedure is to be executed. An instrument holder, that receives the instrument, is supported stationary relative to the patient during the procedure so as to maintain the instrument distal end at the target site. A user input device is used to remotely

^5 control the motion of the instrument distal end in executing the procedure at the target site.

In a further method embodiment for remotely controlling an instrument, an instrument holder is provided for removably receiving and supporting a disposable instrument insert. The instrument holder is inserted into a patient so as to dispose its distal end at an operative site at which the procedure is to be executed. The instrument insert is received in the holder so as to

SO dispose a tool at the distal end of the insert so that it extends from the holder and is positioned at the operative site. A user input device remotely controls motion of the insert in executing the procedure at the operative site. Preferably, the instrument holder is maintained at the operative site as the insert is withdrawn, enabling ready exchange of one instrument insert for another. The invention also provides a medical apparatus for exchanging surgical instruments having a selected tool to be positioned at an operative site of a subject, the apparatus comprising:

5 a guide tube having an open distal end inserted through an incision of the subject, the guide tube being fixedly positioned relative to the subject such that the distal end of the guide tube is fixedly positioned at the operative site, the guide tube being readily manually insertable through the incision; one or more surgical instruments each having a selected tool mounted at a distal end of the instrument; wherein the one or more surgical instruments are readily insertable through the

0 fixedly positioned guide tube such that the selected tool of an instrument is disposed through the open distal end of the guide tube at the operative site upon full insertion of the surgical instrument, the guide tube having a first mounting interface and the surgical instruments having a second mounting interface, the first and second mounting interfaces being readily engageable with each other to fixedly mount the surgical instruments within the guide tube upon full

5 insertion of the surgical instrument. Such a medical apparatus may further comprise a readily manually portable support for fixedly positioning the guide tube in a selected location and orientation relative to the subject, the manually portable support being readily fixedly attachable to and detachable from a stationary structure on or relative to which the subject is mounted.

These and other embodiments of the instrument, system and method are more particularly

O described in the later detailed description section. Ready Attachability, Couplability and Mountability

Another aspect of the invention is to provide a drive unit or motor assembly which is attachable and detachable from a medical instrument assembly in order to provide one or more of the features of, positioning the motor assembly outside a sterile field in which a medical

'5 procedure takes place, increasing portability of the instrument assembly for ease of positioning with respect to the patient and ease of access to the patient during the procedure, e.g., avoiding bulky and unnecessary electromechanical equipment in the sterile field of the procedure so as to increase ease of access to the patient, enabling detachment, sterilization and reusability of certain components of the instrument assembly and/or detachment and disposability of certain other

10 portions of the instrument assembly. In the first embodiment, a medical procedure instrument is provided, including a medical implement and a drive unit. The medical implement includes a mechanically drivable mechanism intercoupled with the tool used in executing a medical procedure. A drive unit, disposed remote from the medical implement, is used for mechanically driving the implement. The implement is initially decoupled from the drive unit and manually insertable into a patient so as to dispose the tool at an operative site within the patient. The medical implement is attachable and detachable with the drive unit for coupling and decoupling the mechanically drivable mechanism with the drive unit.

In various preferred embodiments, the medical implement includes a holder and an instrument insert, the holder receiving the insert and the insert carries the mechanically drivable mechanism. Preferably, the insert is an integral disposable unit, including a stem section with the tool at its distal end and the mechanically drivable mechanism at its proximal end.

The drive unit may be an electromechanical unit, and mechanical cabling may intercouple the drive unit with the mechanically drivable mechanism. Mechanical cabling may be provided to control motion for both the instrument holder, and the instrument insert. The medical implement may be remotely controllable by a user, manipulating a manually controllable device, which device is connected to the drive unit through an electrical drive control element.

In another embodiment, a slave station of a robotic surgery system is provided in which manipulations by a surgeon control motion of a surgical instrument at a slave station. The slave station includes a support, mechanical cabling, and a plurality of motors. The support is manually portable and is provided to hold the surgical instrument at a position over an operating table so that the instrument may be readily disposed at an operative site. Mechanical cabling is coupled to the instrument for controlling movement of the instrument. The plurality of motors are controlled, by way of a computer interface, and by surgeon manipulations for driving the mechanical cabling. The mechanical cabling is driven by the plurality of motors in a manner so as to be attachable and detachable from the plurality of motors.

In a preferred embodiment, a two section housing is provided, one housing section accommodating the ends of the mechanical cabling and the other housing section accommodating the plurality of motors. The two housing sections are respectively attachable and detachable. A plurality of coupler spindles supported by the one housing section receive cables of the mechanical cabling. The plurality of coupler spindles and plurality motors are disposed in aligned arrays. A plurality of coupler disks of the other housing section are provided, one associated with and supported by each motor by the plurality of motors. The housing sections support the coupler spindles and the coupler disks in aligned engagement. An engagement element may lock the coupler spindles and disks against relative rotation.

In a further embodiment, a robotic surgery system is provided, including an instrument, a support, mechanical cabling, an array of actuators, and an engagement member. The support is manually portable and holds the instrument over an operating table so that the instrument may be disposed at an operative site in a patient for remote control thereof via a computer interface. The mechanical cabling is coupled to the instrument for controlling movement of the instrument. An array of electrically driven actuators is controlled by the computer interface for driving the mechanical cabling. An engagement member intercouples between the mechanical cabling and the array of actuators so that the mechanical cabling is readily attachable to and detachable from the array of actuators.

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a robotic surgery apparatus comprising: a mechanically drivable surgical instrument for use at an internal operative site of a subject; an electrically driven drive unit for driving the surgical instrument; mechanical cabling drivably intercoupled to the surgical instrument at one end of the cabling; the mechanical cabling having another end which is readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the drive unit.

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a robotic surgery apparatus comprising: a surgical instrument for use at an internal operative site of a subject; a mechanically drivable mounting unit on which the surgical instrument is mounted, the mounting unit being drivably movable outside the operative site of the subject; an electrically driven drive unit for driving movement of the mounting unit; mechanical cabling drivably intercoupled to the mounting unit at one end of the cabling; the mechanical cabling having another end which is readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the drive unit.

In another aspect of the invention there is provided a robotic surgery apparatus comprising: a mechanically drivable surgical instrument for use at an internal operative site of a subject; an electrically driven drive unit for driving the surgical instrument; mechanical cabling drivably intercoupled to the surgical instrument at one end of the cabling; the drive unit being readily manually portable and readily attachable to and detachable from a fixed support on or relative to which the subject is mounted.

These and other embodiments are described in the following detailed description section. Disposability 5 Another aspect of the invention is to provide a disposable medical procedure instrument which includes a mechanically drivable mechanism for driving a tool.

Disposable or disposability generally means that a device or mechanism is used or intended for a single use without a re-use of the device/mechanism and/or without the necessity or intention of a use of the device followed by sterilization of the device for an intended re-use. 0 In practice, a device which is intended for one time or single use may be re-used by the user/physician but such re-use more than once, twice or a very limited number of times is not intended for a disposable device or mechanism.

In one embodiment, a medical procedure instrument is provided including a disposable implement and a mounting mechanism interconnected to a drive mechanism. The disposable 5 implement includes a shaft having a tool at its distal end and a mechanically drivable mechanism drivably interconnected to the tool. A mounting mechanism, interconnected to the drive mechanism, enables the mechanically drivable mechanism of the implement to be removably mounted on the mounting mechanism for drivable interconnection to the drive mechanism. The shaft is insertable into a patient along a select length of the shaft to position the tool at a target O site in the patient. The shaft together with the mechanically drivable mechanism is disposable.

At various embodiments, the drive mechanism is drivably interconnected to the mounting mechanism at a first interface which is remote from a second interface at which the mechanically drivable mechanism is mounted to the mounting mechanism. The drive mechanism may include a plurality of motors, and the mounting mechanism is preferably attachable and detachable from '.5 the drive mechanism. The mounting mechanism may include a guide tube, through which the shaft is inserted into the patient, and wherein the mounting mechanism includes a drivable mechanism for mechanically driving the guide tube.

Preferably, the disposable instrument can be removed from the mounting mechanism and discarded after use, while the mounting mechanism can be removed from the drive mechanism 10 and sterilized for reuse. The disposable implement is preferably remote controllably drivable by a user via a manually controllable mechanism which is electrically connected to the drive mechanism through an electrical drive control mechanism.

Preferably, the mounting mechanism and the disposable implement are manually portable

5 in a sterile field, while the drive mechanism is outside the sterile field.

In another embodiment, a medical procedure instrument is provided which is a disposable instrument, drivably interconnectable to and disconnectable from a drive mechanism, the disposable instrument including a mechanically drivable interface, drivably interconnected through a shaft to a tool, the mechanically drivably interface being drivably engageable with and

0 disengageable from a second drive interface which is drivably interconnected to the drive mechanism. Preferably, the mechanically drivable interface and the shaft are an integral disposable unit. The disposable implement may be remote controllably drivable by a user via a manually controllable mechanism which is electrically interconnected to the drive mechanism through an electrical drive control mechanism. The second drive interface may be manually

5 portable in a sterile field. After use, the second drive interface is sterilized for reuse. The drive mechanism is outside the sterile field.

In yet another embodiment, a surgical instrument system is provided positionable within an anatomic body structure and controllable by an operator. The system contains a guide member, a support, and an integral instrument member. The guide member has a proximal end

O and a distal end. The support positions the guide member with the proximal end outside the anatomic body structure and the distal end within the anatomic body structure adjacent to the operative site. An integral instrument member, disposable as a unit, includes a mechanical drivable element, a stem section and a distal tool. The instrument member is removably engageable with the guide member.

'5 In various embodiments, each of the instrument member and guide member has a coupler, the couplers being removably engageable in order to drive the mechanical drivable element of the instrument member. At least one motor is provided remote from the guide member and instrument member, and mechanical cabling is provided from the motor to the instrument member coupler via the guide member coupler to provide at least 1 degree-of- ι0 freedom of motion of the instrument member. The couplers may include interengageable wheels. The guide member coupler is pivotal to facilitate the removable engagement of the guide member and instrument member.

In one embodiment, the guide member includes a base piece, and a guide tube extending from the base piece, wherein the coupler is pivotally supported from the base piece. The

5 instrument member stem section has a mechanical cabling extending therethrough from the instrument member coupler to the distal tool. The instrument member stem section may include sections with different amounts of flexibility. The guide tube includes a straight section, and a more distal curved section. When the instrument member engages with the guide member, the more flexible stem section is disposed in the guide tube curved section. An electromechanical

0 drive member may be provided remote from the guide tube and instrument member, having only mechanical coupling to the guide tube and instrument member. The mechanical coupling may control rotation of the guide tube as well as rotation of the instrument stem within the guide tube. In another embodiment, a disposable integral medical instrument is provided including a mechanical coupler, an elongated stem, and a tool. The mechanical coupler is at the proximal

5 end of instrument for receiving mechanical drive from a drive unit. The elongated stem extends from the mechanical coupler. The tool is disposed at the distal end of the elongated stem and is intercom ected, via the elongated stem, to the mechanical coupler. The elongated stem enables removable insertion in an instrument holder to position a tool at a target site inside a patient for perfoπning a medical procedure.

O Preferably, the disposable integral medical instrument is attachable to and detachable from an instrument holder in order to couple mechanical drive from a remote drive unit. The mechanical coupler includes at least one interlocking wheel for coupling with the instrument holder. The mechanical coupler includes mechanical cabling extending to the tool. The stem is mounted to enable rotation of the stem relative to the mechanical coupler. A wrist joint may be

'.5 provided at the distal end of the stem, coupling to the tool. The elongated stem may have a more distal flexible section. The instrument may have a means for registering the mechanical coupler with an instrument holder.

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a disposable surgical instrument comprising: a disposable elongated tube having a tool mounted at a distal end of the tube; one or

10 more disposable cables drivably intercomiected between the tool and a drive unit, the one or more disposable cables extending through the disposable tube between the tool and a proximal end of the disposable tube. The apparatus preferably includes a guide tube having an open distal end, the guide tube being readily manually insertable through an incision in a subject to position the distal end at an operative site within the subject, the disposable elongated tube being readily insertable through the guide tube to position the tool through the open distal end of the guide tube. The apparatus preferably also includes a manually portable support readily fixedly attachable to and detachable from a stationary structure on or relative to which the subject is mounted, the guide tube being readily fixedly interconnectable to and disconnectable from the support for fixedly positioning the distal end of the guide tube at the operative site. The drive unit is preferably mounted remotely from the operative site and is drivably interconnected to the one or more cables extending through the disposable tube by one or more cables extending between the drive unit and the proximal end of the disposable elongated tube.

In another embodiment of the invention there is provided a disposable surgical instrument comprising: a disposable elongated tube having a tool mounted at a distal end of the tube; a disposable mechanically drivable interface mounted at a proximal end of the disposable tube, the tool being drivably intercoupled to a drive unit via the disposable mechanically drivable interface.

These and other features of the invention are set forth more fully in the following detailed description. Translation and Other Movement Capability Another aspect of the invention relates to controlled movement of a surgical instrument system having a distal end positionable within a patient. More specifically, the controlled movement may be limited to translation in a predetermined plane. This controlled movement specifies certain degrees-of-freedom of the surgical instrument, including a guide tube that receives an instrument member having a tool at its distal end. Such movement may be remotely controlled via computer control in response to movements by a surgeon at an input interface. In one embodiment, a surgical instrument system is provided that is adapted to be inserted through an incision of a patient for operation by a surgeon from outside the patient. The system includes an arm member, a support for the arm member and an instrument member. The arm member has a proximal end disposed outside the patient and a distal end internal of the patient. A support for the arm member provides controlled translation of the arm member with a proximal end thereof moving substantially only in a predetermined plane. The instrument member is carried by the arm member and includes a tool disposed at the distal end of the arm member.

In a preferred embodiment, a controller responsive to a surgeon manipulation controls movement of the arm member and of the tool. The surgeon may be positioned at a master station

5 having an input interface, at which the surgeon manipulates an input device. The controller may allow a number of degrees-of-freedom of the tool and of the arm member. In one embodiment, the tool has 4 degrees-of-freedom, while the arm member has 3 degrees-of-freedom. More specifically, the arm member may have one degree-of-freedom in the predetermined plane. The arm member may have another degree-of-freedom that is rotation of the arm member about a

0 longitudinal axis of the arm member. The arm member may have a further degree-of-freedom that is linear movement of the arm member along the longitudinal axis of the arm member. The tool may have one degree-of-freedom that is rotation of the instrument member about a longitudinal axis of the instrument member. The tool may have another degree-of-freedom that is pivotal in a second plane orthogonal to the first plane. The tool may have jaws and a further

5 degree-of-freedom may be provided enabling opening and closing of the j aws.

The support for the arm member may include a support post for positioning the arm member over an operating table upon which a patient is placed. Preferably, the support post positions the arm member at an acute angle to the operating table. The arm member may include a guide tube that receives the instrument member.

Ϊ0 In another embodiment, a surgical instrument system is provided adapted to be inserted through an incision in a patient for operation by a surgeon from outside the patient. The system may include an instrument member having a tool at its distal end. The guide member has a guide tube with a proximal end disposed outside the patient and a distal end internal of the patient. The guide tube has an elongated portion with a central access of rotation and a distal portion having

'5 an end which is positioned a radial distance away from the central access. The support for the guide member provides controlled translation of the guide member with the proximal end thereof moving substantially only in a predetermined plane.

In various embodiments, a drive unit is coupled to the guide tube for rotating the guide tube and thereby displacing the tool with respect to the central access. Preferably, the distal

10 portion of the guide tube is curved so as to displace the end thereof the radial distance away from the central access. When combined with translation in the plane, the rotation of the guide tube enables three-dimensional placement of the instrument tool.

The instrument member may include a coupler for engaging the instrument member to the guide member, and an elongated section that is, at least, partially flexible for insertion into

5 the guide tube. The instrument member may include in its distal end at least two adjacent link members intercoupled by way of at least one joint, and at least one cable extending along at least one of the link members for operating the adjacent link member. Separate cable sections may be coupled to opposite sides of the adjacent link members for enabling pivoting in either direction of the adjacent link member relative to the at least one link member.

0 The instrument member can be readily engageable and disengageable with the guide member and constructed to enable exchange with other instrument members. The instrument member may be disposable.

The instrument member may be couplable to and decouplable from a drive unit, the drive unit being controlled by a controller for operating the instrument member. The drive unit may be

5 disposed remote from a sterile field in which the patient and instrument member are disposed. In another embodiment, an instrument system is provided, including a user interface, an instrument, a support, a controller, and a drive unit. A surgeon may manipulate an input device at the user interface. The instrument has a distal end internal of the patient and carrying at its distal end a tool used in executing a procedure at an operative site of the patient. The support for

O the instrument includes a pivot at the proximal end of the instrument that limits motion of the proximal end of the instrument substantially only in one plane. The controller receives commands from the user interface for controlling movement of the instrument. A drive unit intercouples with the controller and the instrument.

In a preferred embodiment, the instrument includes an adapter and an instrument insert.

'.5 The adapter may have a guide tube with an elongated portion having a longitudinal access of rotation and a distal end that is positioned a radial distance away from the longitudinal access. When the distal end of the guide tube is curved, the distal end will orbit about the longitudinal access as the guide tube is rotated under control from the user interface. The insert may be removably couplable with the adapter and include an elongated stem having a tool at its distal

10 end. The adapter and insert may each include a coupler for lateral relative coupling and decoupling of the adapter and insert. The instrument coupler may include a series of wheels that engage with a series of wheels on the adapter coupler.

The instrument insert may have an elongated stem which includes a more flexible stem section disposed distally of a less flexible stem section. Alternatively, the full length of the elongated stem may be flexible. A wrist link, intercoupling a more flexible stem section with the tool, provides one degree-of-freedom of the tool.

In another embodiment of the invention there is provided a remotely controlled surgical instrument system that is adapted to be inserted through an incision of a patient for operation by a surgeon from outside the patient in a remote location, the system comprising: an elongate tube having a proximal end disposed outside the patient and a distal end internal of the patient; a support for the elongate tube that provides controlled translation of said elongate tube with the proximal end thereof moving substantially only in a predetermined plane; and the elongate tube having an axis and a tool mounted on a distal end of the tube, the elongate tube being curved along a distal length of the elongate tube and controllably rotatable around the axis such that the tool is movable in a circle or an additional two degrees of freedom internal of the patient by rotation of the arm member.

These and other features of the invention are described in the following detailed description. Portability

Another aspect of the invention is to provide readily manually portable components positionable in close proximity to a patient within the sterile field, without unduly reducing access to the patient or otherwise interfering with the procedure.

In one embodiment, a portable remotely controllable surgical instrument is provided including a shaft, a mounting mechanism and a drive unit. A manually portable elongated shaft is provided having a proximal end and a distal end manually positionable at an operative site within a subject upon insertion of the shaft through an incision in the subject. A manually portable mounting mechanism is readily manually mountable in a fixed position outside the patient through the incision, the proximal end of the portable shaft being mounted thereon. A manually portable drive unit is drivably interconnected through the mounting mechanism to a tool mounted at the distal end of the portable shaft. The drive unit is readily manually positionable at a selected position outside the patient. In various embodiments, the drive unit is controllably drivable by a computer. The proximal end of the portable shaft is readily manually mountable on the portable mounting mechanism for enabling readily drivable intercoupling of the tool to the drive unit. The portable shaft may be disposable. The drive unit may be readily manually mountable at a position remote

5 from the incision.

In another embodiment, there is provided a portable remotely controllable surgical apparatus comprising: a manually portable elongated shaft having a proximal end and a distal end manually positionable at an operative site within a subject upon insertion of the shaft through an incision in the subject; a manually portable mounting mechanism being readily

0 manually mountable in a fixed position outside the patient near the incision, the proximal end of the portable elongated shaft being mounted thereon; a manually portable support for fixedly positioning the manually portable mounting mechanism in a selected location relative to the subject, the manually portable support being readily fixedly attachable to and detachable from a stationary structure on or relative to which the subject is mounted. A portable drive unit is

5 preferably drivably intercoupled tlirough the mounting mechanism to a tool mounted at the distal end of the portable shaft; wherein the drive unit is readily positionable at a selected position outside and remote from the incision. The surgical instrument may include one or more mechanically drivable components drivably intercoupled to a drive unit, the apparatus further comprising mechanical cabling drivably coupled to the one or more components at one end of

O the cabling, the mechanical cabling being readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the drive unit at another end of the mechanical cabling.

In another embodiment there is provided a portable remotely controllable surgical apparatus comprising: a manually portable elongated shaft having a proximal end and a distal end manually positionable at an operative site within a subject upon insertion of the shaft

'.5 through an incision in the subject; a manually portable mounting mechanism being readily manually mountable in a fixed position outside the patient near the incision, the proximal end of the portable elongated shaft being mounted thereon; a portable drive unit drivably intercomiected to the portable elongated shaft through the mounting mechanism; mechanical cabling drivably coupled to the mounting mechanism at one end of the cabling and readily drivably couplable to

10 and decouplable from the portable drive unit at another end of the cabling. The mounting mechanism typically includes one or more mechanically drivable components for moving the mounting mechanism outside the subject, the one or more mechanically drivable components being drivably interconnected to the drive unit through the mechanical cabling.

These and other features of the invention are set forth in greater detail in the following detailed description section. 5 User Control Apparatus

Another aspect of the invention is to provide, in a master/slave surgery system, a master station which includes upper and lower positioner assemblies, movably connected, including an arm assembly with a distal hand assembly for engagement by the surgeon's hand.

In one embodiment, a master station is adapted to be manually manipulated by a surgeon 0 to, in turn, control motion to a slave station at which is disposed a surgical instrument. The master station includes a lower positioner assembly, an upper positioner assembly and an arm assembly. The upper positioner assembly is supported over and in rotational engagement with the lower positioner assembly to enable a lateral side-to-side surgical manipulation. An arm assembly has at its distal end a hand assembly for engagement by a surgeon's hand, and a 5 proximal end pivotally supported from the upper positioner assembly to enable an orthogonal forward and back surgeon manipulation in a direction substantially orthogonal to the lateral surgeon manipulation.

In various preferred embodiments, the arm assembly includes a proximal arm member and a distal arm member joined by a rotational joint. A position encoder is disposed at a '.0 rotational joint detects rotation of the distal arm member. A pivotal joint connects the hand assembly to the distal end of the distal arm member, this movement being responsive to a pivotal movement of a surgeon's wrist.

The hand assembly may include a base piece with a pair of holders coupled with a base piece. One of these holder is adapted to receive a thumb and the other adapted to hold a '5 forefinger. Each holder may comprise a metal bar positioned along the thumb or forefinger and a Nelcro loop for attaching the thumb or finger to the bar. The hand assembly may further include a pair of rotating element pivotally supported from opposite ends of the base piece. One of these holders is secured to one of the rotating elements so that the surgeon can move one holder toward and away from the other holder. The pivotal joint that coimects the hand assembly 10 to the distal end of the distal arm is connected to the other rotating element, to account for rotational motion at the surgeon's wrist. In another embodiment, a master station of a master/slave surgery system includes a base, an arm assembly pivotally supported from the base, and a hand assembly pivotally supported from the arm assembly, wherein the hand assembly includes a finger holder and a thumb holder and wherein the holders are supported for relative movement therebetween. The hand assembly 5 may include a base piece for the holders, wherein the thumb holder is fixed in position relative to a base piece and the finger holder rotates from the base piece.

In another embodiment, a master station of a master/slave surgery system includes a base, an arm assembly pivotally supported from the base, and a hand assembly pivotally supported from the arm assembly, the hand assembly including a guide shaft adapted to be grasped by the 0 surgeon, an actuator on the guide shaft, and a multiple rotation joint attaching the guide shaft to the arm assembly.

In yet another embodiment, a template is provided secured to the support which holds the surgical instrument, for locating the position of the support and subsequently the position of the surgical instrument, relative to the incision point of the patient. This enables an accurate 5 placement of the instrument at an operative site internal to the patient.

These and other features of the present invention are described in greater detail in the following detailed description section. Electronic Controls and Methodology

The invention also provides a method of controlling a surgical instrument that is inserted

O in a patient for facilitating a surgical procedure and controlled remotely from an input device manipulated by a surgeon at a user interface, the method comprising the steps of: initializing the position of the surgical instrument without calculating its original position, and the position of the input device under electronic control; the initializing including establishing an initial reference position for the input device and an initial reference position for the surgical

'5 instrument; calculating the current absolute position of the input device as it is manipulated by the surgeon; determining the desired position of the surgical instrument based upon: the current position of the input device, the reference position of the input device, and the reference position of the surgical instrument, and moving the surgical instrument to the desired position so that the position of the surgical instrument corresponds to that of the input device. The input device

10 typically has position sensors, and the step of initializing includes initializing these position sensors. The initializing is preferably to zero. The method may include computing an initial reference orientation for the input device, computing a desired orientation for the surgical instrument and/or computing a desired position for the surgical instrument. The initializing step may include performing a forward kinematic computation from the input device. The method may include reading position sensor values and current time. The calculating step may include

5 calculating both the position and orientation of the input device. The method may further include calculating the current orientation of the input device. The step of determining may include performing an inverse kinematic computation and/or a transfoπnation into an earth coordinate system From the transformation determined joint angles and drive motor angles for the surgical instrument orientation may be determined.

0 In another embodiment, there is provided a method of controlling a tool of a surgical instrument that is inserted in a patient for carrying out a surgical procedure and is controlled remotely by way of a controller from an input device at a user interface, the method comprising the steps of: the input device at an initial reference configuration and under controller control; setting the surgical instrument in the patient at an initial predefined reference configuration

5 without controller control; calculating the current absolute position of the input device; determining the desired location of the tool by a kinematic computation that accounts for at least the initial reference configuration of the input device and the current absolute position of the input device; and moving the surgical instrument to the desired position so that the location of the tool corresponds to that of the input device. The step of detennining may also be based upon

:0 the initial reference configuration of the tool.

In another embodiment, there is provided a system for controlling an instrument that is inserted in a patient to enable a surgical procedure and controlled remotely from an input device controlled by a surgeon at a user interface, the system comprising: a base; a first link rotatably connected to the base; an elbow joint for rotatably coimecting the second link to the first link; a

'5 handle; a wrist member coimecting the handle to the distal end of the second link; and a controller coupled to at least the base and links and for receiving signals representative of: a rotational position of the base, a rotational position of the first link relative to the base, and a rotational position of the second link relative to the first link. hi another embodiment, there is provided a control system for an instrument that is

10 controlled remotely from an input device, the system comprising: a forward kinematics block for computing the position of the input device; an initialization block for storing an initial reference position of the input device; an inverse kinematics block coupled from the forward kinematics block and the initialization block for receiving information from the forward kinetics block of the current input device position; and a controller block coupled from the inverse kinematics block for controlling the position of the instrument in response to manipulations at the input device.

5 Such a control system may include a scaling block coupled between the forward kinematics block and the inverse kinematics block for scaling motions imparted at the input device. The system may also include an output from the forward kinematics block directly to the inverse kinematics block representative of current input device orientation. The system may also include a combining device coupled from the forward kinematics block and the initialization block to the

0 scaling block for providing a signal to the inverse kinematics block representative of desired instrument position. The input device typically includes a wrist and a handle and the position of the wrist is expressed in x, y and z coordinates. The orientation of the handle is typically determined by a series of coordinate transformations. Such system may include a transformation matrix for the handle coordinate frame with respect to a reference coordinate frame, a

5 transformation matrix RWh for the wrist joint coordinate with respect to a reference coordinate, and a transformation matrix Rhw for the handle coordinate with respect to the wrist coordinate. The transformation matrix R for the handle coordinate with respect to the reference coordinate may be R =RwhRhwh.

In another embodiment there is provided a method of controlling a medical implement

:0 remotely from .an input device that is controlled by an operator, the method comprising the steps of: positioning the medical implement at an initial start position at an operative site for the purpose of facilitating a medical procedure; establishing a fixed position reference coordinate representative of the initial start position of the medical implement based upon a base point of the implement and an active point of the implement being in a known relative dimensional

',5 configuration, positioning the input device at an initial start position; establishing a fixed position reference coordinate representative of the initial start position of the input device; calculating the current position of the input device as it is controlled; determining the desired position of the medical implement based upon; the current position of the input device, the fixed position reference coordinate of the input device, and the fixed position reference coordinate of the

O medical implement, and moving the medical implement to the desired position so that the position of the medical implement corresponds to that of the input device. In another embodiment there is provided a method of controlling a surgical instrument remotely from an input device and by way of an electronic controller, the method comprising the steps of: inserting the surgical instrument through an incision in the patient so as to dispose the distal end of the instrument at an initial start position; establishing a fixed position reference

5 coordinate system corresponding to a fixed known position on the surgical instrument at the initial start position of the surgical instrument; positioning the input device at an initial start position; establishing a fixed position reference coordinate system representative of the initial start position of the input device; calculating the current absolute position of the input device as it is controlled; determining the desired position of the surgical instrument based upon the

0 current absolute position of the input device, and the fixed position reference coordinate system for the respective surgical instrument and input device; and moving the surgical instrument to the desired position so that the position of the surgical instrument corresponds to that of the input device.

The invention also provides a program of instructions for the processor which include:

.5 receiving an insertion length of a medical instrument inserted in a patient; and determining a distal end location of the instrument at a target site in the patient from the insertion length. The instrument typically has a straight proximal portion and curved distal portion, lies in a single plane and is a rigid guide member. The instrument is typically inserted and then fixed at a pivot axis outside the patient. The pivot axis is generally aligned with an insertion point at which the

'0 instrument is inserted into the patient. The program of instructions may include determining a subsequent location of the distal end associated with pivoting about the pivot axis. The program of instructions may include determining a subsequent location of the distal end associated with axial rotation of the instrument, determining a subsequent location of the distal end associated with linear translation along a length axis of the instrument and/or determining a subsequent

^5 movement of the distal end in a single plane about the pivot axis. The pivotal axis is typically a reference point used by the program of instructions in determining subsequent movement of the distal end.

The invention also provides a processor and a memory device containing a program of instructions for the processor which include: receiving a coordinate representative of the desired

SO location of the distal end of a medical instrument at a target site in a patient; and determining from the coordinate an insertion length for the medical instrument so as to locate the distal end at the target site.

These and other features of the present invention are described in greater detail in the following detailed description section.

5 The present invention is directed to a system, apparatus, or method for enabling the exchange or interchange between one of several different instruments or implements, so that these different instruments or implements can be readily delivered to an operative or target site within a patient for performing a medical or surgical procedure. The present invention carries out this exchange or interchange without the usual manual withdrawal and insertion that is typical of

0 prior art systems, and can be said to perform this interchange or exchange essentially automatically, with little or no manual intervention. The principles of the present invention are intended to apply to any instruments or implements, whether for open, MIS, or robotic surgery uses. The tool or end effector of the instrument may be of any type including, but not limited to, articulated and non-articulated types.

5 In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided an interchangeable instrument apparatus that includes a plurality of separate instrument members each capable of assisting in a different phase of a medical procedure to be performed at an operative site within the anatomy. An instrument storage chamber releasably receives the plurality of instrument members. The instrument members are accommodated in separate storage

.0 locations within the instrument storage chamber. An instrument driver is constructed and arranged for cooperative positioning relative to the instrument storage chamber, for selective alignment with one of the instrument members at a time, and for displacing or driving the aligned instrument member from the instrument storage chamber toward the operative site. At least one of the instrument driver and instrument storage chamber are positionally controllable so

.5 as to provide relative displacement therebetween so as to selectively align the instrument driver with another of the instrument members.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a surgical instrument apparatus that comprises an instrument member that includes two sections including a work section that supports at its distal end a tool used in performing a medical procedure at an

•0 operative site within the anatomy, and a driver section that is releasably engageable with the work section. The apparatus also includes a guide member for receiving the work section and the driver section, and for directing, upon engagement of said driver section with said work section, the delivery of the tool to the operative site.

The driver section, in an inoperative position thereof, is disengaged from the work section, and in an operative position thereof, is engageable with the work section to direct the work section, via the guide member, to the operative site, and further is engageable with the work section to enable operative coupling to the tool for actuation of the tool from a remote drive unit.

In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of delivering, to an internal operative site, a selected one of a plurality of instruments. The method comprising the steps of; storing a plurality of separate instruments in a storage chamber with each instrument capable of assisting in a different phase of a medical procedure to be perfonned at the operative site, and providing an instrument driver constructed and arranged for; cooperative positioning relative to the instrument storage chamber, selective alignment with one of the instruments at a time, and displacing the aligned instrument from the instrument storage chamber. At least one of the instrument driver and instrument storage chamber are positionally controlled so as to provide relative displacement therebetween, and so as to selectively align the instrument driver with another one of the instrument members

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a storage chamber that supports a plurality of separately aπanged instruments, and further includes inlet and outlet ports. The outlet port is arranged in alignment with the target or operative site where the instrument is to be delivered. The instrument carries at its distal end a work implement(tool). An instrument driver is in alignment with the inlet port, and is adapted to engage a registered instrument disposed in the storage chamber, so as to deliver the selected instrument, via the outlet port, to the target or operative site. The instrument driver, in addition to engagement with the instrument, also operatively couples with and enables operation of the work implement of the instrument. The storage chamber is selectively operable, upon command, to permit different instruments to align between the inlet and outlet ports.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is provided a surgical instrument apparatus that includes an instrument member having a work section that supports at its distal end a tool used in performing a medical procedure at an operative site within the anatomy, and a driver section that is releasably engageable with the work section .A guide member receives the work section and the drive section, and is for directing, upon engagement of the driver section with the work section, the delivery of the tool to the operative site. The driver section, in an inoperative position thereof, is disengaged from the work section, and in an operative position thereof, is engageable with the work section to direct the work section, via the guide member, to the operative site, and is further engageable with the work section to enable operative coupling to the tool for actuation of the tool from a remote drive unit. The apparatus also preferably includes an interface or coupling section between the work and driver sections for selectively and releasably intercoupling therebetween.

The present invention is also directed to an interchangeable medical instrument system that includes an instrument storage retainer that supports a plurality of separately arranged instruments, and further includes inlet and outlet ports, the outlet port arranged in alignment with the a target or operative site where the instrument is to be delivered for performing a medical procedure. A work implement is supported at the distal end of each instrument. An instrument transporter is in alignment with the inlet port, and adapted to engage a registered instrument disposed in the storage retainer, so as to deliver the selected instrument, via the outlet port to the target or operative site. The instrument transporter, in addition to engagement with the instrument, also operatively couples with and enables operation of the work implement of the instrument The retainer is selectively operable, upon command, to permit different instruments to align between the inlet and outlet ports.

The present invention is also directed to an interchangeable instrument system that includes an instrument retainer having multiple storage location for receiving a plurality of instruments disposed separately in the respective storage locations, and an instrument driver constructed and arranged for cooperative positioning relative to the instrument retainer, for selective alignment with one of the instruments at a time, and for displacing the aligned instrument from the instrument retainer and toward the operative site. An indexing mechanism controls the position of the instrument retainer so as to selectively align different instruments with the instrument driver. An actuation member is disposed at a user interface for controlling the indexing mechanism.

Another aspect of the present invention is an interchangeable instrument system that includes a plurality of medical instruments, an instrument retainer for releasably holding the plurality of instruments, and an instrument transporter associated with the instrument retainer, for selective alignment with one of the instruments at a time, and for displacing the aligned instrument from the instrument retainer toward an operative site in a subject. Either the instrument retainer or instrument transporter may be positionally controllable so as to provide

5 relative displacement therebetween so as to selectively align the instrument transporter with another instrument. The instrument retainer may comprise a rotating chamber having a plurality of passages therein. Alternatively, the instrument retainer may comprise a linear chamber for receiving the instruments. The transporter may be positioned in parallel to the linear chamber, and a selected instrument is moved transversely out of the chamber for alignment with the

0 instrument transporter.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a perspective view illustrating one embodiment of the robotic system of the present invention;

Figs. 1A-1C are three views of a flexible cannula for use with the embodiment of Fig. 1; 5 Fig. 2A is a schematic diagram illustrating the degrees-of-freedom associated with the master station;

Fig. 2B is a schematic diagram illustrating the degrees-of-freedom associated with the slave station;

Fig. 2C shows a functional schematic diagram of the surgical adapter component of the '.0 system of Fig. 1;

Fig. 2D shows a functional schematic diagram of the instrument insert component of the system of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the positioner assembly at the master station;

Fig. 4 is an exploded perspective view also of the positioner assembly at the master '5 station;

Fig. 5 is a partially exploded view of the hand assembly portion associated with the positioner assembly;

Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the hand assembly as taken along line 6-6 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional view at the master station as taken along lines 7-7 of Fig. 3; 10 Fig. 7A is a schematic perspective view of the yoke assembly portion of the positioner assembly; Fig. 8 is a perspective view of the slave station;

Fig. 8A is a perspective view of an alternative adjustable clamp member at the slave station;

Fig. 8B is a top plan view of the clamp of Fig. 8 A;

Fig. 8C is a side view of the clamp of Figs. 8 A and 8B as taken along line 8C-8C of Fig. 8B;

Fig. 8D is a perspective view of a template used with this embodiment;

Fig. 8E is a schematic cabling diagram illustrating one cable arrangement used to operate a tool;

Fig. 8F is an exploded perspective view of another version of the cable drive mechanism and tool in accordance with the present invention;

Fig. 8G is a schematic perspective view similar to that illustrated in Fig. 8F but specifically showing the cabling construction;

Fig. 8H is a partially broken away front elevational view as taken along line 8H-8H of Fig. 8F;

Fig. 81 is a top plan cross-sectional view taken along line 81-81 of Fig. 8H;

Fig. 8J is a further cross-sectional top plan view as taken along line 8J-8J of Fig. 8H,

Fig. 8K is a cross-sectional side view as taken along line 8K-8K of Fig. 8H;

Fig. 8L is a cross-sectional rear view of the coupler spindle and disk as taken along line 8L-8L of Fig. 8K.

Fig. 9 is a view at the slave station taken along line 9-9 of Fig. 8; Fig. 10 is a side elevation view at the slave station taken along line 10-10 of Fig. 9; Fig. 11 is a perspective view at the slave station;

Fig. 11 A is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 11 A-l 1 A of Fig. 11 ; Fig. 1 IB is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 11B-11B of Fig. 11 A; Fig. 11C is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 1 lC-11C of Fig. 11 A; Fig. 12 is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 12-12 of Fig. 11; Fig. 13 is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 13-13 of Fig. 12; Fig. 14 is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 14-14 of Fig. 12; Fig. 15 is a perspective view at the slave station showing the instrument insert being removed from the adapter; Fig. 15A is a top plan view of the instrument insert itself;

Fig. 16A is a perspective view at the tool as viewed along line 16A-16A of Fig. 11;

Fig. 16B is an exploded perspective view of the tool of Fig. 16 A;

Fig. 16C is a fragmentary perspective view of an alternative tool referred to as a needle driver;

Fig. 16D is a side elevation view of the needle driver of Fig. 16C;

Fig. 16E is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the tool and wrist construction;

Fig. 16F is an exploded perspective view of the construction illustrated in Fig. 16E; Fig. 16G is a fragmentary perspective view showing a portion of the bending section;

Fig. 16H is a plan view of the flexible wrist member associated with the construction of Figs. 16E-16G.

Fig. 161 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of a flexible end tool;

Fig. 16J is an exploded perspective view of the construction illustrated in Fig. 161; Fig. 16K is a fragmentary perspective view showing further details of the bending section;

Fig. 17 is a perspective view of the drive unit at the slave station;

Fig. 17A is a schematic front view of the drive unit at the slave station;

Fig. 18 is a schematic perspective view of an alternative hand piece for use at the master station;

Figs. 19A-19D are schematic diagrams showing alternate positions of the guide tube of the adapter;

Fig. 20 is a block diagram of the controller used with the robotic system of this embodiment; Fig. 21 is a block diagram of further details of the controller, including the module board;

Fig. 22 is a block diagram of a control algorithm in accordance with the present embodiment; and

Figs. 23-28 are a series of schematic diagrams of the input device position and resulting instrument position relating to the algorithm control of the present embodiment. FIG. 29 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a robotic surgical system in which the interchangeable instrument principles of the present invention are applied; FIG. 30 is a perspective view showing a portion of the system of FIG. 29, particularly the storage chamber and the driving mechanism;

FIG. 31 is a cross-sectional view illustrating the storage chamber, the driver and the associated positioning of components, and as taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 30; FIG. 32 is a perspective view showing some further detail of the instrument in this first embodiment;

FIG. 33 is a partial cross-sectional view showing further details of the driver and instrument in this first embodiment;

FIG. 34 is a further cross-sectional view similar to that illustrated in FIG. 33 but showing the driver and instrument in an interlocked position;

FIG. 35 is a schematic cross-sectional perspective view that illustrates details of the instrument of the present invention;

FIGS. 36A and 36B are perspective views of the tool component of the surgical instrument illustrating the cabling scheme; FIG. 37 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the present invention, providing linear registration rather than rotational registration;

FIG. 38 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a robotic surgical system in which the interchangeable instrument principles of the present invention are applied;

FIG. 39 is a perspective view at the slave station of the system of FIG. 38 illustrating the interchangeable instrument concepts;

FIG. 40 is a cross-sectional view through the storage chamber and as taken along line 12- 12 of FIG. 39;

FIG. 41 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, as taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 39;

FIG. 42 is a perspective schematic view of the indexing mechanism used in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS . 38-41;

FIG. 43 is a block diagram illustrating the steps taken to provide indexing for instrument interchange; and

FIG. 44 is a schematic diagram of another alternate embodiment of the invention using a serial storage concept. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A. Overview of Surgical Robotic System (Figs. 1-2)

An embodiment of a surgical robotic system of the present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The described embodiment is preferably used to perform minimally invasive surgery, but may also be used for other procedures such as endoscopic or open surgical procedures.

Fig. 1 illustrates a surgical instrument system 10 that includes a master station M at which a surgeon 2 manipulates a pair of input devices 3, and a slave station S at which is disposed a pair of surgical instruments 14. The surgeon is seated in a comfortable chair 4 with his forearms resting upon armrests 5. His hands manipulate the input devices 3 which cause a responsive movement of the surgical instruments 14.

A master assembly 7 is associated with the master station M and a slave assembly 8 is associated with the slave station S. Assemblies 7 and 8 are interconnected by cabling 6 to a controller 9. Controller 9 has one or more display screens enabling the surgeon to view a target operative site, at which is disposed a pair of tools 18. The controller further includes a keyboard for inputting commands or data.

As shown in Fig. 1, the slave assembly 8, also referred to as a drive unit, is remote from the operative site and is positioned outside of the sterile field, hi this embodiment, the sterile field is defined above the plane of the top surface of the operating table T, on which is placed the patient P. The drive unit 8 is controlled by a computer system, part of the controller 9. The master station M may also be referred to as a user interface, whereby commands issued at the user interface are translated by the computer into an electrical signal received by drive unit 8. Each surgical instrument 14, which is tethered to the drive unit 8 through mechanical cabling, produces a desired responsive motion.

Thus, the controller 9 couples the master station M and the slave station S and is operated in accordance with a computer program or algorithm, described in further detail later. The controller receives a command from the input device 3 and controls the movement of the surgical instrument in a manner responsive to the input mampulation.

With further reference to Fig. 1, associated with the patient P are two separate surgical instruments 14, one on either side of an endoscope 13. The endoscope includes a camera mounted on its distal end to remotely view the operative site. The dashed line circle in Fig. 2B, labeled OS, is an example of the operative site). A second camera may be positioned away from the site to provide an additional perspective on the medical procedure or surgical operation. It may be desirable to provide the endoscope through an orifice or incision other than the one used by the surgical instrument. Here three separate incisions are shown, two for the surgical instruments 14, 14 and a centrally disposed incision for the viewing endoscope 13. A drape over the patient has a single opening for the tliree incisions.

Each of the two surgical instruments 14 is generally comprised of two basic components, an adaptor or guide member 15 and an instrument insert or member 16. The adaptor 15 is a mechanical device, driven by an attached cable array from drive unit 8. The insert 16 extends through the adaptor 15 and carries at its distal end the surgical tool 18. Detailed descriptions of the adapter and insert are found in later drawings.

Although reference is made to "surgical instrument" it is contemplated that this invention also applies to other medical instruments, not necessarily for surgery. These would include, but are not limited to catheters and other diagnostic and therapeutic instruments and implements.

In Fig. 1 there is illustrated cabling 12 coupling the instrument 14 to the drive unit 8. The cabling 12 is readily attachable and detachable from the drive unit 8. The surgical adaptor 15, which supports the instrument at a fixed reference point is of relatively simple construction and may be designed for a particular surgical application such as abdominal, cardiac, spinal, arthroscopic, sinus, neural, etc. As indicated previously, the instrument insert 16 is couplable and decouplable to the adaptor 15, and provides a means for exchanging instrument inserts, with then attached tools. The tools may include, for example, forceps, scissors, needle drivers, electrocautery, etc.

Referring again to Fig. 1, the overall system 10 includes a surgeon's interface 11, computer system or controller 9, drive unit 8 and surgical instruments 14. Each surgical instrument 14 is comprised of an instrument insert 16 extending through adapter 15. During use, a surgeon manipulates the input device 3 at the surgeon's interface 11, which manipulation is interpreted by controller 9 to effect a desired motion of the tool 18 within the patient.

Each surgical instrument 14 is mounted on a separate rigid support post 19 which is illustrated in Fig. 1 as removably affixed to the side of the surgical table T. This mounting arrangement permits the instrument to remain fixed relative to the patient even if the table is repositioned. Although two instruments 14 are shown here, the invention can be practiced with more or with only a single surgical instrument.

Each surgical instrument 14 is connected to the drive unit 8 by two mechanical cabling (cable-in-conduit) bundles 21 and 22. These bundles 21 and 22 terminate at connection modules, illustrated in Fig. 8F, which are removably attachable to the drive unit 8. Although two cable bundles are used here, more or fewer cable bundles may be used. Also, the drive unit 8 is preferably located outside the sterile field as shown here, although in other embodiments the drive unit may be draped with a sterile barrier so that it may be located within the sterile field. hi a prefeπed technique for setting up the system, a distal end of the surgical instrument 14 is manually inserted into the patient through an incision or opening. The instrument 14 is then mounted to the rigid post 19 using a mounting bracket 25. The cable bundles 21 and 22 are then passed away from the operative area to the drive unit 8. The connection modules of the cable bundles are then engaged to the drive unit 8. One or more instrument inserts 16 may then be passed tlirough the surgical adaptor 15, while the adapter remains fixed in position at the operative site. The surgical instrument 14 provides a number of independent motions, or degrees-of-freedom, to the tool 18. These degrees-of-freedom are provided by both the surgical adaptor 15 and the instrument insert 16.

The surgeon's interface 11 is in electrical communication with the controller 9. This electrical control is primarily by way of the cabling 6 illustrated in Fig. 1 coupling from the master assembly 7. Cabling 6 also couples from the controller 9 to the drive unit 8. The cabling 6 is electrical cabling. The drive unit 8 however, is in mechanical communication with the instruments 14 in mechanical cabling 21, 22. The mechanical communication with the instrument allows the electromechanical components to be removed from the operative region, and preferably from the sterile field.

Fig. 2 A illustrates the various movements (J1-J7) that occur at the master station M while Fig. 2B illustrates various movements (J1-J7) that occur at the slave station S. More specific details regarding Figs. 2A and 2B are contained in a later discussion of Figs. 3-4 (with regard to the master station of Fig. 2A) and Figs. 8-9 (with regard to the slave station of Fig. 2B).

Fig. 2C is a simplified representation of adaptor 15 of the slave station, useful in illustrating the three degrees-of-freedom enabled by the adapter. The adapter as shown in Fig. 2C comprises a generally rigid outer guide tube 200 (coπesponding to guide tube 17 in Fig. 2B) through which an inner flexible shaft, carrying a tool 18 at its distal end, is inserted into the patient. The adapter provides three degrees-of-freedom by way of a pivotal joint Jl, a linear joint J2, and a rotary joint J3. From a fixed mounting point 23 shown schematically at the top of Fig. 2C, the pivotal joint Jl allows the guide tube 200 to pivot about a fixed vertical axis 204, while maintaining the tube (both the proximal straight portion 208 and distal curved portion 202) in a single plane, transverse to pivot axis 204, in which lies central horizontal tube axis 201. The linear joint J2, moves the rigid guide tube 200 along this same axis 201. The rotary joint J3 rotates the guide tube 200 about the tube axis 201. The guide tube 200 has a fixed curve or bend 202 at its distal end 203; as a result the distal end 203 will orbit in a circle about the axis 201 when the straight portion 208 of the guide tube 200 is rotated about its axis 201. Alternatively, the three degrees-of-freedom can be achieved by a structure other than a curve 202, such as by means of a joint or angular end section. The point is to have the distal end 203 of the tube 200 at a location spaced away from the tube axis 201.

Fig. 2C thus shows a schematic view of the three degrees of freedom of the rigid curved guide tube 200. In summary, via the pivot 205 the guide tube 200 may rotate in a direction Jl about an axis 204. The guide tube 200 may also slide in an axial direction J2 along proximal tube axis 201 (via the linear slider) and rotate in a direction J3 about the proximal tube axis 201' (via a rotatable mounting at the guide tube housing). It is intended that the point 205 at which the axes of linear movement and rotation 201 and 204 intersect, be in linear alignment (along axis 204) with the incision point illustrated in dotted outline at 207, at which the guide tube enters the patient. Positioning the incision 207 in substantially vertical linear alignment with point 205 results in less trauma to the patient in the area around the incision, because movement of the guide tube 17 near the point 205 is limited.

In addition to the three degrees-of-freedom provided by the guide tube 17, the tool 18 may have three additional degrees-of-freedom. This is illustrated schematically in Fig. 2D which shows an inner flexible shaft 309, fixed at its proximal end 300, having a straight proximal portion 301 and having a curved distal portion 302 with a tool 18 mounted at the distal end. The shaft 309 has a wrist joint that rotates about axis 306. A pair of pinchers 304, 305 independently rotate as shown (J6 and J7) about horizontal axis 308 to open and close (e.g., to grasp objects). Still further, the inner shaft can be rotated (J4) about the central axis of proximal portion 301. In practice, an instrument insert 16 (caπying the inner shaft 309) is positioned within the adaptor 15 (including guide tube 17), so that the movements of the insert are added to those of the adaptor. The tool 18 at the distal end of insert 16 has two end grips 304 and 305, which are rotatably coupled to wrist link 303, by two rotary joints J6 and J7. The axis 308 of the joints J6

5 and J7 are essentially collinear. The wrist link 303 is coupled to a flexible inner shaft 302 through a rotary joint J5, whose axis 306 is essentially orthogonal to the axis 308 of joints J6 and J7. The inner shaft 309 may have portions of differing flexibility, with distal shaft portion 302 being more flexible than proximal shaft portion 301. The more rigid shaft portion 301 is rotatably coupled by joint J4 to the instrument insert base 300. The axis of joint J4 is essentially

0 co-axial with the rigid shaft 301. Alternatively, the portions 301 and 302 may both be flexible.

Through the combination of movements J1-J3 shown in Fig. 2C, the adaptor 15 can position the curved distal end 203 of guide tube 200 to any desired position in three-dimensional space. By using only a single pivotal motion (Jl), the motion of the adaptor 15 is limited to a single plane. Furthermore, the fixed pivot axis 204 and the longitudinal axis 201 intersect at a

5 fixed point 205. At this fixed point 205, the lateral motion of the guide tube 200 is minimal, thus minimizing trauma to the patient at the aligned incision point 207.

The combination of joints J4-J7 shown in Fig. 2D allow the instrument insert 16 to be actuated with four degrees-of-freedom. When coupled to the adaptor 15, the insert and adaptor provide the instrument 14 with seven degrees-of-freedom. Although four degrees-of-freedom

'.0 are described here for the insert 16, it is understood that greater and fewer numbers of degrees- of-freedom are possible with different instrument inserts. For example an energized insert with only one gripper may be useful for electro-surgery applications, while an insert with an additional linear motion may provide stapling capability.

Fig. 2B shows in dotted outline a cannula 487, through which the guide tube 17 is

'5 inserted at the incision point. Further details of the caimula are illustrated in Figs. 1A-1C. Fig. IA is a longitudinal cross-sectional view showing a cannula 180 in position relative to, for example, an abdominal wall 190 of the patient. Fig. IB is a schematic view of the guide tube 17 being inserted through the flexible cannula 180. Fig. 1C is a schematic view of the guide tube inserted so that the proximal straight section of the tube is positioned at the incision point within

10 the cannula, with the curved distal end of the guide tube and tool 18 disposed at a target or operative site. The cannula 180 includes a rigid base 182 and a flexible end or stem 184. The base may be constructed of a rigid plastic or metal material, while the stem may be constructed of a flexible plastic material having a fluted effect as illustrated in Figs. lA-lC. The length of the base is short enough that the curve in the guide tube can easily pass through a center passage or bore 186 in the base 182. The bore 186 has a larger diameter than the outer diameter of the guide tube 17 to facilitate passage of the guide tube through the cannula 180. A diaphragm or valve 188 seals the guide tube 17 within the cannula 180.

Fig. IA shows a cap 192 secured to the proximal end of the base 182 by one or more o- rings 194. Before the guide tube 17 is inserted in cannula 180, a plug 196 may be inserted to seal the proximal end of the base 182. The plug 196 is secured by a tether 198 to base 182.

In the context of an insertable instrument system, there may generally be distinguished two types of systems, flexible and rigid. A flexible system would use a flexible shaft, which may be defined as a shaft atraumatically insertable in a body orifice or vessel which is sufficiently pliable that it can follow the contours of the body orifice or vessel without causing significant damage to the orifice or vessel. The shaft may have transitions of stiffness along its length, either due to the inherent characteristics of the material comprising the shaft, or by providing controllable bending points along the shaft. For example, it may be desirable to induce a bend at some point along the length of the shaft to make it easier to negotiate a turn in the body orifice. A mechanical bending of the tube may be caused by providing one or more mechanically activatable elements along the shaft at the desired bending point, which a user remotely operates to induce the bending upon demand. The flexible tube may also be caused to bend by engagement with a body portion of greater stiffness, which may, for example, cause the tube to bend or loop around when it contacts the more stiffer body portion. Another way to introduce a bend in the flexible shaft is to provide a mechanical joint, such as the wrist joint provided adjacent to tool 18 as previously described, which, as discussed further, is mechanically actuated by mechanical cabling extending from a drive unit to the wrist joint.

One potential difficulty with flexible shafts or tubes as just described is that it can be difficult to determine the location of any specific portion or the distal end of such shaft or tube within the patient, hi contrast, what is refeπed to as a rigid system may utilize a rigid guide tube 17 as previously described, for which the position of the distal end is more easily determined, simply based upon knowing the relevant dimensions of the tube. Thus, in the system previously described, a fixed pivot point (205 in Fig. 2C) is aligned with an incision point 207. One can determine the position of the rigid guide tube 17, knowing the length from the fixed point to the distal end of the guide tube, which is fixed and predetermined based upon the rigid nature of the guide tube, and the known curvature of the distal end of the guide tube. The point of entry or incision point serves as a pivot point, for which rotation Jl of the guide tube about the fixed axes 204 is limited to maintaining the proximal end of the guide tube in a single plane.

Furthermore, by inserting the more flexible shaft, carrying a tool 18 at its distal end, within the rigid guide tube, the rigid guide tube in effect defines a location of the flexible shaft and its distal end location tool 18.

Also relevant to the present invention is the use of the term "telerobotic" instrument system, in which a physician or medical operator is manually manipulating some type of hand tool, such as a joy stick, and at the same time is looking at the effect of such manual manipulation on a tool which is shown on a display screen, such as a television or a video display screen, accessible to the operator. The operator then can adjust his manual movements in response to visual feedback he receives by viewing the resulting effect on the tool, shaft guide tube, or the like, shown on the display screen. It is understood that the translation of the doctor's manual movement, via a computer processor which feeds a drive unit for the inserted instrument, is not limited to a proportional movement, rather, the movement may be scaled by various amounts, either in a linear fashion or a nonlinear fashion. The scaling factor may depend on where the instrument is located or where a specific portion of the instrument is located, or upon the relative rate of movement by the operator. The computer controlled movement of the guide tube or insert shaft in accordance with the present invention, enables a higher precision or finer control over the movement of the instrument components within the patient. hi practice, the physician, surgeon or medical operator would make an incision point, inserting the flexible cannula previously shown. He would then manually insert the rigid curved guide tube until the distal point of the guide tube was positioned at the operative site. With the guide tube aligned in a single plane, the operator would clamp the guide tube at the support bracket 25 on post 19, to establish the fixed reference pivot point, (205 in Fig. 2C), with the incision point axially aligned under the fixed pivot point. The operator would then manually insert the instrument insert through the guide tube until the tool 18 is extended out from the distal end of the guide tube. The wrist joint on the inner insert shaft is then positioned at a known point, based upon the known length and curvature of the rigid guide tube and distance along that length at which the incision point is disposed. Then, a physician, surgeon or medical operator located at the master station can manually adjust the hand assembly to cause a responsive movement of the inserted instrument. The computer control decides what the responsive movement at the instrument is, including one or more of movement of the guide tube, the whole instrument 14, or the flexible inner shaft or the tool at its distal end. A pivotal movement Jl will rotate the proximal end of the guide tube, causing pivoting of the whole instrument 14. An axial movement J2 of the whole instrument 14 will reposition the instrument in the single plane. A rotational movement J3 of just the guide tube results in the end of the guide tube and end of the inner shaft being taken out of the plane, following a circular path or orbit in accordance with rotation of the guide tube shaft. These three movements Jl, J2 and J3 are defined as setting the position of the wrist joint 303 of the tool.

The other three movements J4-J7, are defined as setting the orientation of the instrument insert, and more specifically, a direction at which the tool is disposed with respect to the wrist joint. Central mechanical cables in the inner shaft cause motions J5-J7, J5 being the wrist movement and J6-J7 being the jaw movement of the tool. The J4 movement is for rotation of the inner shaft by its proximal axis, within the guide tube. These relative movements, and the position and orientation of the instrument insert, will be further described in a later discussion of an example of the computer algorithm for translating the movement at the master station to a movement at the slave station. B. The Master Station M (Figs. 3-7)

At the master station M illustrated in Fig. 1 and shown in further detail in Fig. 3, there are two sets of identical hand controls, one associated with each hand of the surgeon. The outputs of both controls are fed to assembly 7, which is secured to the surgeon's chair 4 by a cross-brace 40. In Fig. 3, the brace 40 is shown secured to the chair frame 42 by means of adaptor plate 44 and bolts 45. Additional bolts 46, with associated nuts and washers secure the cross-brace 40 in a desired lateral alignment (see double headed aπow) along the adaptor plate 44. Additional bolts 49 (see Fig. 4) are used for securing the cross-brace 40 with a base piece 48. The base piece 48 supports lower and upper positioner assemblies, as will now be described.

A lower positioner assembly 50 is supported from the base piece 48. An upper positioner assembly 60 is supported above and in rotational engagement (see aπow Jl in Figs 2A and 4), in a substantially horizontal plane with the lower positioner assembly. This rotational movement Jl enables a lateral or side-to-side manipulation by the surgeon. An arm assembly 90, having a lower proximal end 90A, is pivotally supported (J2) from the upper positioner assembly 60 about a substantially horizontal axis 60A (see Figs. 2A and 3) to enable substantially vertical surgeon manipulation. The arm assembly 90 has an upper distal end 90B (Fig. 3), carrying a hand assembly 110.

As shown in Fig. 4, the lower positioner assembly 50 includes a base member 51 that is secured to the base piece 48 by bolts 52. It also includes a bracket 53 that is secured to the base member 51 by means of bolts 54. The bracket 53 supports a motor/encoder 55. A vertical shaft 56 that extends from the upper positioner assembly 60 to the base member 51, extends through a passage in the base member 51 and is secured to a pulley 57 disposed under the base member 51. A belt 58 engages with pulley 57 and with a further pulley 62 supported from the bracket 53. This further pulley 62 is on a shaft that engages a pulley 59. A further belt 61 intercouples pulley 59 to the shaft of the motor/encoder 55. In Figs. 3 and 4, the base member 51 and bracket 53 are stationary; however, upon rotation about Jl, drive is applied to the pulleys 57 and 59 thus applying drive to the motor/encoder 55. This detects the position and movement from one position to another of the upper positioner assembly 60 relative to the lower positioner assembly 50.

The upper positioner assembly 60 has a main support bracket 63, supporting on either side thereof side support brackets 64 and 66. Side bracket 64 supports a pulley 65, while side bracket 66 supports a pulley 67. Above pulley 65 is another pulley 70, while above pulley 67 is another pulley 72. Pulley 70 is supported on shaft 71, while pulley 72 is supported on shaft 73.

Also supported from side support bracket 64 is another motor/encoder 74, disposed on one side of the main support bracket 63. On the other side of bracket 63 is another motor/encoder 76, supported from side support bracket 66. Motor/encoder 74 is coupled to the shaft 71 by pulleys 65 and 70 and associated belts, such as the belt 75 disposed about pulley 65. Similarly, motor/encoder 76 detects rotation of the shaft 73 through pulleys 67 and 72 by way of two other belts. The pulley 65 is also supported on a shaft coupling to pulley 70 supported by side support bracket 64. A further belt goes about pulley 70 so there is continuity of rotation from the shaft 71 to the motor/encoder 74. These various belts and pulleys provide a movement reduction ratio of, for example, 15 to 1. This is desirable so that any substantial movements at the master station are translated as only slight movements at the slave station, thereby providing a fine and controlled action by the surgeon.

Extending upwardly from main support bracket 63, is ann assembly 90 which includes a pair of substantially parallel and spaced apart upright proximal arms 91 and 92, forming two sides of a parallelogram. Arm 91 is the main vertical arm, while arm 92 is a tandem or secondary arm. The bottoms of arms 91 and 92 are captured between side plates 78 and 79. The secondary arm 92 is pivotally supported by pin 81 (see Fig. 4) from the forward end of the side plates 78 and 79. The main arm 91 is also pivotally supported between the side plates 78 and 79, but is adapted to rotate with the shaft 71. Thus, any forward and back pivoting J2 of the arm 91 is sensed through the shaft 71 down to the motor/encoder 74. This movement J2 in Figs. 2A and 4 translates the forward and rearward motion at the surgeon's shoulder.

The side plates 78 and 79 pivot on an axis defined by shafts 71 and 73. However, the rotation of the plates 78 and 79 are coupled only to the shaft 73 so that pivotal rotation, in unison, of the side plates 78 and 79 is detected by motor/encoder 76. This action is schematically illustrated in Figs. 2A and 4 by J3. Movement J3 represents an up and down motion of the surgeon's elbow. A counterweight 80 is secured to the more rear end of the side plates 78 and 79, to counter-balance the weight and force of the ann assembly 90.

As depicted in Figs. 3 and 4, the tops of the arms 91 and 92 are pivotally supported in a bracket 94 by two pivot pins 89. The bracket 94 also supports a distal arm 96 of the ann assembly 90. The rotation of distal arm 96 is sensed by an encoder 88. Thus, the distal ann 96 is free to rotate J4 about its longitudinal axis, relative to the arms 91 and 92. This rotation J4 translates the rotation of the surgeon's forearm.

The distal end of distal arm 96 is forked, as indicated at 95 in Fig. 4. The forked end 95 supports disc 97 in a fixed position on shaft 98. The disc 97 is fixed in position while the shaft 98 rotates therein; bearings 93 support this rotation. The shaft 98 also supports one end of pivot member 100, which is part of hand assembly 110. The pivot member 100 has at its proximal end a disc 101 that is supported co-axially with the disc 97, but that rotates relative to the fixed disc 97 (see Figs. 5 and 6). This rotation is sensed by an encoder 99 associated with shaft 98. The disc end 101 of the pivot member 100 defines the rotation J5 in Fig. 4, which translates the wrist action of the surgeon, particularly the up and down wrist action. The pivot member 100 has at its other end a disc 103 that rotates co-axially with a disc end 104 of hand piece 105. There is relative rotation between disc 103 and disc 104 about a pivot pin 106 (see Figs. 4 and 6). This relative rotation between the pivot member 100 and the hand piece 105 is detected by a further encoder 109 associated with discs 103 and 104. This action translates lateral or side to side (left and right) action of the surgeon's hand.

At the very distal end of the master station is a forefinger member 112 that rotates relative to end 114 of the hand piece 105. As indicated in Fig. 3, the forefinger piece 112 has a Nelcro loop 116 for holding the surgeon's forefinger to the piece 112. Also extending from the hand piece 105 is a fixed position thumb piece 118, with an associated Nelcro loop 120. In Fig. 3, motion J7 represents the opening and closing between the surgeon's forefinger and thumb.

Reference is now made to Fig. 5, which shows expanded details of the distal end of the ann assembly. One end of the distal ann 96 couples to the fork 95; fork 95 supports one end of the pivot member 100. The encoder 99 detects the position of the pivot member 100 relative to the distal arm 96. The encoder 109 couples to a shaft adapter 119 and detects relative displacement between the pivot member 100 and the hand piece 105. The thumb piece 118 is secured to the side piece 125 which, in turn, is secured as part of the hand piece 105. Bolts 126 secure the finger piece 112 to the rotating disc 130. The distal end encoder 132, with encoding disc 134, detects the relative movement between the surgeon's thumb and forefinger pieces. Fig. 6 shows further details of the distal end of the arm assembly. Pivot member 100 is attached to the distal arm 96 and the hand piece 105. Further details are shown relating to the encoder 132 and the encoder disc 134. A shaft 140, intercoupling hand piece 105 and disc 130, is supported by a bearing 142. The shaft 106 is also supported by a bearing 144.

The detailed cross-sectional view of Fig. 7 is talcen along lines 7-7 of Fig. 3. This illustrates the base member 51 with the pulley 57 supported thereunder by means of the shaft 56. Also illustrated are bearings 147 about shaft 56 which permit the main support bracket 63 to pivot (Jl). Pulley 57 rotates therewith and its rotation is coupled to the encoder 55 for detecting the Jl rotation. Fig. 7 also illustrates the motor/encoder 76, where the separate dashed portions identify motor 76 A and encoder 76B. Fig. 7 also shows further details of the belt and pulley aπangement. For simplicity, only the pulley 67 and its associated support is disclosed. Substantially the same construction is used on the other side of the main support bracket 63 for the mounting of the opposite pulley 65. A belt 149 about pulley 72 also engages with pulley 153 fixedly supported on the shaft 155. The shaft 155 rotates relative to the fixed side support bracket 66, by way of bearings 154. The shaft 155 supports the pulley 67. A toothed belt 150 is disposed about pulley 67 to the smaller pulley 152. The pulley 152 is supported on the shaft of the motor/encoder 76. For the most part all pulleys and belts disclosed herein are toothed so that there is positive engagement and no slippage therebetween. hi order to provide adjustment of the belts 149 and 150, adjusting screws are provided. One set of adjusting screws is shown at 157 for adjusting the position of the side support bracket 66 and thus the belt 149. Also, there are belt adjusting screws 158 associated with support plate 159 for adjusting the position of the encoder and thus adjusting the belt 150.

Fig. 7 also illustrates the pulleys 70 and 72 with their respective support shafts 71 and 73. Fig. 7A shows details of the pulleys 70 and 72 and their support structure. The pulley 70 is associated with motion J2. The pulley 72 is associated with motion J3. The pulley 70 and its associated shaft 71 rotate with the vertical main shaft or arm 91. The pulley 72 and its associated shaft 73 rotate independent of the arm 91 and instead rotate with the rotation of the side plates 78 and 79. One end of shaft 71 is secured with the pulley 70. The other end of the shaft 71 engages a clamp 161, which clamps the other end of the shaft to the support piece 162 of the main vertical arm 91. The shaft 71 is supported for rotation relative to the main support bracket 63 and the side plates 78,79 by means of bearings 164.

The opposite pulley 72 and its shaft 73 are supported so that the pulley 72 rotates with rotation of the yoke formed by side plates 78 and 79. A clamp 166 clamps the shaft 73 to the side plate and thus to the rotating yoke. This yoke actually rotates with the pin of shaft 73. For further support of the shaft 73, there are also provided bearings 168, one associated with the support bracket 63 and another associated with support piece 162.

Regarding the yoke formed by side plates 78 and 79, at one end thereof is a counterweight 80, as illustrated in Figs. 4 and 7A. The other end supports a rotating block 170 (see Fig. 4) that supports the lower end of arm 92 and has oppositely disposed ends of pin 81 rotatably engaged with that end of the yoke (side plates 78 and 79). Bushings or bearings may be provided to allow free rotation of the bottom end of the arm 92 in the yoke that captures this arm. In practice, the following sequence of operations occur at master station M. After the instrument 14 has been placed at the proper operative site, the surgeon is seated at the console and presses an activation button, such as the "enter" button on the keyboard 31 on console 9. This causes the arms at the master station to move to a predetermined position where the surgeon can engage thumb and forefinger grips. Fig. 1 shows such an initial location where the arm assemblies 3 are essentially pointed forward. This automatic initialization movement is activated by the motors in unit 7 at the master station. This coπesponds, in Fig. 2A, to upper arm 96 being essentially horizontal and lower arm 92 being essentially vertical.

While observing the position of the tools on the video display screen 30, the surgeon now positions his hand or hands where they appear to match the position of the respective tool 18 at the operative site (OS in Fig. 2B). Then, the surgeon may again hit the "enter" key. This establishes a reference location for both the slave instrument and the master controls. This reference location is discussed later with details of controller 9 and an algorithm for controlling the operations between the master and slave stations. This reference location is also essentially identified as a fixed position relative to the wrist joint at the distal end of distal arm 96 at pin 98 in Fig. 4 (axis 98 A in Fig. 2A). This is the initial predefined configuration at the master station, definable with three dimensional coordinates.

Now when the surgeon is ready to cany out the procedure, a third keystroke occurs, which may also be a selection of the "enter" key. When that occurs the motors are activated in the drive unit 8 so that any further movement by the surgeon will initiate a coπesponding movement at the slave end of the system.

Reference is now made to Fig. 18 which is a schematic perspective view of an alternate embodiment of an input device or hand assembly 860A. Rather than providing separate thumb and forefinger members, as illustrated previously, the surgeon's hand is holding a guide shaft 861 A. On the shaft 861 there is provided a push-button 866A that activates an encoder 868A. The guide shaft 861 A may be considered more similar to an actual surgical instrument intended to be handled directly by the surgeon in performing unassisted nonrobotic surgery. Thus, the hand piece 860A illustrated in Fig. 18 may be more advantageous to use for some types of operative procedures.

Fig. 18 illustrates, in addition to the encoder 868 A, three other encoder blocks, 862A, 863A and 864A. These are schematically illustrated as being intercoupled by joints 870A and 871 A. All four of these encoders would provide the same joint movements depicted previously in connection with joints J4-J7. For example, the button 866A may be activated by the surgeon to open and close the jaws. C. The Slave Station S CI - Slave Overview (Figs. 8-8D)

Reference is now made to Fig. 8 which is a perspective view illustrating the present embodiment of the slave station S. A section of the surgical tabletop T is shown, from which extends the rigid angled post 19 that supports the surgical instrument 14 at mounting bracket 25. The drive unit 8 is also supported from the side of the tabletop by an L-shaped brace 210 that canies an attaching member 212. The brace is suitably secured to the table T and the drive unit 8 is secured to the attaching member 212 by means of a clamp 214. A lower vertical arm 19A of the rigid support rod 19 is secured to the attaching member 212 by another clamping mechanism 216, which mechanism 216 permits vertical adjustment of the rigid support 19 and attached instrument 14. Horizontal adjustment of the surgical instrument is possible by sliding the mounting bracket 25 along an upper horizontal arm 19B of the support rod 19. One embodiment of the drive unit 8 is described in further detail in Fig. 17. A prefeπed embodiment is illustrated in Figs. 8F-8L.

The clamping bracket 216 has a knob 213 that can be loosened to reposition the support rod 19 and tightened to hold the support rod 19 in the desired position. The support rod 19, at its vertical arm 19A, essentially moves up and down through the clamp 216. Similarly, the mounting bracket 25 can move along the horizontal arm 19B of the support rod 19, and be secured at different positions therealong. The clamp 214, which supports the drive unit 8 on the operating table, also has a knob 215 which can be loosened to enable the drive unit to be moved to different positions along the attaching member 212. Fig. 8 also shows the cable-in-conduit bundles 21 and 22. The cables in the bundle 21 primarily control the action of the adapter or guide member 15. The cables in bundle 22 primarily control the tool 18, all described in further detail below.

Fig. 8 also illustrates a support yoke 220 to which is secured the mounting bracket 25, a pivot piece 222, and support rails 224 for a carriage 226. Piece 222 pivots relative to the support yoke 220 about pivot pin 225. Fig. 2B is a schematic representation of the joint movements associated with the slave station S. The first joint movement Jl represents a pivoting of the instrument 14 about pivot pin 225 at axis 225 A. The second joint movement J2 is a transition of the carriage 226 on the rails 224, which essentially moves the carriage and instrument 14 supported therefrom, in the direction indicated by the aπow 227. This is a movement toward and away from the operative site OS. Both of these movements Jl and J2 are controlled by cabling in bundle 21 in order to place the distal end of the guide tube 17 at the operative site. The operative site is defined as the general area in proximity to where movement of the tool 18 occurs, usually in the viewing area of the endoscope and away from the incision. Fig. 8 also shows a coupler 230 pivotally coupled from a base piece 234 by means of a pivot pin 232. The coupler 230 is for engaging with and supporting the proximal end of the instrument insert 16.

Reference is now made to Figs. 8A, 8B and 8C which are perspective views of a prefeπed clamping aπangement which allows a limited amount of pivoting of the mounting bracket 25 (which supports instrument 14). The mounting bracket 25 includes a securing knob 450 that clamps the mounting bracket 25 to a base 452. The mounting bracket is basically two pieces 455 and 457. A bottom piece 457 is adapted to receive the upper arm of rigid supporting rod 19 (see Fig. 8B) and is secured thereto by a bolt 458. A top piece 455 is pivotably adjustable relative to the bottom piece 457 by means of slots 460 that engage with bolts 462. When bolts 462 are loosened, the top piece 455 may be rotated relative to the bottom piece 457 so that the instrument 14 may be held in different positions. The bolts 462 may then be tightened when the instrument 14 is in a desired angular position.

An adjustable bracket 25 and support post 19 may be provided at each side of the table for mounting a surgical instrument 14 on both the left and the right sides of the table. Depending upon the particular surgical procedure, it may be desirable to orient a pair of guide tubes on the left and right sides in different arrangements. In the arrangement of Fig. 1, the guide tubes 17, 17 are aπanged so that the respective tools 18, 18 face each other. However, for other procedures it may be desirable to dispose the guides in different positions, allowed by the adjustability of brackets 25, 25 on their respective support posts 19, 19. Fig. 8D shows a template 470 useful in a prefeπed procedure for positioning the guide tube. In this procedure, when the support post 19 is initially positioned, the mounting bracket 25 holds the template 470 (rather than the instrument 14). The template 470 has a right angle arm 472 with a locating ball 474 at the end thereof. The ann 472 extends a distance that is substantially the same as the lateral displacement of the guide tube 200 from pivot point 205 above the incision point 207 in Fig. 2C (see also the trocar 487 at the incision point 485 in Fig. 2B). The mounting bracket 25 is adjusted on the support post 19 so that the ball 474 coincides with the intended incision point of the patient. Thereafter, the template is removed and when the instrument 14 is then clamped to the mounting bracket, the guide tube 17 will be in the proper position vis-a-vis the patient's incision. Thus, the template 470 is used to essentially position the bracket 25 where it is desired to be located with the ball 474 coinciding with the incision point. Once the template is removed and the instrument is secured, the guide tube 17 will be in the proper position relative to the incision.

In connection with the operation of the present system, once the patient is on the table, the drive unit 8 is clamped to the table. It's position can be adjusted along the table by means of the attaching member 212. The lower ann 19A of the rigid support rod 19 is secured to the table by the bracket 216. The surgeon determines where the incision is to be made. The mounting bracket on the rigid rod 19 is adjusted and the template 470 is secured to the clamp 25. The ball 474 on the template is lined up with the incision so as to position the securing rod 19 and clamp 25 in the proper position. At that time the rigid rod 19 and the securing clamp 25 are fixed in position. Then the template is removed and the instrument 14 is positioned on the clamp 25. The incision has been made and the guide tube 17 is inserted through the incision into the patient and the instrument 14 is secured at the fixed position of mounting bracket 25.

With regard to the incision point, reference is made to Fig. 2B which shows the incision point along the dashed line 485. Also shown at that point is the cannula 487. hi some surgical procedures it is common to use a cannula in combination with a trocar that may be used to pierce the skin at the incision. The guide tube 17 may then be inserted through the flexible caimula so that the tool is at the operative site. The cannula typically has a port at which a gas such as carbon dioxide enters for insufflating the patient, and a switch that can be actuated to desufflate. The cannula may typically include a valve mechanism for preventing the escape of the gas. C2 - Slave Cabling and Decoupling (Figs. 8E-8L)

Fig. 8E illustrates a mechanical cabling sequence at the slave station from the drive unit 8, through adaptor 15 and insert 16, to the tool 18. Reference will again be made to Fig. 8E after a description of further details of the slave station.

In the present embodiment the cable conduits 21 and 22 are detachable from the drive unit 8. This is illustrated in Fig. 8F wherein the drive unit includes separable housing sections 855 and 856. The instrument 14 along with the attached cable conduits 21 and 22 and housing section 856 are, as a unit, of relatively light weight and easily maneuverable (portable) to enable insertion of the instrument 14 into the patient prior to attachment to the bracket 25 on support post 19.

Fig. 8F is an exploded perspective view of the cable drive mechanism and instrument illustrating the de-coupling concepts of the present embodiment at the slave station S. A section of the surgical tabletop T which supports the rigid post 19 is shown. The drive unit 8 is supported from the side of the tabletop by an L-shaped brace 210 that canies an attaching member 212. The brace 210 is suitably secured to the table T. The drive unit 8 is secured to the attaching member 212 by means of a clamp 214. Similarly, the rigid support rod 19 is secured to the attaching member 212 by means of another clamping mechanism 216.

Also in Fig. 8F the instrument 14 is shown detached from (or not yet attached to) support post 19 at bracket 25. The instrument 14 along with cables 21 and 22 and lightweight housing section 856 provide a relatively small and lightweight decoupleable slave unit that is readily manually engageable (insertable) into the patient at the guide tube 17.

After insertion, the instrument assembly, with attached cables 21, 22 and housing 856, is attached to the support post 19 by means of the knob 26 engaging a threaded hole in base 452 of adapter 15. At the other end of the support post 19, bracket 216 has a knob 213 that is tightened when the support rod 19 is in the desired position. The support rod 19, at its vertical arm 19 A, essentially moves up and down through the clamp 216. Similarly, the mounting bracket 25 can move along the horizontal ann 19B of the support rod to be secured at different positions therealong. A further clamp 214 enables the drive unit 8 to be moved to different positions along the attaching member 212. Fig. 8F also shows the coupler 230 which is pivotally coupled from base piece 234 by means of the pivot pin 232. The coupler 230 is for engaging with and supporting the proximal end of the instrument insert 16.

Reference is now made to Fig. 8G which illustrates the mechanical cabling sequence at the slave station. The cabling extends from a motor 800 (of the drive unit 8), via adaptor 15, and via the instrument insert 16 to the tool 18. The adapter 15 and insert 16 are intercoupled by their associated interlocking wheels 324 and 334. Cables 606 and 607, which in reality, are a single- looped cable, extend between the interlocking wheel 334 and the tool 18. These cables 606, 607 are used for pivoting the wrist-joint mechanism (at the tool 18), in the direction of aπow J5 illustrated in Fig. 8G.

Fig. 8G also illustrates an idler pulley 344 on the insert 16, as well as a pair of pulleys 317 associated with the wheel 324 on the adapter 15. Cabling 315 extends from interlocking wheel 324 about the pulleys 317, about an idler pulley 318 and through sheathing 319 to conduit turn buckles 892. The cables 323 extending from the turn buckles 892 are wrapped about a coupler spindle 860. Associated with the coupler spindle 860 is a coupler disk 862 secured to an output shaft of one of the motors 800 of drive unit 8.

Reference is now made to further cross-sectional views illustrated in Figs. 8H-8L. Fig. 8H is a partially broken away front-elevational view as taken along line 8H-8H of Fig. 8F. Figs. 81 and 8J are cross-sectional views taken respectively along lines 81-81 and 8J-8J of Fig. 8H. Fig. 8K is a cross-sectional side view taken along line 8K-8K of Fig. 8H. Lastly, Fig. 8L is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 8L-8L of Fig. 8K.

These cross-sectional views illustrate a series of seven motors 800, one for each of an associated mechanical cabling assembly. In, Fig. 8K, there is illustrated one of the motors 800 with its output shaft 865 extending therefrom. The motor 800 is secured to a housing wall 866 (also shown in Fig. 8F). Fig. 8K also shows the angle iron 868 that is used to support the housing section 855 from the bracket 214 (see Fig. 8F).

A coupler disk 862 is illustrated in Figs. 8J and 8K, secured to the shaft 865 by a set screw 869. The coupler disk 862 also supports a registration pin 871 that is adapted to be received in slots 873 of the coupler spindle 860. Figs. 8K and 8L illustrate the pin 871 in one of the slots 873. The registration pin 871 is biased outwardly from the coupler disk by means of a coil spring 874. The first housing section 855 also carries oppositely disposed thumb screws 875 (see Fig. 8H). These may be threaded through flanges 876 as illustrated in Fig. 8J. When loosened, these set screws enable the second housing section 856 to engage with the first housing section 855. For this purpose, there is provided a slot 878 illustrated in Fig. 8F. Once the second housing section 856 is engaged with the first housing section 855, then the thumb screws 875 may be tightened to hold the two housing sections together, at the same time facilitating engagement between the coupler disks 862 and the coupler spindles 860.

The cross-sectional view of Fig. 8K shows that at the end of coupler disk 862 where it is adapted to engage with the coupler spindle 860, the coupler disk is tapered as illustrated at 879. This facilitates engagement between the coupler disk and the coupler spindle.

As illusfrated in Fig. 8F, the two housing sections 855 and 856 are separable from each other so that the relatively compact slave unit can be engaged and disengaged from the motor aπay, particularly from the first housing section 855 that contains the motors 800. The first housing section 855, as described previously, contains the motors 800 and their coπesponding coupler disks 862. In Fig. 8F, the second housing section 856 primarily accommodates and supports the coupler spindles 860 and the cabling extending from each of the spindles to the cable bundles 21 and 22 depicted in Fig. 8F.

Figs. 8J and 8K illustrate one of the coupler spindles 860 supported within a pair of bearings 881. The cable associated with the coupler spindle is secured to the coupler spindle by means of a cable clamp screw 883. Figs. 8J and 8K illustrate the cable extending about the coupler spindle, and secured by the cable clamp screw 883. The particular cable illustrated in

Figs. 8J about spindle 860 is identified as cable D.

In Figs. 8H-8K, the cabling is identified by cables A-G. This represents seven separate cables that are illustrated, for example, in Fig. 8H as extending into the second housing section 856 with a flexible boot 885 (see the top of Figs. 8H and 8K) extending thereabout.

At the top of the second housing section 856 there is provided a conduit stop or retainer

888 that is secured in place at the top of the housing section in an appropriate manner. The conduit retainer 888 has through slots 890, one for accommodating each of the cables A-G (see

Fig. 81). Refer in particular to Figs. 8H and 8K illustrating the cables A-G extending through the retainer 888 in the slots thereof. Each of the cables may also be provided with a rurnbuckle 892 that is useful in tensioning the cables. Each turnbuckle 892 screws into an accommodating threaded passage in the retainer 888, as illustrated in Fig. 8K.

In Fig. 8H the coupler spindles are all disposed in a linear aπay. To properly accommodate the cabling, the spindles are of varying diameter, commencing at the top of the second housing section 856 with the smallest diameter spindle and progressing in slightly larger diameter spindles down to the bottom of the second housing section 856 where there is disposed the largest diameter coupler spindle.

The detachability of the two housing sections 855 and 856 enables the cleaning of certain components which are disposed above the plane of the operating table, here refeπed to as the sterile field. More specifically, the detachable housing 856 with attached cables 21 and 22 and instrument 14, needs to be sterilized after use, except for the instrument insert 16 which is an integral disposal unit. The sterilization of the designated components may include a mechanical cleaning with brushes or the like in a sink, followed by placement in a tray and autoclave in which the components are subjected to superheated steam to sterilize the same. In this manner, the adapter 15 is reusable. Also, the engagement between the adapter 15 and insert 16 is such that the disposable insert element may have holes, which are relatively hard to clean, whereas the recleanable adapter element has a minimum number of coπesponding projections, which are relatively easier to clean than the holes. By disposable, it is meant that the unit, here the insert 16, is intended for a single use as sold in the marketplace. The disposable insert interfaces with an adapter 15 which is intended to be recleaned (sterilized) between repeated uses. Preferably, the disposable unit, here the insert 16, can be made of relatively lower cost polymers and materials which, for example, can be molded by low-cost injection molding. In addition, the disposable instrument insert 16 is designed to require a relatively minimal effort by the operator or other assistant who is required to attach the insert to the adapter 15. More specifically, the operator is not required to rethread any of the multiple mechanical cabling assemblies. C3 - Slave Instrument Assembly (Figs. 9-16)

Further details of the detachable and portable slave unit are shown in Figs. 9-16. For example, Fig. 11 shows the carriage 226 which extends from the mounting bracket 25 on support post 19. Below carriage 226, a base piece 234 is supported from the carriage 226 by a rectangular post 228. The post 228 supports the entire instrument assembly, including the adaptor 15 and the instrument insert 16 once engaged. As indicated previously, a support yoke 220 is supported in a fixed position from the mounting bracket 25 via base 452. Cabling 21 extends into the support yoke 220. The support yoke 220 may be considered as having an upper leg 236 and a lower leg 238 (see Fig. 12). In the opening 239 between these legs 236, 238 there is arranged the pivot piece 222 with its attached base 240. Below the base 240 and supported by the pivot pin 225 is a circular disc 242 that is stationary relative to the yoke legs 236, 238. A bearing 235 in leg 236, a bearing 237 in leg 238, and a bearing 233 in disc 242, allow rotation of these members relative to the pivot pin 225.

Disposed within a recess in the support yoke 220, as illusfrated in Fig. 13, is a capstan 244 about which cables 245 and 246 extend and are coupled to opposite sides of the arcuate segment 248 of pivot piece 222. The ends of cables 245 and 246 are secured in holes at opposite sides of arcuate segment 248. The cables 245 and 246 operate in conjunction with each other. At their other ends, these cables connect to a motor. Depending upon the direction of rotation of the motor, either cable 245 or cable 246 will be pulled, causing the pivot price 232 to rotate in a direction indicated by Jl .

The base 240 of pivot piece 222 also has at one end thereof an end piece 241 into which are partially supported the ends of rails 224 (see Fig. 13). The other ends of the rails are supported by an end piece 251, which also has cabling 257, 258 for the carriage 226 extending therethrough, such as illustrated in Fig. 14. A capstan 253 is supported from a lower surface of the base 240. Another capstan 256 is supported within the support yoke 220. The cables 257 and 258 extend about the capstan 256, about disc 242 (which may be grooved to receive the cables), to the caπiage 226, and from there about another capstan 260 disposed within end member 262 (see Fig. 11). End member 262 supports the other ends of the rails 224, upon which the carriage 226 transitions. The ends of the cables 257 and 258 are secured appropriately within the caπiage. Fig. 11 illustrates by the aπow 227 the forward and backward motion of the carriage 226, and thus of the attached actuator 15 toward and away from the operative site.

Now, reference is made to Fig. 15 illustrating a portion of the slave unit with the instrument insert 16 partially removed and rotated from the base piece 234. Fig. 15 shows a portion of the carriage mechanism, including the carriage 226 supported on rails 224. As indicated previously, below the carriage 226 there is a support post 228 that supports the base piece 234. It is at the base piece 234, that cabling 22 from the drive unit 8 is received. Also extending from the base piece 234 is the guide tube 17 of adapter 15. The guide tube 17 accommodates, through its center axial passage, the instrument insert 16. Also, supported from the base piece 234, at pivot pin 232, is the adaptor coupler 230. The adaptor coupler 230 pivots out of the way so that the instrument insert 16 can be inserted into the adaptor

5 15. Fig. 15 shows the instrument insert 16 partially withdrawn from the adaptor 15. The pivot pin 232 may be longer than the distance between the two parallel bars 270 and 272 carried by base piece 234, so that the pin not only allows rotation, but can also slide relative to bars 270 and 272. This permits the coupler 230 to not only pivot, but also to move laterally to enable better access of the instrument insert 16 into the base piece 234. The instrument insert 16 has a base

0 (coupler) 300 that in essence is a companion coupler to the adapter coupler 230.

With further reference to Fig. 15, the instrument insert 16 is comprised of a coupler 300 at the proximal end, and at the distal end an elongated shaft or stem, which in this embodiment has a more rigid proximal stem section 301 and a flexible distal stem section 302 (see Fig. 15A). The distal stem section 302 canies the tool 18 at its distal end. The instrument coupler 300

5 includes one or more wheels 339 wliich laterally engage complimentary wheels 329 of the coupler 230 on adaptor 15. The instrument coupler 300 also includes an axial wheel 306 at its distal end tlirough which the stem 301 extends, and wliich also engages a wheel on the adaptor, as to be described below in further detail. The axial engagement wheel 306 is fixed to the more rigid stem section 301, and is used to rotate the tool 18 axially at the distal end of the flexible

10 stem section 302 (as shown by aπow J4 in Fig. 2B).

The base piece 234 has secured thereto two parallel spaced-apart bars 270 and 272. It is between these bars 270 and 272 that is disposed the pivot pin 232. The pivot pin 232 may be supported at either end in bearings in the bars 270 and 272, and as previously mentioned, has limited sliding capability so as to move the adapter coupler 230 away from base piece 234 to

15 enable insertion of the instrument insert 16. A leg 275 is secured to the pivot pin 232. The leg 275 extends from the coupler 230 and provides for pivoting of coupler 230 with respect to base piece 234. Thus, the combination of pivot pin 232 and the leg 275 pennits a free rotation of the coupler 230 from a position where it is clear to insert the instrument insert 16 to a position where the coupler 230 intercouples with the base 300 of the instrument insert 16. As depicted in Fig.

>0 15, the bars 270 and 272 also accommodate therethrough cabling from cable bundles 271. The base piece 234 also rotatably supports the rigid tube 17 (illustrated by aπow J3 in Fig. 2B). As indicated previously, it is the connection to the carriage 226 via post 228 that enables the actuator 15 to move toward and away from the operative site. The rotation of the tube 17 is carried out by rotation of pulley 277 (see Fig. 15). A pair of cables from the bundle 271 extend about the pulley 277 and can rotate the pulley in either direction depending upon which cable is activated. To cany out this action, the tube 17 is actually supported on bearings within the base piece 234. Also, the proximal end of the tube 17 is fixed to the pulley 277 so that the guide tube 17 rotates with the pulley 277.

Also supported from the very proximal end of the tube 17, is a second pulley 279 that is supported for rotation about the actuator tube 17. For this purpose a bearing is disposed between the pulley 279 and the actuator tube. The pulley 279 is operated from another pair of cables in the bundle 271 that operate in the same manner. The cabling is such that two cables couple to the pulley 279 for operation of the pulley in opposite directions. Also, as depicted in Fig. 15, the pulley 279 has a detent at 280 that is adapted to mate with a tab 281 on the axial wheel 306 of instrument coupler 300. Thus, as the pulley 279 is rotated, this causes a rotation of the axial wheel 306 and a coπesponding rotation of flexible and rigid sections 301, 302 of the instrument insert 16, including the tool 18.

Again referring to Fig. 15, a block 310 is secured to one side of the coupler 230. The block 310 is next to the leg 275 and contains a series of small, preferably plastic, pulleys that accommodate cabling 315. These cables extend to other pulleys 317 disposed along the length of the coupler 230. Refer also to the cabling diagram of Fig. 8E.

In this embodiment, the coupler 230 includes wheels 320, 322 and 324. Each of these wheels is provided with a center pivot 325 to enable rotation of the wheels in the coupler 230. The knob 327 is used to secure together the adapter coupler 230 and the base coupler 300 of the instrument insert 16.

For the three wheels, 320, 322 and 324, there are six coπesponding pulleys 317, two pulleys being associated with each wheel (see Figs. 8E and 1 IB). Similarly, there are six pulleys in the block 310. Thus, for cabling bundle 315 there are six separate cable conduits for the six separate cables that couple to the wheels 320, 322 and 324. Two cables connect to each wheel for controlling respective opposite directions of rotation thereof. Each of the wheels 320, 322 and 324 have a half-moon portion with a flat side 329. Similarly, the instrument base 300 has companion wheels 330, 332 and 334 with complimentary half-moon construction for engagement with the wheels 320, 322 and 324. The wheel 320 controls one of the jaws of the tool 18 (motion J6 in Fig. 2B). The wheel 324 controls the other jaw of the tool 18 (motion J7 in Fig. 2B). The middle wheel 322 controls the wrist pivoting of the tool 18 (motion J5 in Fig. 2B). Also refer to Fig. 8E showing cabling for controlling tool movement.

The coupler 300 of insert 16 has three wheels 330, 332 and 334, each with a pivot pin 331, and wliich mate with the coπesponding wheels 320, 322 and 324, respectively of the adaptor coupler, hi Fig. 15 the instrument base piece 300 is shown rotated from its normal position for proper viewing of the wheels. Normally, it is rotated through 180° so that the half- moon wheels 330, 332 and 334 engage with the coπesponding coupler wheels 320, 322 and 324. Also illustrated in Fig. 15 are capstans or idler pulleys 340, 342 and 344 associated, respectively, with wheels 330, 332 and 334.

As shown in Fig. 15A, each wheel of the instrument coupler 300 has two cables 376 that are affixed to the wheel (e.g., wheel 334 in Fig. 8E) and wrapped about opposite sides at its base. The lower cable rides over one of the idler pulleys or capstans (e.g., capstan 34 in Fig. 8E), which routes the cables toward the center of the instrument stem 301. It is desirable to maintain the cables near the center of the instrument stem. The closer the cables are to the central axis of the stem, the less disturbance motion on the cables when the insert stem is rotated. The cables may then be routed through fixed-length plastic tubes that are affixed to the proximal end of the stem section 301 and the distal end of the stem section 302. The tubes maintain constant length pathways for the cables as they move within the instrument stem.

The instrument coupler 300 is also provided with a registration slot 350 at its distal end. The slot 350 engages with a registration pin 352 supported between the bars 270 and 272 of base piece 234. The coupler 300 is also provided with a clamping slot 355 on its proximal end for accommodating the threaded portion of the clamping knob 327 (on adapter coupler 230). The knob 327 affirmatively engages and interconnects the couplers 230 and 300.

In operation, once the surgeon has selected a particular instrument insert 16, it is inserted into the adapter 15. The proximal stem 301, having the distal stem 302 and the tool 18 at the distal end, extend through the adapter guide tube 17. Fig. 8 shows the tool 18 extending out of the guide tube 17 when the surgical instrument 16 is fully inserted into the adaptor 15. When it is fully inserted, the tab 281 on the axial wheel 306 engages with the mating detent 280 in pulley 279. Also, the registration slot 350 engages with the registration pin 352. Then the coupler 230 is pivoted over the base 300 of the instrument insert 16. As this pivoting occurs, the respective wheels of the coupler 230 and the coupler 300 interengage so that drive can occur from the coupler 230 to the insert 16. The knob 327 is secured down so that the two couplers 230 and 300 remain in fixed relative positions.

Reference is also now made to detailed cross-sectional views of Figs. 11 A, 11B and IIC. Fig. 11A is a cross sectional view taken along line 11A-11A of Fig. 11. Fig. 1 IB is a cross- sectional view taken along line 11B-11B of Fig. 11A. Fig. I IC is a further cross-sectional view taken through Fig. 1 IA along line 1 lC-1 lC.

The base piece 234 of adapter 15 rotatably supports the guide tube 17, allowing rotation J3 shown in Fig. 2B. As noted in Fig. 11 A, there are a pair of bearings 360 disposed at each end within the axial passage 362 in the base piece 234. The rotation of the guide tube 17 is carried out by rotation of the first pulley 277. In Fig. 11 A there is a set screw 364 that secures the pulley 277 to the guide tube 17. Nylon spacers 366 separate various components, such as the base piece 234 and the pulley 277, the two pulleys 277 and 279, and base 300 and wheel 306.

A nylon bearing 368 is also provided between the second pulley 279 and the guide tube 17. Fig. 11A also shows the proximal stem section 301 of the insert 16 inside of the guide tube 17. A nylon bearing 370 is supported within the front block 372 of the insert 16.

In Fig. 11 A, the second pulley 279 is supported from the proximal end of the tube 17. The bearing 368 is disposed between the pulley 279 and the tube 17. The pulley 279 has a detent 280 that is adapted to mate with a tab 281 on the axial wheel 306. Thus, when the pulley 279 is rotated by cabling 271 (see Fig. IIC), this causes a rotation of the axial wheel 306, and a coπesponding rotation (motion J4 in Fig. 2B) of the sections 301, 302 of the instrument insert 16, including the tool 18. The very proximal end of the section 301 is illustrated in Fig. 11A as being rotatable relative to the bearing 370.

Fig. 11A also shows the intercoupling of the instrument and adapter couplers 230 and

300. Here wheel 324 is shown interlocked with wheel 334. Figs. 11A and IIC also show cabling at 376. This cabling includes six separate cables that extend through the length of the stem 301, 302 of the instrument. The cabling is illustrated connecting about an idler pulley 344. The cabling associated with wheel 334 is secured by the cable clamping screw 378. For further details of the cabling, refer to Fig. 8E.

Fig. 1 IB is a cross-sectional view taken along 11B-11B of Fig. 11A which again shows the cooperating wheels 324 and 334. Also illustrated is a cable clamping set screw 380 that is 5 used to secure the cabling 376 to wheel 324. A cable guide rail 382 is attached and forms part of the base of the adapter coupler 230. The cable guide rail 382 contains six idler pulleys 317, one of which is illustrated in Fig. 11B. It is noted that cabling 376 extends about this pulley to the cable idler block 310 where conduits 315 are coupled. The cable guide idler block 310 includes a series of six idler pulleys shown in dotted outline in Fig. 1 IB at 386. 0 Fig. IIC is a cross-sectional view taken along line 11C-11C of Fig. 11 A, which shows further details at the pulley 279. Also illustrated is post 228 supporting the base piece 234 of the instrument insert, and cabling 376 extending tlirough the instrument.

Figs. 16A and 16B illustrate the construction of one fonn of a tool. Fig. 16A is a perspective view and Fig. 16B is an exploded view. The tool 18 is comprised of four members 5 including a base 600, link 601, upper grip or jaw 602 and lower grip or jaw 603. The base 600 is affixed to the flexible stem section 302 (see Fig. 15 A). The flexible stem may be constructed of a ribbed plastic. This flexible section is used so that the instrument will readily bend through the curved part of the guide tube 17.

The link 601 is rotatably connected to the base 600 about axis 604. Fig. 16B illustrates a :0 pivot pin 620 at axis 604. The upper and lower jaws 602 and 603 are rotatably coimected by pivot pin 624 to the link 601 about axis 605, where axis 605 is essentially perpendicular to axis

604.

Six cables 606-611 actuate the four members 600-603 of the tool. Cable 606 travels tlirough the insert stem (section 302) and through a hole in the base 600, wraps around curved ,5 surface 626 on link 601, and then attaches on link 601 at 630. Tension on cable 606 rotates the link 601, and attached upper and lower grips 602 and 603, about axis 604 (motion J5 in Fig. 2B).

Cable 607 provides the opposing action to cable 606, and goes through the same routing pathway, but on the opposite sides of the insert. Cable 607 may also attach to link 601 generally at 630. 0 Cables 608 and 610 also travel through the stem 301, 302 and though holes in the base

600. The cables 608 and 610 then pass between two fixed posts 612. These posts constrain the cables to pass substantially tlirough the axis 604, which defines rotation of the link 601. This construction essentially allows free rotation of the link 601 with minimal length changes in cables 608-611. In other words, the cables 608-611, which actuate the jaws 602 and 603, are essentially decoupled from the motion of link 601. Cables 608 and 610 pass over rounded sections and terminate on jaws 602 and 603, respectively. Tension on cables 608 and 610 rotate jaws 602 and 603 counter-clockwise about axis 605. Finally, as shown in Fig. 16B, the cables 609 and 611 pass through the same routing pathway as cables 608 and 610, but on the opposite side of the instrument. These cables 609 and 611 provide the clockwise motion to jaws 602 and 603, respectively. At the jaws 602 and 603, as depicted in Fig. 16B, the ends of cables 608-611 may be secured at 635, for example by the use of an adhesive such as epoxy glue, or the cables could be crimped to the jaws.

To review the allowed movements of the various components of the slave unit, the instrument insert 16 slides through the guide tube 17 of adaptor 15, and laterally engages the adaptor coupler 230. The adaptor coupler 230 is pivotally mounted to the base piece 234. The base piece 234 rotationally mounts the guide tube 17 (motion J3). The base piece 234 is affixed to the linear slider or carriage assembly (motion J2). The carriage assembly in turn is pivotally mounted at the pivot 225 (motion Jl).

Reference is now made to Figs. 16C and 16D. Fig. 16C is a fragmentary perspective view of an alternate set of jaws, refened to as needle drivers. Fig. 16D is a side elevation view of the needle drivers. This embodiment employs an over-center camming aπangement so that the jaw is not only closed, but also at a forced closure.

In Figs. 16C and 16D, similar reference characters are employed with respect to the embodiment of Figs. 16A and 16B. Thus, there is provided a base 600, a link 601, an upper jaw 650 and a lower jaw 652. The base 600 is affixed to the flexible stem section 302. Cabling 608- 611 operate the end jaws. Linkages 654 and 656 provide the over-center camming operation.

The two embodiments of Figs. 16A-16D employ a fixed wrist pivot. An alternate construction is illusfrated in Figs. 16E-16H in which there is provided, in place of a wrist pivot, a flexible or bending section. In Figs 16E-16H, similar reference characters are used for many of the parts, as they coπespond to elements found in Figs. 16A-16D. In the embodiment of Figs. 16E-16H, the tool 18 is comprised of an upper grip or jaw

602 and a lower grip or jaw 603, supported from a link 601. Each of the jaws 602,603, as well as the link 601, may be constructed of metal, or alternatively, the link 601 may be constructed of a hard plastic. The link 601 is engaged with the distal end of the flexible stem section 302. In this regard reference may also be made to Fig. 15A that shows the ribbed, plastic construction of the flexible stem section 302. Fig. 16E shows only the very distal end of the stem section 302,

5 terminating in a bending or flexing section 660. The flexible stem section 302 is constructed so as to be flexible and thus has a substantial length of a ribbed surface as illusfrated in Fig. 15 A. Also, at the flexible section 660, flexibility and bending is enhanced by means of diametrically- disposed slots 662 that define therebetween ribs 664. The flexible section 660 also has a longitudinally extending wall 665, through which cabling extends, particularly for operation of

.0 the tool jaws. The very distal end of the bending section 660 terminates with an opening 666 for receiving the end 668 of the link 601. The cabling 608-611 is preferably at the center of the flex section at wall 665 so as to effectively decouple flex or bending motions from tool motions.

Regarding the operation of the tool, reference is made to the cables 608,609,610, and 611. All of these extend through the flexible stem section and also through the wall 665 such as

.5 illustrated in Fig.l6G. The cables extend to the respective jaws 602,603 for controlling operation thereof in a manner similar to that described previously in connection with Figs.lόA- 16D. Figs. 16E-16H also illustrate the cables 606 and 607 which couple through the bending section 660 and terminate at ball ends 606A and 607 A, respectively. Again, refer to Fig. 16G that shows these cables. Figs.l6F and 16H also show the cables 606,607 with the ball ends 606A,

Ϊ0 607A, respectively. These ball ends are adapted to urge against the very end of the bendable section in opening 666. When these cables are pulled individually, they can cause a bending of the wrist at the bending or flexing section 660. Fig. 16H illustrates the cable 607 having been pulled in the direction of aπow 670 so as to flex the section 660 in the manner illusfrated in Fig. 16H. Pulling on the other cable 606 causes a bending in the opposite direction.

15 By virtue of the slots 662 forming the ribs 664, there is provided a structure that bends quite readily, essentially bending the wall 665 by compressing at the slots such as in the mamier illustrated in Fig. 16H. This construction eliminates the need for a wrist pin or hinge.

The embodiment illustrated in Fig.l6F has a separate link 601. However, in an alternate embodiment, this link 601 may be fabricated integrally with, and as part of, the bending section

SO 660. For this purpose the link 601 would then be constructed of a relatively hard plastic rather than the metal link as illustrated in Fig. 16F and would be integral with section 660. In another embodiment, the bending or flexing section 660 can be constructed so as to have orthogonal bending by using four cables separated at 90° intervals and by providing a center support with ribs and slots about the entire periphery. This embodiment is shown in Figs. 161- 16K. The bending section 613 is at the end of flexible stem section 302. The cables 608,609,610 and 611 are for actuation of the jaws 602 and 603 in the same manner as for earlier embodiments. The link 601 couples the bending section 613 to the jaws 602 and 603.

The bending section has a center support wall 614 supporting ribs 618 separated by slots

619. This version enables bending in orthogonal directions by means of four cables 606,607,616 and 617, instead of the single degree-of-freedom of Fig. 16E. The operation of cables 606 and 607 provides flexing in one degree-of-freedom, while an added degree-of-freedom is provided by operation of cables 616 and 617.

Mention has also been made of various forms of tools that can be used. The tool may comprise a variety of articulated tools such as: jaws, scissors, graspers, needle holders, micro dissectors, staple appliers, tackers, suction irrigation tools and clip appliers. In addition, the tool may comprise a non-articulated instrument such as: a cutting blade, probe, irrigator, catheter or suction orifice.

C4 - Slave Drive Unit (Figs. 17- 17 A)

Reference is now made to the perspective view of the drive unit 8, previously illustrated in Fig. 8. Fig. 17 illustrates the drive unit 8 with the cover removed. The drive unit is adjustably positionable along rail 212 by an angle brace 210 that is attached to the operating table. Within the drive unit 8 are seven separate motors 800, coπesponding to the seven separate confrols at the slave station, and more particularly, to motions J1-J7 previously described in reference to Fig. 2B.

The drive unit includes a support plate 805 to which there is secured a holder 808 for receiving and clamping the cabling conduits 835. The motors 800 are each supported from the support plate 805. Fig. 17 also illustrates the electrical interface at 810, with one or more electrical connectors 812.

Regarding support for the motors 800 there is provided, associated with each motor, a pair of opposed adjusting slots 814 and adjusting screws 815. This permits a certain degree of positional adjustment of the motors, relative to their associated idler pulleys 820. The seven idler pulleys are supported for rotation by means of a support bar 825. Fig. 17 also shows the cabling coming 830 from each of the idler pulleys. With seven motors, and two cables coming off of each motor for opposite direction control, there are a total of fourteen separate cables conduits at the bundle 835. The cables move within the conduits in a known manner. The conduits themselves are fixedly supported and extend from the holder 808 to the adapter 15. Again, reference maybe made to Fig. 8 showing the conduit bundles at 21 and 22.

The seven motors in this embodiment control (1) one jaw of the tool J6, (2) the pivoting of the wrist at the tool J5, (3) the other jaw of the tool J7, (4) rotation of the insert J4, (5) rotation of the adaptor J3, (6) linear carriage motion J2 and (7) pivoting of the adaptor Jl. Of course, fewer or lesser numbers of motors may be provided in other embodiments and the sequence of the controls may be different.

Fig. 17A illustrates another aspect of the invention — a feedback system that feeds force information from the slave station back to the master station where the surgeon is manipulating the input device. For example, if the surgeon is moving his arm to the left and this causes some resistance at the slave station, the resistance is detected at the slave station and coupled back to one of the motors at the master station to drive the input device, such as the hand assembly illustrated herein, back in the opposite direction. This provides an increased resistance to the surgeon's movements which occurs substantially instantaneously.

Fig. 17A illustrates schematically a load cell 840 that is adapted to sense cable tension. Fig. 17A shows one of the pulleys 842 associated with one of the motors 800, and cables 845 and 847 disposed about a sensing pulley 850. The sensing pulley 850 is coupled to the piezoelectric load cell 840. The load cell 840 may be disposed in a Wheatstone bridge aπangement.

Thus, if one of the motors is operating under tension, this is sensed by the load cell 840 and an electrical signal is coupled from the slave station, by way of the controller 9, to the master station to control one of the master station motors. When tension is sensed, this drives the master station motor in the opposite direction (to the direction of movement of the surgeon) to indicate to the surgeon that a barrier or some other obstacle has been encountered by the element of the slave unit being driven by the surgeon's movements.

The cabling scheme is important as it permits the motors to be located in a position remote from the adaptor and insert. Furthermore, it does not require the motor to be supported on any moving arms or the hke. Several prior systems employing motor control have motors supported on moveable arms. Here the motors are separated from the active instrument area (and sterile field) and furthermore are maintained fixed in position. This is illustrated in Fig. 8E by the motor 800. Fig. 8E also illustrates a typical cabling sequence from the motor 800 through to the tool 18. Both ends of cabling 315 are secured to the motor at 842 and the motor is adapted to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise, in order to pull the cabling in either one direction or the other. The pair of cabling operates in unison so that as one cable is pulled inwardly toward the motor, the other cable pulls outwardly. As illustrated in Fig. 8E, the cables extend over pulley 820 to other pulleys, such as the pair of pulleys 317 and control wheel 324 associated with coupler 230. From there, the mechanical drive is fransfeπed to the control wheel 334 of the instrument insert 300, which is coupled to wheel 334 and to the output cables 606 and 607 which drive wrist rotation of the tool 18, identified in Fig. 8E by the motion J5.

Another important aspect is the use of inter-mating wheels, such as the wheels 324 and 334 illustrated in Fig. 8E. This permits essentially a physical interruption of the mechanical cables, but at the same time a mechanical drive coupling between the cables. This permits the use of an instrument insert 16 that is readily engageable with the adaptor, as well as disengagable from the adaptor 15. This makes the instrument insert 16 easily replacable and also, due to the simplicity of the instrument insert 16, it can be made disposable. Refer again to Fig. 15 A which shows the complete instrument insert and its relatively simple construction, but which still provides an effective coupling between the drive motor and the tool.

C5 - Slave Guide Tube (Figs. 19-19D

Reference is now made to Fig. 19, a schematic diagram illustrating different placements of the guide tube 17. Fig. 19A illustrates left and right guide tubes substantially in the same position as illustrated in Fig. 1. For some surgical procedures, it may be advantageous to orient the tubes so that the curvatures are in the same direction. Fig. 19B shows the ends of the tubes pointing to the right, while Fig. 19C shows the ends of the tubes pointing to the left. Lastly, in Fig. 19D the ends of the tubes are shown converging but in a downwardly directed position. Regarding the different placements shown in Fig. 19, the adjustable clamp 25, illustrated in Figs. 8A-8C may be useful, as this provides some added level of flexibility in supporting the positioning of the guide tubes on both the left and right side.

C6 - Slave Motor Confrol (Figs. 20-28

Figs. 20 and 21 are block diagrams of the motor control system of the present embodiment. In the system of Fig. 1, there are two instruments supported on either side of the operating table. Thus, there are in actuality two separate drive units 8. One of these is considered a left hand (LH) station and the other is considered a right hand (RH) station. Similarly, at the master station, on either side of the chair, as depicted in Fig. 1, there are left hand and right hand master station assemblies. Accordingly, there are a total of 28 (7x4) separate actions that are either sensed or controlled. This relates to seven separate degrees-of- motion at both the master and slave, as well as at left hand and right stations. In other embodiments there may be only a single station, such as either a left hand station or a right hand station. Also, other embodiments may employ fewer or greater numbers of degrees-of-motion as identified herein.

Regarding the master station side, there is at least one position encoder associated with each of degree-of-motion or degree-of-freedom. Also, as previously described, some of the described motions of the active joints have a combination of motor and encoder on a common shaft. With regard to the master station, all of the rotations represented by Jl, J2 and J3 (see Fig. 2A) have associated therewith, not only encoders but also individual motors. At the hand assembly previously described, there are only encoders. However, the block diagram system of Figs. 20 and 21 illustrates a combination with motor and encoder. If a motor is not used at a master station, then only the encoder signal is coupled to the system.

Figs. 20 and 21 illustrate a multi-axis, high performance motor control system which may support anywhere from 8 to 64 axes, simultaneously, using either eight-bit parallel or pulse width modulated (PWM) signals. The motors themselves may be direct cuπent, direct cuπent brushless or stepper motors with a programmable digital filter/commutater. Each motor accommodates a standard incremental optical encoder.

The block diagram of Fig. 20 represents the basic components of the system. This includes a host computer 700, connected by a digital bus 702 to an interface board 704. The interface board 704 may be a conventional interface board for coupling signals between the digital bus and the eight individual module boards 706. The set of module boards is refened to as the motor control sub unit. Communication cables 708 intercouple the interface board 704 to eight separate module boards 706. The host computer 700 may be an Intel microprocessor based personal computer (PC) at a confrol station preferably running a Windows NT program communicating with the interface board 704 by way of a high-speed PCI bus 702 (5.0 KHz for eight channels to 700 Hz for 64 channels). Fig. 21 shows one of the module boards 706. Each board 706 includes four motion control circuits 710. Each of the blocks 710 may be a Hewlett-Packard motion control integrated circuit. For example, each of these may be an IC identified as HCTL1100. Also depicted in Fig. 21 is a power amplifier sub unit 712. The power amplifier sub unit is based on National Semiconductor's H-bridge power amplifier integrated circuits for providing PWM motor command signals. The power amplifier 712 associated with each of the blocks 710 couples to a motor X. Associated with motor X is encoder Y. Also note the connection back from each encoder to the block 710. hi Fig. 21, although the connections are not specifically set forth, it is understood that signals intercouple between the block 710 and the interface board 704, as well as via bus 702 to the host computer 700.

The motor control system may be implemented for example, in two ways. In a first method the user utilizes the motor control subunit 706 to effect four control modes: positional confrol, proportional velocity control, trapezoidal profile control and integral velocity control. Using any one of these modes means specifying desired positions or velocities for each motor, and the necessary control actions are computed by the motion control IC 710 of the motor control subunit, thereby greatly reducing the complexity of the control system software. However, in the case where none of the on-board control modes are appropriate for the application, the user may choose a second method in which a servo motor control software is implemented at the PC control station. Appropriate voltage signal outputs for each motor are computed by the PC confrol station and sent to the motor control/power amplifier unit (706, 712). Although the computation load is mostly placed on the confrol station's CPU in this case, there are available high performance computers and high speed PCI buses for data transfer which can accommodate this load.

D. Master - Slave Positioning and Orientation (Figs. 22-28)

Fig. 22 provides an overview of confrol algorithm for the present embodiment. Its primary function is to move the instrument tool 18 in such a way that the motions of the instrument tool are precisely mapped to that of the surgeon interface device 3 in three dimensional space, thereby creating the feel of the tool being an extension of the surgeon's own hands. The control algorithm assumes that both the surgeon's input interface as well as the instrument system always start at predefined positions and orientations, and once the system is started, it repeats a series of steps at every sampling period. The predefined positions and orientations, relate to the initial positioning of the master and slave stations.

First, the joint sensors (box 435), which are optical encoders in the present embodiment, of the surgeon's interface system are read, and via forward kinematics (box 410) analysis, the cuπent position (see line 429) and orientation (see line 427) of the input interface handle are deteπnined. The translational motion of the surgeon's hand motion is scaled (box 425), whereas the orientation is not scaled, resulting in a desired position (see line 432) and orientation (see line 434) for the instrument tool. The results are then inputted into the inverse kinematics algorithms (box 415) for the instrument tool, and finally the necessary joint angles and insertion length of the instrument system are determined. The motor command positions are sent to the instrument motor controller (box 420) for commending the conesponding motors to positions such that the desired joint angles and insertion length are achieved.

With further reference to Fig. 22, it is noted that there is also provided an initial start position for the input device, indicated at box 440. The output of box 440 couples to a summation device 430. The output of device 430 couples to scale box 425. The initial handle (or hand assembly) position as indicated previously is established by first positioning of the handle at the master station so as to establish an initial master station handle orientation in three dimensional space. This is compared to the cuπent handle position at device 430. This is then scaled by box 425 to provide the desired tool position on line 432 to the instrument inverse kinematics box 415.

The following is an analysis of the kinematic computations for both box 410 and box 415 in Fig. 22.

Kinematic Computations The present embodiment provides a surgeon with the feel of an instrument as being an extension of his own hand. The position and orientation of the instrument tool is mapped to that of the surgeon input interface device, and this mapping process is refeπed to as kinematic computations. The kinematic calculations can be divided into two sub-processes: forward kinematic computation of the surgeon user interface device, and inverse kinematic computation of the instrument tool. Forward Kinematic Computation

Based on the information provided by the joint angle sensors, wliich are optical encoders of the surgeon interface system, the forward kinematic computation determines the position and orientation of the handle in three dimensional space. 5 1. Position

The position of the surgeon's wrist in three dimensional space is determined by simple geometric calculations. Referring to Fig. 23, the x, y, z directional positions of the wrist with respect to the reference coordinate are

Xp = (LssinUs + L2CθsD2(j) cosΩbp- L2 0 Yp = -(L3cos □ 3 + L2sin D 2a) - L3

Zp = (L3sinU3 + L2cosU2cι) sinObp where Xp, Yp, Zp axe wrist positions in the x, y, z directions, respectively.

These equations for Xp, Yp, and Zp represent respective magnitudes as measured from the initial reference coordination location, wliich is the location in Fig. 23 when D and U are both 5 zero degrees. This coπesponds to the position wherein arm L2 is at right angles to arm L3, i.e., arm L2 is essentially horizontal and arm L3 is essentially vertical. That location is identified in Fig. 23 as coordinate location P r where Xp=Yp=Zp=0. Deviations from this reference are calculated to determine the current position P.

The reference coordinates for both the master and the slave are established with respect to 10 a base location for each, hi Fig. 23 it is location BM that coπesponds structurally to the axis 60A in Fig. 2A. In Fig. 25 it is the location BS that coπesponds structurally to the axis 225A in Fig. 2B. Because both the master and slave structures have predefined configurations when they are initialized, the locations of the master wrist 60A and the slave pivot 225 A are known by the known dimensions of the respective structures. The predefined configuration of the master in the 15 illustrated embodiment, per Fig23, relates to known lengths of anns L2 and L3, coπesponding to arm 91 or arm 92, and arm 96 respectively. The predefined configuration of the slave is similarly defined, per Fig. 25, by dimensions of arms Ls and Lb and by initializing the slave unit with the guide tube 17 flat in one plane (dimension Y=0) and the arm Ls in line with the Z axis. 2. Orientation '0 The orientation of the surgeon interface handle in three dimensional space is determined by a series of coordinate transformations for each joint angle. As shown in Fig. 24, the coordinate frame at the wrist joint is rotated with respect to the reference coordinate frame by joint movements U p, 02, D and Dra. Specifically, the wrist joint coordinate frame is rotated (- Ωbp) about the y axis, (- a) about the z axis and D^ about the x axis where U2a is U -Ωτ,. The resulting fransformation matrix Rwιt for the wrist joint coordinate frame with respect to the reference coordinate is then

Figure imgf000065_0001
where Rwhll = cosUbpι cosD2a Rwhπ = cosUbpi sinU2a cosUax- sinUbpι sinUax Rwhi3 = - cosUbpi sinU2a inUax- sinUbpι cosUax Rwhn = - sinU2a
Figure imgf000065_0002
Rwh23 = ~ COSΩ∑aSinΩax

Rwh3i = sin U bpi osDo

Rwiύ2 = sinUbpi sinU2a cosUax + cosDbpι sinUax

Rwh33 = - mϋbpi sinU2a sinUax + cosUbpι cosUax

Similarly, the handle coordinate frame rotates joint angles D and (-U/,) about the z and y axes with respect to the wrist coordinate frame. The transformation matrix RιlWh for handle coordinate frame with respect to the wrist coordinate is then

Figure imgf000065_0003
where Rhwhπ — cosU cosU/,

Rhwhi2 = - sinϋ

Rhwhi3 - - cosD sinUh

Rhwiαi = sinU cosQh

Rhwh22 = cosD

Rhwh23 = - sinϋ sinUh

Rhwh3i = sinΩι, Rhwh33 = COSUh

Therefore, the transformation matrix Rh for handle coordinate frame with respect to the reference coordinate is

Rh = Rwh R/ιwh

Inverse kinematic computation

Once the position and orientation of the surgeon interface handle are computed, the instrument tool is to be moved in such a way that the position of the tool's wrist joint in three dimensional space Xw, Yw, Zw with respect to the insertion point are proportional to the interface handle's positions by a scaling factor D

(Xw -Xw_ref) — U Xp (Yw -Yw_ref) = Yp (Zw - u>_reβ = LI Zp where Xw_ref, Yw_ref, Zw_ref xe the initial reference positions of the wrist joint. The orientations could be scaled as well, but in the cuπent embodiment, are kept identical to that of the interface handle.

WhenNw_,e;5 = Yw_ref, = Zw_ref =0 the foregoing equations simplify to:

Xw=αXp

Yw= YP

where (Xw, Yw, Zw,), (Xp, Yp, Xp,) and α are the desired absolute position of the instrument, current position of the interface handle and scaling factor, respectively. 1. Position

The next task is to determine the joint angles D D and the insertion length Ls of the instrument, as shown in Fig. 25, necessary to achieve the desired positions of the tool's wrist joint. Given Yw, the angle D is

Figure imgf000066_0001
where L s = Lb sin U b- Referring to Fig. 26, the sine rule is used to determine the insertion length Ls of the instrument. Given the desired position of the tool's wrist joint, the distance from the insertion point to the wrist joint, Lws is simply

Lw- yXw + Yw+Zw

Then by the sine rule, the angle D„ is

0fl = rcsm

Figure imgf000067_0001
D6 - D„

Having determined DandEΛ the last joint angle D can be found from the projection of the instrument on the x-z plane as shown in Fig. 27. Ψ=ΘL, -ΘΔ where

Figure imgf000067_0002
w and Xwo is the x-axis wrist position in reference coordinate frame.

2. Orientation

The last step in kinematic computation for controlling the instrument is determining the appropriate joint angles of the tool such that its orientation is identical to that of the surgeon's interface handle. In other words, the transformation matrix of the tool must be identical to the transformation matrix of the interface handle, R._.

The orientation of the tool is determined by pitch (Uj), yaw (Dw/) and roll (Uaj) joint angles as well as the joint angles DandD, as shown in Fig. 28. First, the starting coordinate is rotated (D -□ □) about the j -axis to be aligned with the reference coordinate, represented by the transformation matrix R0 s_ i£j 0 (— cosø

RX 0 1 0 cosøj 0 sanr?j The wrist joint coordinate is then rotated about the reference coordmate by angles (-D) about the y-axis and D about the z-axis, resulting in the fransformation matrix R>

COS CQS CU (— cos ϊFsdntυ) — ύnΨ)

RΨf- sάncu coscυ 0 sdnϊFcosou (— sdn sdncυ) cos ϊ" followed by rotation of (D D Db ) about the y-axis, represented by R- f> .

Figure imgf000068_0001
I which is equal to R0 T.

Finally, the tool rolls (-Uaj) about the x-axis, yaws Dw about the z-axis and pitches (-D ) about the v-axis with respect to the wrist coordinate, are calculated resulting in fransformation matrix R f

Figure imgf000068_0002
where Rfwfπ - cosUWfCosUf

Rfivfi2 = -sinUWf

Rfivfli ~ -cosUw sinUf

Rfivβi = cosUafSinUWfCosUf + sinUafSinUf

Rfivβ2 - os U of cos D wf

Rββ> 3 = -cos U of sin U Wf sin Dy + sinU af cos 0/

Rfwβi = -sinUafSinUWfCosUf + cosUafSinUf

Figure imgf000068_0003

Rβvβ3 = sinUafSinUWfsinUf + cosUa cosUf

Therefore the transformation matrix of the tool Rf with respect to the original coordinate is

Rf — Ro wf P-o Rfivf-

Since i?/is identical to Rj, of the interface handle, RfWf can be defined by

Rfivf — o Rwf Ro Rh = Re

61 R-clI R-al2 ϋl3 fw o vff a & c Rύ2l *-β_2 c2S

Figure imgf000069_0001
where the matrix Rc can be fully computed with known values. Using the computed values of Rc and comparing to the elements of Rjwf, we can finally determine the necessary joint angles of the tool. t9ll ,=arcsin(-JEeZ2)

Figure imgf000069_0002

The actuators, which are motors in the cuπent embodiment, are then instructed to move to positions such that the detennined joint angles and insertion length are achieved.

Now reference is made to the following algorithm that is used in association with the system of the present invention. First are presented certain definitions.

Variable Definitions: (RH - Right Hand, LH - Left Hand) © s_Ls_RH Linear slider j oint for RH slave

©s_Xi_RH Lateral motion joint for RH slave (big disk in front of slider)

©s_Omega_RH Up/down motion joint for RH slave (rotates curved tube)

®s_Axl_RH Axial rotation joint for RH slave (rotates instrument insert along its axis)

©s_fl_RH Finger 1 for RH slave

©s 2_RH Finger 2 for RH slave

®s_wrist_RH Wrist joint for RH slave

©m_base_RH Base rotation joint for RH master

©m_shoulder_RH Shoulder joint for RH master

©m_elbow_RH Elbow joint for RH master

©m_Axl_RH Axial rotation joint for RH master

®m_fl_RH Finger 1 for RH master

©m_f2_RH Finger 2 for RH master

©m wrist RH Wrist joint for RH master ©Radian[i] Motor axle angle for joint no. i with i being one of above joints ®Des_Rad[i] Desired motor axle angle for joint no. i ©Des_Nel[i] Desired motor axle angular velocity for joint no. i ©Mout_f[i] Motor command output for joint no. i ©Thetabpl_m_RH Angle ofbase rotationjoint for RH master

©Theta2_m_RH Angle of elbow joint for RH master

©Theta3_m_RH Angle of shoulder joint for RH master

®Xw_m_RH Position of RH master handle in X-axis

©Yw_m_RH Position of RH master handle in Y-axis

®Zw_m_RH Position of RH master handle in Z-axis

©XwrefjmJRH Reference position of RH master handle in X-axis

®Ywref_m_RH Reference position of RH master handle in Y-axis

©Zwref_m_RH Reference position of RH master handle in Z-axis

©Phi_f_m_RH Angle of wrist joint for RH master

©Theta_fl_m_RH Angle of finger 1 for RH master

©Theta £2 m RH Angle of finger 2 for RH master

©ThetaAxl_m_RH Angle of axial rotation joint for RH master ©Theta h m RH Angle of mid line of fingers for RH master

©Theta_f_m_RH Angle of fingers from the mid line for RH master

©Xw_s_RH Position of RH slave in X-axis

®Yw_s_RH Position of RH slave in Y-axis

©Zw_s_RH Position of RH slave in Z-axis

©Xwref_s_RH Reference position of RH slave in X-axis

®Ywref_s_RH Reference position of RH slave in Y-axis

©Zwref_s_RH Reference position of RH slave in Z-axis

©alpha Mastervto-slave motion scaling factor

©Xw_s_bl_RH Motion boundary 1 of RH slave in X-axis

©Xw_s_b2_RH Motion boundary 2 of RH slave in X-axis

©Yw_s_bl_RH > Motion boundary 1 of RH slave in Y-axis

©Yw s b2 RH Motion boundary 2 of RH slave in Y-axis

Note the motion boundaries of the slave are used to define the virtual boundaries for the master system, and do not directly impose boundaries on the slave system.

The following represents the steps through which the algorithm proceeds.

1. The system is started, and the position encoders are initialized to zero. This ASSUMES that the system started in predefined configuration.

/* Preset Encoder Position for all axis */ for(i=0; i<32; - i)

{

SetEncoder[i]=0;

}

/* Convert encoder count to radian */ for(i=0;i<32;i++)

{

Radian[i] = Enc_to_Rad(Encoder[i]);

}

2. Bring the system to operating positions, Des_Rad[i], and hold the positions until the operator hits the keyboard, in which case the program proceeds to next step.

While(!kbhit())

{ for(i=0;i<14;i++) /* compute motorout for slave robots*/

{

Des_Nel[i] = 0.0;

En_Rad[i] = Des_Rad[i] - Radian[i];

Eπ_Nel[i] = Des_Nel[i] - Velocity^]; kpcmd = Kp[i]*Eπ_Rad[i]; kdcmd = (Kp[i]*Td[i])*EH_Nel[i];

Mout_f[i] = kpcmd + kdcmd; /* Command output to motor */

} for(i=14;i<28;i++) /* compute motorout for master robot */

{ Des_Nel[i] = 0.0;

Eπ_Rad[i] = Des_Rad[i] - Radian[i];

Eπ_Vel[i] = Des_Nel[i] - Nelocity[i]; kpcmd = Kp[i]*Eπ_Rad[i]; kdcmd = (Kp[i]*Td[i])*Eπ_Nel[i];

Mout_f[i] = kpcmd + kdcmd; /* Command output to motor */

}

3. Based on the assumption that the system started at the predefined configuration, the forward kinematic computations are performed respectively for the master and the slave systems to find the initial positions/orientations of handles/tools.

I* Compute Initial Positions of Wrist for Right Hand Master */ Thetab lo_m_RH = -Radian[m_base_RH]/PR_bρl; Theta3o_m_RH = -Radian[m_shoulder_RH]/PR_3; Thetabpl_m_RH = Thetabplo_m_RH; Theta3_m_RH = Theta3o_m_RH;

Theta2o_m_RH = Theta3o_m_RH - Radian[m_elbow_RH]/PR_2; Theta2_m_RH = Theta2o_m_RH; Theta2A_m_RH = (Theta2_m_RH - Theta3_m_RH); Theta2A_eff_m_RH = Theta2A_m_RH + Theta_OS_m;

L_m_RH = (L3_m*sin(Theta3o_m_RH) + L2_eff _m*cos(Theta2A_eff_m_RH)); Xwo_m_RH = L_m_RH * cos(Thetabplo_m_RH); Ywo_m_RH = -(L3_m + L2_eff_m*sin(Theta2A_eff_m_RH)); Zwo_m_RH = L_m_RH * sin(Thetabplo_m_RH); /* Set these initial positions as the reference positions. */ Xwref_m_RH = Xwo_m_RH = L2 (Fig. 23) Ywref_m_RH = Ywo_m_RH = L3 Zwref_m_RH = Zwo_m_RH = 0

/* Initial Position of the Wrist for Right Hand Slave based on predefined configurations */ Ls_RH =Ls;

Xwo_s_RH = Lbs = X ref_s_RH

Ywo_s_RH = 0.0 =Yref_s_RH

Zwo_s_RH = - (LsJRH + Lbc) = Zref_s_RH /* Compute Initial Orientations for Right Hand Handle */

Phi_f m_RH = Radian[m_wrist_RH];

Theta_fl_m_RH = Radian[m_fl_RH];

Theta_f2_m_RH = -Radian[m_f2_RH] - Theta__fl_m_RH;

ThetaAxl_m_RH = Radian[m_Axl_RH]; Theta_h_m_RH = (Theta_fl_m_RH - Theta_f2_m_RH)/2.0; /* angle of midline

*/

Theta_f_m_RH = (Theta_fl_m_RH + Theta_f2_m_RH)/2.0; /* angle of fingers from mid line */

/* Repeat for Left Hand Handle and Slave Instrument */

4. Repeat the procedure of computing initial positions/orientations of handle and tool of left hand based on predefined configurations.

5. Read starting time /* Read starting time: init_time */

QueryPerformanceCounter(&hirescount); dCounter = (double)hirescount.LowPart + (double)hirescount.HighPart * (double)(4294967296);

QueryPerformanceFrequency(&freq); init_time = (double)(dCounter/freq.LowPart); prev_time = 0.0;

6. Read encoder values of master/slave system, and current time

/* Read encoder counters */ for(i=l; i<9; ++i) {

Read_Encoder(i);

}

/* Convert encoder counts to radian */ 5 for(i=0;i<32;i++)

{

Radian[i] = Enc_to_Rad(Encoder[i]);

}

/* Get cuπent time */ 0 QueryPerformanceCounter(&hirescount); dCounter = (double)hirescount.LowPart +(double)lιirescount.HighPart *

(double)(4294967296); time_now = (double)(dCounter/freq.LowPart) - init_time; delta_time3 = delta_time2; 5 delta_time2 = delta_time 1 ; delta_timel = time_now - prev__time; prev ime = time_now;

7. Compute current positions/orientations of master handle for Right Hand

10 /* Compute master handle's position for right hand */

Thetabρl_m_RH = -Radian[m_base_RH]/PR_bpl;

Theta3_m_RH = -Radian[m_shoulder_RH]/PR_3;

Theta2_m_RH = Theta3_m_RH - Radian[m_elbow_RH]/PR_2;

Theta2A_m_RH = (Theta2_m_RH - Theta3_m_RH); 15 Theta2A_eff_m_RH = Theta2A_m_RH + Theta_OS_m;

L_m_RH = (L3 jn*sin_Theta3jn + L2_eff_m*cos_Theta2A_eff_m);

Xw_m_RH = L_m_RH * cos_Thetabpl_m;

Yw_m_RH = -(L3_m*cos_Theta3_m + L2_eff_m*sin_Theta2A_eff_m);

Zw_m_RH = L_m_RH * sin_Thetabpl_m; >0 /* Compute master handle's orientation for right hand */

Phi_f_m_RH = Radian[m_wrist_RH]; Theta_fl_m_RH = Radian[m_fl_RH]; Theta 2_m_RH = -Radian[m_f2_RH] - Theta_fl_m_RH; ThetaAxl_m_RH = Radian[m_Axl_RH];

Theta_h_m_RH = (Theta_fl_m_RH - Theta_f2_m_RH)/2.0; /* angle of midline */

Theta_f_m_RH = (Theta_fl_m_RH + Theta_f2_m_RH)/2.0; /* angle of fingers from mid line */

/* Perform coordinate transformation to handle's coordinate */ Rwhll = cos_Thetabpl_m*cos_Theta2A_m;

Rwhl2 = -sin_Thetabpl_m*sin_ThetaAxl_m + cos_Thetabpl_m*sin_Theta2A_m :cos_ThetaAxl_m;

Rwhl3 = -sin_Thetabpl_m*cos_ThetaAxl_m - cos_Thetabpl_m*sin_Theta2A_m*sin_ThetaAxl_m; Rwh21 = -sin_Theta2A_m;

Rwh22 = cos_Theta2A_m*cos_ThetaAxl_m;

Rwh23 = -cos_Theta2A_mHisin_ThetaAxl_m;

Rwh31 = sin_Thetabpl_m*cos_Theta2A_m;

Rwh32 = cos_Thetabpl_m*sin_ThetaAxl_m + sin_Thetabp l_m*sin_Theta2A_m*cos_ThetaAxl_m;

Rwh33 = cos_Thetabpl_m*cos_ThetaAxl_m - sin_Thetabpl_m:1:sin_Theta2A_m*sin_ThetaAxl_m;

Rhrl 1 = cos_Phi_f_m*cos_Theta_h_m;

Rhι-12 = -sin Phi_f_m; Rhrl 3 = -cos_Phi_f_m*sin_Theta_h_m;

Rhr21 = sin_Phi_f_m*cos_Theta_h_m;

Rhr22 = cos_Phi_f_m;

Rhr23 = -sin_Phi_f_m*sin_Theta_h_m;

Rlτr31 = sin_Theta_h_m; Rhr32 = 0.0;

Rhr33 = cos Theta h m; Rhll = Rwhll*Rhrll + Rwhl2*Rhr21 + Rwhl3*Rhr31 Rb.12 = Rwhl l*Rhrl2 + Rwhl2*Rhr22 + Rwhl3*Rhr32 Rhl3 = Rwhll*Rhrl3 + Rwhl2*Rhr23 + Rwhl3*Rhr33 Rh21 = Rwh21*Rhrll + Rwlι22*Rhr21 + Rwh23*Rhr31 Rh22 = Rwh21*Rhrl2 + Rwh22*Rhr22 + Rwh23*Rhr32 Rh23 = Rwh21 *Rhrl3 + Rwh22*Rhr23 + Rwh23*Rhr33 Rh31 = Rwh31*Rhrl 1 + Rwh32*Rhr21 + Rwh33*Rhr31 Rh32 = Rwh31*Rhrl2 + Rwh32*Rhr22 + Rwh33*Rhr32 Rh33 = Rwh31*Rhrl3 + Rwh32*Rhr23 + Rwh33*Rhr33

8. Desired tool position is computed for right hand

/* Movement of master handle is scaled by alpha for tool position */

Xw_s_RH = alρha*(Xw_m_RH - Xwref_m_RH) + Xwref_s_RH;

Yw_s_RH = alpha*(Yw_m_RH - Ywref_m_RH) + Ywref_s_RH;

Zw_s_RH = alpha*(Zw_m_RH - Zwref_m_RH) + Zwref_s_RH;

/* The next step is to perform a coordinate transformation from the wrist coordinate (refer to Fig. 25 and coordinate Xwf, Ywf and Zwf) to a coordinate aligned with the tube arm Ls. This is basically a fixed 45° transformation (refer in Fig. 25 to D&) involving the sin and cos of D& as expressed below. */

Xwo_s_RH = Xw_s_RH*sin_Theta_b + Zw_s_RH*cos_Theta_b;

Ywo_s_RH = Yw_s_RH;

Zwo_s_RH = - Xw_s_RH*cos_Theta_b + Zw_s_RH*sin_Theta_b;

9. Perform inverse kinematic computation for the right hand to obtain necessaiγ joint angles of the slave system such that tool position/orientation matches that of master handle.

Omega_RH = asin(Ywo_s_RH/Lbs);

Lw = sqrt(pow(Xwo_s_RH,2) + pow(Ywo_s_RH,2) + pow(Zwo_s_RH,2));

Theta_a = asin(Lb/Lw*sin_Theta_b);

Theta_c - Theta_b - Theta_a;

Ls_RH = Lw*(sin(Theta_c)/sin_Theta_b); Lwp = sqrt(pow(Lw,2) - pow(Ywo_s_RH,2));

Theta_Lwp = asin(Xwo_s_RH/Lwp);

Xi_RH = Theta_Lwp - Theta_delta; sin_Omega = sin(Omega_RH); cos_Omega = cos(Omega_RH); sin_Xi = sin(Xi_RH); cos_Xi = cos(Xi_RH);

Ral 1 = cos_Xi * cos_Omega * sin_Theta_b + sin_Xi * cos_Theta_b;

Ral 2 = sin_Omega * sin_Theta_b; Ral 3 = sin_Xi * cos_Omega * sin_Theta_b - cos_Xi * cos_Theta_b;

Ra21 = - cos_Xi * sin_Omega;

Ra22 = cos_Omega;

Ra23 = -sin_Xi * sin_Omega;

Ra31 = cos_Xi * cos_Omega * cos_Theta_b - sin_Xi * sin_Theta_b; Ra32 = sin_Omega * cos_Theta_b;

Ra33 = sin_Xi * cos_Omega * eos_Theta_b + cos_Xi * sin_Theta_b;

Rbl l = Rall * sin_Theta_b - Ral 3 * cos_Theta_b;

Rbl2 = Ral2;

Rbl3 = Rail * cos_Theta_b + Ral 3 * sin_Theta_b; Rb21 = Ra21 * sin_Theta_b - Ra23 * cos_Theta_b;

Rb22 = Ra22;

Rb23 = Ra21 * cos _Theta_b + Ra23 * sin_Theta_b;

Rb31 = Ra31 * sin_Theta_b - Ra33 * cos_Theta_b;

Rb32 - Ra32; Rb33 - Ra31 * cos_Theta_b + Ra33 * sin_Theta_b;

Rcl l = Rbl l*Rhl l + Rbl2*Rh21 + Rbl3*Rh31;

Rcl2 = Rbl 1*R 2 + Rbl2*Rh22 + Rbl3*Rh32;

Rcl3 = Rbll*Rhl3 + Rbl2*Rh23 + Rbl3*Rh33;

Rc21 = Rb21*Rhll + Rb22*Rh21 + Rb23*Rb31; Rc22 = Rb21*Rhl2 + Rb22*Rh22 + Rb23*Rh32;

Rc23 = Rb21*Rhl3 + Rb22*Rl 23 + Rb23*Rh33; Rc31 = Rb31*Rhl l + Rb32*Rn21 + Rb33*Rh31;

Rc32 = Rb31*Rlιl2 + Rb32*Rh22 + Rb33*Rh32;

Rc33 = Rb31*Rhl3 + Rb32*Rh23 + Rb33*Rh33; sin_Theta_wf_s = -Rcl2; Theta_wf_s_RH = asin(sin_Theta_wf_s); cos_Theta_wf_s = cos(Theta_wf_sJRH);

/* Compute Theta_f_s_RH */ varl = Rcl l/cos_Theta_wf_s; var2 = -Rcl3/cos_Theta_wf_s; Theta_f_s_RH = asin(var2) or acos(varl) depending or region;

/* Compute ThetaAxl_s_RH */ varl = Rc22/cos_Theta_wf_s; var2 = -Rc32/cos_Theta_wf_s;

ThetaAxl_s_RH = asin(var2) or acos(varl) depending or region;

10. Repeat steps 7-9 for left hand system

11. Determine motor axle angles necessary to achieve desired positions/orientations of the slave systems,. and command the motors to the determined positions. Des_Rad[s_Ls_RH] = 63.04*(Ls_RH-Ls_init_RH - 0.75*(Xi_RH-Xi_imt_RH));

Des_Rad[s_Xi_RH] = -126.08*(Xi_RH-Xi_init_RH);

Des_Rad[s_Omega_RH] = -23.64*(Omega_RH-Omega_init_RH);

Des_Rad[s_Axl_RH] = -23.64*1.3333*(ThetaAxl_s_RH + Omega_RH- Omega_init_RH); Des_Rad[s_wrist_RH] = 18.9*Theta_wf_s_RH;

Des_Rad[s_fl_RH] = 18.9*(Theta_f_s_RH + Theta_f_m_RH);

Des_Rad[s_f2_RH] = 18.9*(-Theta_f_s_RH + Theta_f_m_RH);

Des_Rad[s_Ls_LH] = -63.04*(Ls_LH-Ls_init_LH - 0.75*(Xi_LH-Xi_imt_LH));

Des_Rad[s_Xi_LH] = 126.08*(Xi_LH-Xi_init_LH); Des_Rad[s_Omega_LH] = -23.64*(Omega_LH-Omega_init_LH);

Des_Rad[s_Axl_LH] = -23.64*1.3333*(ThetaAxl_s_LH + Omega_LH- Omega_init_LH) ;

Des_Rad[s_wrist_LH] = 18.9*Theta_wf_s_LH; Des_Rad[s_fl_LH] = -18.9*(-Theta_f_s_LH - Theta_f_m_LH); Des_Rad[s_f2_LH] = -18.9*(Theta_f_s_LH - Theta_f _m_LH); /* Compute motor output for slave systems */ for(i=0;i<14;i++)

{

Des_Nel[i] = 0.0;

Eπ_Rad[i] = Des_Rad[i] - Radian[i]; Eπ_Nel[i] = Des_Nel[i] - Velocity^] ; kpcmd = Kp[i] *Eπ_Rad[i] ; kdcmd = (Kp[i]*Td[i])*Eπ_Nel[i];

Mout_f[i] = kpcmd + kdcmd;

} /* Virtual boundaries for master handles */ if (Xwo_s_RH>=Xw_s_bl_RH)

{

Fx_RH = 3.0*k_master*(Xwo_s_RH-Xw_s_bl_RH);

Mout_f[m_base_RH] = Fx_RH*cos(0.7854-(Radian[m_base_RH]/14.8)); Mout_f[m_shoulder_RH] = Fx_RH*sin(0.7854-

(Radian[m_base_RH]/14.8))- 1.0*Radian[m_shoulder_RH];

} else if (Xwo_s_RH<=Xw_s_b2_RH)

{ Fx_RH = k_master*(Xwo_s_RH-Xw_s_b2_RH);

Mout_f[m_base_RH] = Fx_RH*cos(0.7854-(Radian[m_base_RH]/14.8)); Mout_f[m_shoulder_RH] = Fx_RH*sin(0.7854- (Radian[m_base_RH]/14.8))- 1.0*Radian[m_shoulder_RH];

} else

{ Mout_f m_base_RH]=0.0; Mout_f[m_shoulder_RH]=-1.0*Radian[m_shoulder_RH];

} if (Ywo_s_RH>=Yw_s_b2_RH)

{

Mout__f[m_elbowJRH] = -k_master*(Ywo_s_RH-Yw_s_b2_RH);

} else if (Ywo_s_RH<=Yw_s_bl_RH)

{

Mout_f[m_elbow_RH] - -k_master*(Ywo_s_RH-Yw_s_bl_RH);

} else Mout_f[m_elbow_RH]=0.0;

/* Repeat for left master handle */

12. Go back to step 6 and repeat.

Previously there has been described an algorithm for providing controlled operation between the master and slave units. The following description relates this operation to the system of Figs. 1-2.

The controller 9 receives input signals from the input device 3 that represent the relative positions of the different portions of the input device. These relative positions are then used to drive the instrument 14 to a coπesponding set of relative positions. For example, the input device includes a base 50 (Fig. 2A) to which a first link 90 is rotatably connected. A second link 96 is rotatably connected to the first link at an elbow joint 94. Connected to the second link 96 opposite the elbow joint 94 is a wrist joint 98A and two fingers. A surgeon may attach a thumb and forefinger to the two fingers and move the input device to drive the instrument 14.

As the surgeon operates the input device, rotational position of the base (Thetabpl_m_RH), the rotational position of the first link relative to the base (Theta3_m_RH), the rotational position of the second link relative to the first link (Theta2_m_RH), the angle of the wrist joint relative to the second link (PHI_f_m_RH, i.e., the angle the wrist joint is rotated about an axis perpendicular to the length of the second link), the rotary angle of the wrist joint relative to the second link (ThetaAxl_m_RH, i.e., the angle the wrist joint is rotate about an axis parallel to the length of the second link), and the angles of the fingers (Theta_fl_m_RH and Theta_f2_m_RH) are provided to the controller.

When the surgical instrument is first started, the controller initializes all of the position encoders in the instrument 14 and the input device 3, assuming that the system has been started in a desired initial configuration. See Sections 1-3 of the algorithm. The initial position of the input device, e.g., Xwo_m_RH, Ywo_m_RH, and Zwo_m_RH, is then used to establish a reference position for the input device, Xwref_m_RH, Ywref_m_RH, and Zwref_m_RH. See Section 3 of the algorithm. Initial positions are also established for the instrument 14 based on the dimensions of the instrument 14. See Section 3 of the algorithm. With reference to Section 3 of the algorithm, it is noted that there is an assignment of the initial position of the wrist for the slave, and that this is not a forward kinematics calculation based upon joint angles, but rather is a number based upon the predefined configuration of the slave unit. The coordinate of the slave relates to fixed physical dimensions of the instrument and instrument holder. As the surgeon moves the input device 3, the encoder values for the input device are read and used to compute the cuπent absolute position of the input device, i.e., Xw mJ H Yw_m_RH, and Zw_m_RH. See Sections 6 and 7 of the algorithm. The controller then determines the desired position of the tool 18 (Xw_s_RH, Yw_s_RH, and Zw_s_RH) based on the cuπent position of the input device (Xw_m_RH Yw_m_RH, and Zw_m__RH), the reference position for the input device (Xwref_m_RH, Ywref_m_RH, and Zwref_m_RH) and the reference position for the instrument 14 (Xwref_s_RH, Ywref_s_RH, and Zwref_s_ RH). See Section 8 of the algorithm. The desired position of the tool 18 (Xw_s_RH, Yw_s_RH, and Zw_s_RH) is then transformed by a 45° coordinate transformation giving the desired position (Xwo_s_RH, Ywo_s_RH, Zwo_s_RH) which is used to determine joint angles and drive motor angles for the instrument 14 orientation to match that of the input device. See Sections 8-11 of the algorithm. Thus, movement of the surgical instrument 14 is determined based on the cuπent absolute position of the input device, as well as the initial positions of the input device and the instrument at the time of system start-up. E. Select Features of Described Embodiment The control in accordance with the present embodiment, as exemplified by the foregoing description and algorithm, provides an improvement in structure and operation while operating in a relatively simple manner. For example, the control employs a technique whereby the absolute position of the surgeon input device is translated into control signals to move the instrument to a coπesponding absolute position. This technique is possible at least in part because of the particular construction of the instrument and controllable instrument holder, which essentially replace the cumbersome prior art multi-arm structures including one or more passive joints. Here there is initialized an all active joint construction, including primarily only a single instrument holder having a well-defined configuration with respect to the inserted instrument.

Some prior-art systems rely upon passive joints to initially position the distal tip of the surgical instrument. Because the positions of the passive joints are initially unknown, the position of the distal tip of the surgical instrument with respect to the robot (instrument holder) is also unknown. Therefore, these systems require an initial calculation procedure. This involves the reading of joint angles and the computation of the forward kinematics of all elements constituting the slave. This step is necessary because the joint positions of the slave are essentially unknown at the beginning of the procedure.

On the other hand, in accordance with the present invention it is not necessary to read an initial position of joint angles in order to determine an initial position of the distal tip of the surgical instrument. The system of the present invention, which preferably employs no passive joints, has the initial position of the distal tip of the surgical instrument known with respect to the base of the instrument. The instrument is constructed with known dimensions, such as between base pivot 225 and the wrist (303 at axis 306 in Fig. 2D) of the tool 18. Further, the instrument is initially inserted by the surgeon in a known configuration, such as illustrated in Figs. 9 and 10, where the dimensions and orientations of the instrument insert and adaptor guide tube are known with respect to the base (pivot 225). Therefore, an initial position of the surgical instrument distal tip need not be calculated before the system is used.

The system of the present embodiment is fixed to the end of a static mount (bracket 25 on post 19) which is manually maneuvered over the patient, such as illustrated in Fig.l. Since the initial position of the surgical instrument tip (tool 18) with respect to the base (pivot 225) of the articulate mechanism is invariant, the joint positions are neither read nor is the forward kinematics computed during the initial setup. Thus, the initial position of the surgical instrument tip is neither computed nor calculated, hi addition, because the base of the system in accordance with the present embodiment is not necessarily fixed directly to the surgical table, but rather movable during a surgical procedure, the initial position of the surgical instrument in a world coordinate system is not knowable.

Another advantage of the present system is that the instrument does not use the incision in the patient to define a pivot point of the instrument. Rather, the pivot point of the instrument is defined by the kinematics of the mechanism, independent of the patient incision, the patient himself, or the procedure. Actually, the pivot point in the present system is defined even before the instrument enters the patient, because it is a pivot point of the instrument itself. This arrangement limits trauma to the patient in an area around the incision. From an illustrative standpoint, the base of the instrument may be considered as pivot

225 (Fig.8), and the wrist may be the pivot location 604 (axis) depicted in Fig. 16B (or axis 306 in Fig. 2D). The guide tube 17 has known dimensions and because there are no other joints (active or passive) between the pivot 225 and wrist joint, all of the intervening dimensions are known. Also, the instrument when placed in position has a predefined configuration such as that illustrated in Figs. 1,9 and 10 with the guide tube flat is one plane.

The guide tube 17 may also have an alignment mark therealong essentially in line with the pivot 225, as shown in Fig. 9. This marks the location where the guide tube 17 is at the patient incision point. The result is minimal trauma to the patient occasioned by any pivoting action about pivot 225. Another advantage is the decoupling nature of the present system. This decoupling enables the slave unit to be readily portable. Here the instrument, drive unit and controller are decouplable. A sterilized adaptor 15 is inserted into a patient, then coupled to a non-sterile drive unit 8 (outside the sterile field). Instrument inserts 16 are then removably attached to the surgical adaptor to perform the surgical procedure. The system of the present embodiment separates the drive unit 8 from the instruments 16. In this way, the instruments can be maintained as sterile, but the drive unit need not be sterilized. Furthermore, at the time of insertion, the adaptor 15 is preferably decoupled from the drive unit 8 so it can be readily manually maneuvered to achieve the proper position of the instrument relative to the patient and the patient's incision. In accordance with the present embodiment, the instrument inserts 16 are not connected to the controller 9 by way of any input/output port configuration. Rather, the present system employs an exclusively mechanical aπangement that is effected remotely and includes mechanical cables and flexible conduits coupling to a remote motor drive unit 8. This provides the advantage that the instrument is purely mechanical and does not need to be contained within a sterile barrier. The instrument may be autoclaved, gas sterilized or disposed in total or in part. The present system also provides an instrument that is far less complex than prior art robotic system. The instrument is far smaller than that of a typical prior art robotic system, because the actuators (motors) are not housed in the articulate structure in the present system. Because the actuators are remote, they may be placed under the operating table or in another convenient location and out of the sterile field. Because the drive unit is fixed and stationary, the motors may be of arbitrary size and configuration, without effecting the articulated mechanics. Finally, the design allows multiple, specialized instruments to be coupled to the remote motors. This allows one to design an instrument for particular surgical disciplines including, but not limited to, such disciplines as cardiac, spinal, thoracic, abdominal, and arthroscopic.

A further important aspect is the ability to make the instrument disposable. The disposable element is preferably the instrument insert 16 such as illustrated in Fig. 15 A. This disposable unit may be considered as comprising a disposable, mechanically drivable mechanism such as the coupler 300 interconnected to a disposable tool 18 tlirough a disposable elongated tube such as the stem section 301, 302 of the instrument insert. This disposable implement is mounted so that the mechanically drivable mechanism may be connectable to and drivable from a drive mechanism. In the illusfrated embodiment the drive mechanism may include the coupler 230 and the associated drive motors. The disposable elongate tube 301, 302 is inserted into an incision or orifice of a patient along a selected length of the disposable elongated tube.

The aforementioned disposable implement is purely mechanical and can be constructed relatively inexpensively, thus lending itself readily to being disposable. Another factor that lends itself to disposability is the simplicity of the instrument distal end tool (and wrist) construction. Prior tool constructions, whether graspers or other types, are relatively complex in that they usually have multiple pulleys at the wrist location for operation of different degrees-of-freedom there, making the structure quite intricate and relatively expensive to manufacture. On the other hand, in accordance with the present invention, no pulleys are required and the mechanism in the location of the wrist and tool is simple in construction and can be manufactured at far less expense, thus readily lending itself to disposability. One of the aspects of the invention that has enabled elimination of the pulleys, or the like, is the decoupling of tool action relative to wrist action by passing the tool actuation cables essentially through the center axis (604 in Figs. 16A and 16B) of the wrist joint. This construction allows proper wrist action without any significant action being conveyed to the tool cables, and furthermore allows for a very simple and inexpensive construction at the distal end of the implement.

Another aspect is the relative simplicity of the system, both in its construction and use. This provides an instrument system that is far less complex than prior robotic systems. Furthermore, by enabling a decoupling of the slave unit at the motor aπay, there is provided a readily portable and readily manually insertable slave unit that can be handled quite effectively by the surgeon or assistant when the slave unit is to be engaged through a patient incision or orifice. This enables the slave unit to be positioned through the incision or orifice so as to dispose the distal end at a target or operative site. A support is then preferably provided so as to hold a base of the slave unit fixed in position relative to the patient at least during a procedure that is to be carried out. Tins initial positioning of the slave unit with a predefined configuration immediately establishes an initial reference position for the instrument from which control occurs via a controller and user interface.

This portable nature of the slave unit comes about by virtue of providing a relatively simple surgical instrument insert in combination with an adaptor for the insert that is of relatively small configuration, particularly compared with prior large articulated robotic arm(s) structures. Because the slave unit is purely mechanical, and is decouplable from the drive unit, the slave unit can be readily positioned by the operator. Once in position, the unit is then secured to the support and the mechanical cables are coupled with the drive unit. This makes the slave unit both portable and easy to position in place for use.

Another advantage of the system is the ability to position the holder or adaptor for the instrument with its distal end at the operative site and maintained at the operative site even during instrument exchange. By way of example, and with reference to Fig. 2B, the instrument holder is represented by the guide tube 17 extending to the operative site OS. When instruments are to be exchanged, the distal end of the guide tube 17 essentially remains in place and the appropriate instruments are simply inserted and/or withdrawn depending on the particular procedure that is being carried out.

Accordingly, one of the advantages is the ease of exchanging instruments. In a particular operation procedure, there may be a multitude of instrument exchanges and the present system is readily adapted for quick and easy instrument exchange. Because the holder or adaptor is maintained in position, the surgeon does not have to be as careful each and every time that he reintroduces an instrument into the patient, hi previous systems, the instrument is only supported through a caimula at the area of the incision and when an instrument exchange is to occur, these systems require removal of the entire assembly. This means that each time a new instrument is introduced, great care is required to reposition the distal end of the instrument so as to avoid internal tissue or organ damage. On the other hand, in accordance with the present invention, because the holder or adaptor is maintained in position at the operative site, even during instrument exchange, the surgeon does not have to be as careful as the insert simply slides through the rigid tube adaptor. This also essentially eliminates any chance of tissue or organ damage during this instrument exchange.

In this detailed description there is described an apparatus for enabling the interchange, at an operative site, between different types of surgical instruments and in an automated fashion, hi this way a substitution of one instrument for another can be readily accomplished, without manually withdrawing one instrument followed by manual insertion of another instrument. Further, with this apparatus, and the associated use of a guide tube, or the like, for receiving and guiding the instrument, the interchange can be carried out quickly and safely, thus enabling medical procedures to be performed in a far shorter period of time. The guide tube preferably extends to the operative site OS (see FIG. 35) so that the instrument can transition safely thereto. Also, the guide tube preferably remains at the operative site even as the instruments are exchanged in the guide tube, so as to avoid any tissue or organ damage during an instrument exchange. The operative site may be defined as the general area in close proximity to where movement of the tool occurs in performing a surgical procedure, usually in the viewing area of the endoscope and away from the incision.

In this description the instrument interchange principles are illustrated in association with two separate surgical systems, both of which are robotic systems, sometimes also refeπed to as telerobotic systems. However, the principles of this invention also apply to other surgical instrumentation, such as used in minimally invasive surgery (MIS), where a number of instrument exchanges are typical in performing a medical or surgical procedure. It is assumed, by way of example, that the systems disclosed herein are for use in laparoscopic surgery. Thus, one system is disclosed in FIGS. 26 through 36A and 36B, while a second system is disclosed in FIGS. 38 -42. A variation of the first system is illustrated in FIG. 37. It is noted that in FIG. 37, the instrument-to-driver registration is accomplished with a linear aπangement, while in the other versions described herein a rotating aπangement is employed, all to be described in further detail later. Also, in the embodiments described herein the driver has only linear translation while the instrument storage chamber rotates (FIGS. 29 and 38) or slides (FIG. 37). hi an alternate embodiment the driver may rotate or otherwise move to different registration positions, as the instrument storage chamber remains stationary, as long as there is relative motion between the instrument driver and instrument storage chamber.

Before reference is made to the detailed embodiments described herein, consideration is given to co-pending applications that are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entirety, and that describe in further detail aspects of the several components that make up the overall robotic surgery system. In connection with descriptions set forth herein reference is made to the applications set forth in the related application part of this application as well as to pending U.S. Application Serial No. 09/783,637 filed February 14, 2001; U.S. Application Serial No. 10/014,143 filed November 11, 2001; as well as issued U.S. Patent 6,197,017.

The first embodiment of the invention is illusfrated in FIGS. 29-36. FIG. 29 shows a surgical instrument system 1010 that performs surgical procedures. The system may be used to perform minimally invasive procedures. The system may also be used to perform open or endoscopic surgical procedures. The system 1010 includes a surgeon interface 1011, computation system 1012, and drive unit 1013. The system controls the instrument so as to position the end effector (tool) 1018 of the instrument 1020 at the very distal end of and extending through the outlet guide tube 1024 . During use, a surgeon may manipulate the handles 1030 of the surgeon interface 1011, to effect desired motion of the end effector 1018 within the patient, at the operative site which is schematically illustrated in FIG. 35. The movement of a handle 1030 is interpreted by the computation system 1012 to control the movement of the end effector (tool) 1018.

The system may also include an endoscope with a camera to remotely view the operative site. The camera may be mounted on the distal end of the instrument, or may be positioned away from the site to provide additional perspective on the surgical operation. In certain situations, it may be desirable to provide the endoscope through an opening other than the one used by the instrument.

The entire assembly illustrated in FIG. 29 is shown supported over the surgical table 1027, and in a position so that the guide tube 1024 can be inserted through an incision in the patient and directed to the operative site of the patient. The incision is represented in FIG. 29 by the dashed line L. The surgical instrument system 1010 of the present invention is preferably mounted on rigid post 1019 which may be movably affixed to the surgical table 1027, at bracket 1028.

The surgical system 1010 includes two mechanical cable-in-conduit bundles 1021 and 1022. These cable bundles 1021 and 1022 terminate at one end at the two connection modules(couplers) 1023A and 1023B, which removably attach to the drive unit 1013. The drive unit 1013 is preferably located outside the sterile field, although it may be draped with a sterile barrier so that it may be operated within the sterile field. The other end of the bundles terminate at the surgical system 1010. These terminations are shown in further detail in the description of the second embodiment that is described later. Basically cables in the bundle 1021 may control; the indexing for controlled rotation of the instrument storage chamber 1040; rotation of the guide tube 1024; as well as motion of the caniage 1054 for control of the linear translation of the driver 1050. On the other hand the bundle 1022 may control, for example, rotation of the instrument within the guide tube 1024, as well as actuation of the tool 1018. The instrument storage chamber is also refeπed to herein as an instrument retainer.

FIG. 29 also shows the instrument storage chamber 1040 that is illustrated as supported over the base piece 1051, which, in turn, is supported from the rigid post 1019. The cable bundle 1021 couples to the base piece 1051 and controls motion of the instrument storage chamber 1040, as well as the driver 1050. The guide tube 24 is supported at the outlet port side of the instrument storage chamber 1040, and is controlled for rotation relative to the instrument storage chamber 1040. Rotation of the guide tube 1024 provides a coπesponding rotation of the instrument and tool. The instrument storage chamber 1040 has at its inlet side a port for receiving the driver 1050, and for peπnitting engagement of the driver with the one of the instruments in the instrument storage chamber 1040 that is in registration with the driver 1050. The driver 1050 is supported from the carriage 1054 which transitions on rails 1055, and is controlled from cable bundle 1022. The driver may also be refeπed to herein as an instrument transporter.

In accordance with the setup of the system of FIG. 29, the guide tube 1024 of the surgical instrument system 1010 is inserted into the patient usually through an incision. Usually, a cannula is positioned in the incision, is maintained in position and receives the guide tube 1024. This incision is illustrated in FIG. 29 by the dashed line L. The system is then mounted to the rigid post 1019. The cable bundles 1021 and 1022 are then coupled to the drive unit 1013. The connection modules or couplers 1023 A and 1023B at the end of respective cable bundles 1021 and 1022 are then engaged into the drive unit 1013. The system is then ready for use and control from the master station side at surgeon interface 1011. For further details of the entire slave side of the system, including the drive unit, detachability at the drive unit, the cabling and cable couplers, refer to U.S. Serial Nos. 09/783,637; and 10/014,143, previously mentioned.

Now, reference is made, not only to FIG. 29 but also to FIGS. 30 through 34 that illustrate further details depicting the interchangeable instrument concepts of the present invention. FIG. 35 illustrates schematically a cabling scheme that may be used in the instrument. FIG. 37 illustrates an alterative to the revolving chamber construction, in the form of a linearly translatable housing or chamber aπangement.

The revolving instrument storage chamber 1040 includes a base 1042, opposite end walls

1043 and a cylindrical chamber or magazine 1044. hi the embodiment illustrated herein, chamber 1044 has six elongated passages 1046 each for receiving an instrument. The chamber

1044 is supported by a centrally disposed support rod 1047, such as illustrated in FIG. 33. The support rod 1047 may be supported in bearings (not shown) at the opposite end walls 1043. The instrument storage chamber 1040 has its rotation controlled at base piece 1051 (see FIG. 29) so that when an operator at interface 1011 wants to change instruments, a command can be sent from the master to the slave side to rotate the magazine 1044 so that a different instrument is in alignment with the driver 1050. Of course, this exchange only occurs when the driver has been withdrawn to its rest (disengaged) position. Specific sequences of the interchange action are described later. The command that is sent may be initiated by any one of several means, some of which are described in some detail later.

FIGS. 30 and 31 also illustrate the outlet guide tube 1024. The tube 1024 is secured to one of the end walls 1043 and is essentially fixed in axial position relative to that end wall 1043 of the rotating instrument storage chamber 1040, but is capable of rotation on its own axis, and relative to the chamber 1040. Details of this rotational support are described further in connection with the second embodiment described in FIGS. 38-42. The end walls 1043 supporting the magazine 1044 are fixed to the base 1042, which is supported over the base piece 1051 which, in turn, is fixed to the rigid post 1019. Thus, in this particular embodiment the instrument storage chamber 1040 rotates but does not have any significant linear movement toward or away from the operative site. Thus, in this first embodiment the instrument confrol has a somewhat limited number, of degrees-of-freedom. The degrees-of-freedom can be increased by providing the guide tube with a curved distal end, like that illusfrated in the second embodiment of the invention in FIGS. 38-42.

FIGS. 29 through 34 also illustrates the instrument driver 1050. The instrument driver 1050 is adapted to enter an end inlet port 1049 in the wall 1043 of the rotating chamber 1040. In this regard, refer to FIG 31 for the inlet port 1049. Also, as discussed previously in connection with FIG. 29, in the base piece 1051 there is an indexing mechanism that controls the rotation of the rotating storage chamber 1044 so that different ones of the passages 1046 are adapted to be aligned with the input driver port 1049. This registration control may be carried out using a detent mechanism so that the proper instrument is aligned and selected from the chamber by the instrument driver 1050. Refer to FIG. 30 and the cable bundle 1021 that interconnects with the chamber 1044 for selective and registered rotation thereof. Also, refer to FIG. 42 for an example of an indexing mechanism.

In a similar manner, at the opposite end wall 1043 of the chamber 1040, there is provided an outlet port 1048, such as illustrated in FIG. 31, and that aligns with the outlet guide tube 1024. Also, in FIGS. 30 and 31 there is illusfrated the carriage 1054 that carries the instrument driver 1050 and that transitions along the support rails 1055 to enable the driver to selectively engage with and drive the instrument forward through the guide tube 1024 and toward the operative site.

FIG. 31 illustrates a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the interchangeable instrument apparatus of the present invention. An instrument 1020 with its end effector (tool) 1018 is illustrated disposed in one of the elongated chambers 1046 of the rotating chamber 1044. In practice, each of the other passages 1046 can contain other types of instruments, with a variety of different tool or end effectors. For the sake of clarity, only one of the instruments is illustrated in FIG 31, it being understood that up to six other instruments of different types may be disposed in other ones of the elongated passages 1046. Also, the magazine 1044 may be constructed with fewer or more instrument-receiving passages. FIG 31 also illustrates the driver 1050 in a position where the end 1056 thereof is positioned just entering the inlet port 1049 with the end 1056 about to engage the end 1025 of the instrument 1020. The position of the instrument driver 1050 is considered as a "rest position" when the end 1057 is disposed in wall 1043, but has not yet entered the magazine 1044 so that the magazine 44 is free to rotate. To interlock and align the driver and the instrument, there is provided a post 58 (see FIG. 33) on the driver 1050 and an accommodating recess 1026 (see FIG. 33) in the instrument end 1025.

As mentioned previously, there are mechanical cables extending in bundles 1021 and 1022 illustrated in FIG 29. The cables in bundle 1022, in particular, couple by way of pulleys and then extend the length of the driver 1050 to the instrument 1020. The cabling and control pulley aπangements are disclosed in further detail in the second embodiment as shown in FIGS. 38-42. This cabling is for operating the end effector 1018 illustrated in FIG 29. To provide continuity of this mechanical control cabling, both the instrument driver as well as the instrument cany interconnecting cable connections. These are illustrated clearly in FIGS. 32 through 34. Also refer to the schematic perspective view of FIG. 35 showing the manner in which the cables couple about pulleys 1029 and extend through the driver to intercouple with cabling of the instrument 1020. These cable connections between the driver and instrument may also be considered as defining a coupling section or coupling interface 1059 where the driver and instrument are releasably engageable. One may also consider the driver and instrument, such as illusfrated in FIGS. 29-34, as collectively being an instrument member including a work section (instrument 1020 and tool 1018), and a driver section (driver 1050).

The instrument driver 1050 has passages 1061 (see FIG. 32) for receiving a cable 1062 (see FIGS. 32, 33 and 34). As illustrated in FIGS. 32, 33 and 34 the end of cable 1062 terminates in a hook 1064. The hook 1064 is adapted to engage with a similar-configuration hook 1066 at the end of cable 1068 as illustrated in FIG 34. FIG 32 illustrates a series of slots or passages 1061, which in the illustrated embodiment comprise six such slots 1061. Each of these slots receives a cable 1062 with its end hook 1064.

Referring further to FIG. 32, this illusfrates the end 1025 of the instrument 1020. Also illusfrated are the elongated slots 1061 in the driver(fransporter) 1050. FIG. 32 illustrates the cables 1068 and their associated hooks 1066 associated with the instrument 1020. Also shown is the cable 1062 with its hook 64 disposed in slot 1061.

FIG 33 illustrates the end 1056 of the instrument driver 1050 as the driver 1050 is transitioning through the port 1049 for engagement with the instrument 1020. The driver 1050 has not yet engaged the instrument 1020, but has just left its rest position. The "rest "

(disengaged) position for the instrument driver 1050 is one in which the end 1056 of the driver 1050 is disposed in the end wall 1043 and out of the passage 1046 so that the chamber 1044 is free to rotate. In the position of FIG. 33, the hook 1066 associated with the instrument 1020 is preferably biased to a somewhat outward deflected position. In this regard, it is noted that the passage 1046 has an enlarged section 1046 A that permits the hook 1066 to deflect outwardly, as illustrated. The hooks are essentially spring biased outwardly so as to contact the inner wall surface of enlarged section 1046A. This enables the driver to pass by the hooks 1066 for engagement with the instrument 1020.

As the driver 1050 proceeds from the position illustrated in FIG 33, toward the position illustrated in FIG. 34, the hook 1064 passes under the hook 1066 and as the driver is driven further to the left, as viewed in FIG 31, the hooks 1064 and 1066 become interlocked in the position illustrated in FIG 34 and there is thus cable continuity from cable 1062 to cable 1068. As is discussed in further detail hereinafter, the operation of these cables provide operation of certain actions of the end effector 1018. As the driver end 1056 engages the instrument end 1025, the post 1058 engages with the recess 1026 so as to properly align the driver and instrument. At the initial point of contact the hooks 1066 are still out of engagement with the hooks 1064. However, as the driver moves further to the left the instrument starts to transition out of the storage chamber passage 1046, and the hooks 1066 transition into the smaller diameter section of the passage 1046, causing them to deflect into engagement with the hooks 1064, such as illustrated in FIG. 34. The coupling interface 1059 formed essentially between the hooks 1064 and 1066 is maintained as the instrument transitions out of the instrument storage chamber 1040. Refer to FIG. 35.

The driver 1050 is of a sufficient length so that the selected instrument 1020 is driven out of the chamber 1044 and into the outlet guide tube 1024. The instrument is then fransitioned through the guide tube 1024 to the position illustrated in FIG 29 where the end effector or tool 1018 of the instrument extends from the distal end of the guide tube 1024 at a position inside the body cavity (operative site). All the while that the instrument is being fransitioned to the end of the guide tube 1024, the interconnecting cables are maintained in an interlocked position such as illustrated by the engaged hooks 1064 and 1066 in FIG 34.

When it is desired to change to a different instrument, the driver 1050 is withdrawn or in other words is moved in a direction to the right in FIG 31. This carries the instrument with the instrument driver to the right and when the instrument reaches a position approximately as illusfrated in FIG 33, because of the increased diameter of the section 1046 A illustrated in FIG 33, the hooks 1066 are biased outwardly and disengage from the hooks 1064. This essentially disengages the driver from the instrument and the driver is then in a position to be withdrawn through the port 1049, no longer engaging with the instrument. This also leaves the instrument 1020 in place in the instrument storage chamber 1044 in readiness for a subsequent usage.

With the driver disengaged from the instrument, the instrument storage chamber can then be rotated to align a different instrument with the driver. The cabling in bundle 1021, via base piece 1051, controls the position of chamber 1040 so as to select a different instrument by rotating the chamber 1044 so that a different instrument registers with the driver 1050. For an example of a registration mechanism refer to FIG. 42. A different instrument would also cany cabling similar to that illustrated in FIG 33. Once the new instrument is in-line with the instrument driver 1050 then the driver 1050 may be engaged once again to pass through the port 1049 engaging the new instrument and thus transitioning the new instrument out the outlet guide tube 1024 to a position where the tool of the instrument is at the operative site in readiness for use and control from the master station surgeon interface.

A wide variety of different instruments may be supported in the instrument storage chamber 1040. Tool 1018 may include a variety of articulated tools, such as jaws, scissors, graspers, needle holders, micro dissectors, staple appliers, tackers, suction irrigation tools, clip appliers, that have end effectors driven by wire links, eccentric cams, push-rods or other mechanisms. In addition, tool 1018 may comprise a non-articulated instrument, such as cutting blades, probes, irrigators, catheters or suction orifices. Alternatively, tool 1018 may comprise an electrosurgical probe for ablating, resecting, cutting or coagulating tissue.

To provide proper alignment of the instrument 1020 in the chamber 1040 and with the driver 1050 there are preferably provided interlocking surfaces such as a tongue and groove (not shown) between the walls of the chamber passage and the outer surface off the instrument and/or driver, interlocking or guiding surfaces may also be provided within the guide tube 1024. Thus, as the different instruments are moved in and out of the rotating chamber they will always be properly aligned with the driver so that the proper cabling is provided to control the instrument. Reference is now made to FIG. 35 for a schematic illustration of the cabling as it extends

5 from the bundle 1022, through the driver 1050, to the instrument 1020, and the tool 1018. The cabling extends about pulleys 1029 and into the slots 1061 in the instrument driver 1050. FIG. 35 illustrates the driver 1050 in a position in which it has entered the guide tube 1024 and transitions to a location essentially at the end of the guide tube where the tool 1018 is located and at the operative site OS. At the end of the driver where the cable hooks engage, such as

0 illustrated in FIGS. 33 and 34, there is the coupling or interface section 1059. FIG. 35 also illustrates the passages 46 and another non-selected tool within the instrument storage chamber. The construction of one form of tool is illustrated in FIGS. 36A and 36B. This is in the form of a set of jaws or grippers. This tool is shown for the purpose of illustration, it being understood that a variety of other tool may be used. FIG. 36A is a perspective view showing the

5 tool pivoted at the wrist while FIG. 36B is an exploded view of the tool. The tool 1018 is comprised of four members including the base 10600, link 10601, upper grip or jaw 10602 and lower grip or jaw 10603. The base 10600 is affixed to the flexible stem section 10302. This flexible section may be constructed of a ribbed plastic. This flexible section may be used when a curved end guide tube (see FIG. 39) is used so that the instrument will readily bend through the

10 curved actuator tube 1024.

The link 10601 is rotatably connected to the base 10600 about axis 10604. FIG. 36B illusfrates a pivot pin at 10620. The upper and lower jaws 10602 and 10603 are rotatably connected to the link about axis 10605, where axis 10605 is essentially perpendicular to axis 10604. FIG. 36B illustrates another pivot pin at 10624.

,5 Six cables 10606-10611, shown schematically in FIG. 36A and FIG. 36B, actuate the four members 10600-10603 of the tool. Cable 10606 travels tlirough the insert stem (section 10302) and through a hole in the base 10600, wraps around curved surface 10626 on link 10601, and then attaches on link 10601 at 10630. Tension on cable 10606 rotates the link 10601, and attached upper and lower grips 10602 and 10603, about axis 10604( wrist pivot). Cable 10607

>0 provides the opposing action to cable 10606, and goes through the same routing pathway, but on the opposite sides of the insert. Cable 10607 may also attach to link 10601 generally at 10630. Cables 10606 and 10607 maybe one continuous cable secured at 10630.

Cables 10608 and 10610 also travel through the stem 10302 and though holes in the base 10600. The cables 10608 and 10610 then pass between two fixed posts 10612. These posts constrain the cables to pass substantially through the axis 10604, which defines rotation of the link 10601. This construction essentially allows free rotation of the link 10601 with minimal length changes in cables 10608-10611. In other words, the cables 10608-10611, which actuate the grips 10602 and 10623, are essentially decoupled from the motion of link 10601. Cables 10608 and 10610 pass over rounded sections and terminate on grips 10602 and 10603, respectively. Tension on cables 10608 and 10610 rotate grips 10602 and 10603 counterclockwise about axis 10605. Finally, as shown in FIG. 36B, the cables 10609 and 10611 pass tlirough the same routing pathway as cables 10608 and 10610, but on the opposite side of the instrument. These cables 10609 and 10611 provide the clockwise motion to grips or jaws 10602 and 10603, respectively. At the jaws 10602 and 10603, as depicted in FIG. 36B, the ends of cables 10608-10611 may be secured at 10635. This securing may occur with the use of an adhesive such as an epoxy glue or the cables could be crimped to the jaw.

Reference is now made to FIG. 37. FIG. 37 schematically illustrated an alternate embodiment of the present invention, hi FIGS. 29-36 the different instruments are selected by means of a rotating aπangement. In FIG 37 the selection is made on an essentially linear basis. Thus, instead of the rotating member illustrated in FIGS. 29-36, there is a flat aπay 1070 also having a series of elongated passages 1072 extending therethrough. Each of these passages accommodates an instrument. FIG. 37 also schematically illustrates, by the same reference characters, the instrument driver 1050 and the outlet guide tube 1024 such as previously illustrated in FIGS. 29-36. The flat aπay 1070 may be driven selectively in the direction of aπow 1074 so as to align different ones of the passages 1072 with the driver 1050 and guide tube 1024. Mechanisms for selective linear drive are well known, as are mechanisms for registration so as to provide proper alignment between the instrument and instrument driver.

In connection with the aforementioned description of the cables/hooks, it is noted that the interchange system is designed preferably to have all cabling maintained in tension, hi this way, as an instrument is engaged, all of the cabling running therethrough is in tension and properly operative to control the end effector whether it be a set of jaws as illustrated in FIGS. 36A and 36B or some other type of instrument. If an end effector has less degrees of movement than that illusfrated in FIGS. 36A and 36B this is still effectively controlled, but with the use of fewer cable control signals (fewer cables will actually be activated).

Reference is now made to the second robotic surgical system depicted in FIGS. 38-42, and that discloses a system having a greater number of degrees-of-freedom than the system described in FIGS. 29-36. hi FIGS. 38-42 the same reference characters are used for similar components as depicted in FIGS. 29-36.

The surgical robotic system, as illusfrated in FIGS. 38-42, although preferably used to perform minimally invasive surgery, may also be used to perform other procedures as well, such as open or endoscopic surgical procedures. FIG. 38 illusfrates a surgical instrument system 1010 that includes a master station M at which a surgeon 102 manipulates an input device, and a slave station S at which is disposed a surgical instrument, i FIG. 29 the input device is illustrated at 103 being manipulated by the hand or hands of the surgeon. The surgeon is illustrated as seated in a comfortable chair 104. The forearms of the surgeon are typically resting upon armrests 105.

FIG. 38 illustrates a master assembly 107 associated with the master station M and a slave assembly 108 associated with the slave station S. Assembly 108 may also be refeπed to as a drive unit. Assemblies 107 and 108 are interconnected by means of cabling 106 with a controller 109. As illustrated in FIG. 38, controller 109 typically has associated therewith one or more displays and a keyboard. Reference is also made to, for example, the aforementioned U.S. Serial No. 10/014,143, for further detailed descriptions of the robotic controller operation and associated algorithm.

As noted in FIG. 38, the drive unit 108 is remote from the operative site and is preferably positioned a distance away from the sterile field. The drive unit 108 is controlled by a computer system, part of the controller 109. The master station M may also be refeπed to as a user interface vis-a-vis the controller 109. Commands issued at the user interface are translated by the computer into an electronically driven motion in the drive unit 108. The surgical instrument, which is tethered to the drive unit through the cabling connections, produces the desired replicated motion. FIG. 38, of course, also illustrates an operating table T upon which the patient P is placed. >

Thus, the controller couples between the master station M and the slave station S and is operated in accordance with a computer algorithm. The controller receives a command from the input device 103 and confrols the movement of the surgical instrument so as to replicate the input manipulation.

With further reference to FIG. 38, associated with the patient P is the surgical instrument

1014, which in the illusfrated embodiment actually comprises two separate instruments one on either side of an endoscope E. The endoscope includes a camera to remotely view the operative site. The camera may be mounted on the distal end of the instrument insert, or may be positioned away from the site to provide additional perspective on the surgical operation. In certain situations, it may be desirable to provide the endoscope through an opening other than the one used by the surgical instrument 1014. hi this regard, in FIG. 38 tliree separate incisions are shown, two for accommodating the surgical instruments and a centrally disposed incision that accommodates the viewing endoscope. A drape is also shown with a single opening.

The surgical instrument 1014 is generally comprised of two basic components including a surgical adaptor or guide 1015 and an instrument 1014. FIG. 38 illusfrates the surgical adaptor

1015, which is comprised primarily of the guide tube 1024. hi FIG. 38 the instrument 1014 is not clearly illustrated but extends through the guide tube 1024. The instrument 1014 canies at its distal end the tool 1018. Descriptions of the surgical instrument are found hereinafter in additional drawings, particularly FIG. 39. The surgical adaptor 1015 is basically a passive mechanical device, driven by the attached cable aπay.

In FIG. 38 there is illustrated cabling 1022 coupling from the instrument 1014 to the drive unit 1018. The cabling 1022 is preferably detachable from the drive unit 108. Furthermore, the surgical adaptor 1015 may be of relatively simple construction. It may thus be designed for particular surgical applications such as abdominal, cardiac, spinal, arthroscopic, sinus, neural, etc. As indicated previously, the instrument 1014 couples to the adaptor 1015 and essentially provides a means for exchanging the instrument tools. The tools may include, for example, forceps, scissors, needle drivers, electrocautery etc.

Referring still to FIG. 38, the surgical system 10 may preferably be used to perform minimally invasive procedures, although it is to be understood that the system may also be used to perform other procedures, such as open or endoscopic surgical procedures. The system 1010 includes a surgeon's interface 1011, computation system or controller 109, drive unit 108 and the surgical instrument 1014. The surgical system 1010, as mentioned previously, is comprised of an adaptor or guide 1015 and the instrument 1014. The system is used by positioning a tool 1018 of the instrument , which is inserted through the surgical adaptor or guide 1015. During use, a surgeon may manipulate the input device 103 at the surgeon's interface 1011, to effect desired motion of the tool 1018 within the patient. The movement of the handle or hand assembly at input device 103 is interpreted by the controller 109 to control the movement of the guide tube 1024, instrument, and tool 1018.

The surgical instrument 1014, along with the guide tube 1024 is mounted on a rigid post

1019 which is illustrated in FIG. 38 as removably affixed to the surgical table T. This mounting aπangement permits the instrument to remain fixed relative to the patient even if the table is repositioned. Although, in FIG. 38 there are illusfrated two such instruments, even a single surgical instrument may be used.

As indicated previously, connecting between the surgical instrument 1014 and the drive unit 108, are cablings. These include two mechanical cable-in-conduit bundles 1021 and 1022. These cable bundles 1021 and 1022 may terminate at two comiection modules, not illustrated in FIG. 38 (see FIG. 29), which removably attach to the drive unit 8. Although two cable bundles are described here, it is to be understood that more or fewer cable bundles may be used. Also, the drive unit 8 is preferably located outside the sterile field, although it may be draped with a sterile barrier so that it may be operated within the sterile field.

In the prefeπed technique for setting up the system, and with reference to FIG. 38, the surgical instrument 1014 is inserted into the patient through an incision or opening. The instrument 1014 is then mounted to the rigid post 1019 using a mounting bracket 1031. The cable bundles 1021 and 1022 are then passed away from the operative area to the drive unit 108. The connection modules of the cable bundles are then engaged into the drive unit 108. The separate instrument members of instrument 1014 are then selectively passed through the guide tube 1024. This action is in accordance with the interchangeable instrument concepts of this invention.

The instrument 1014 is controlled by the input device 103, which is be manipulated by the surgeon. Movement of the hand assembly produces proportional movement of the instrument 1014 tlirough the coordinating action of the controller 109. It is typical for the movement of a single hand confrol to control movement of a single instrument. However, FIG. 38 shows a second input device that is used to confrol an additional instrument. Accordingly, in FIG. 38 two input devices are illusfrated and two coπesponding instruments. These input devices are usually for left and right hand control by the surgeon.

The surgeon's interface 1011 is in electrical communication with the controller 109. This electrical confrol is primarily by way of the cabling 6 illusfrated in FIG. 38 coupling from the bottom of the master assembly 107. Cabling 106 also couples from the controller 109 to the actuation or drive unit 108. This cabling 6 is electrical cabling. The actuation or drive unit 108, however, is in mechanical communication with the instrument 1014. The mechanical communication with the instrument allows the electromechanical components to be removed from the operative region, and preferably from the sterile field. The surgical instrument 1014 provides a number of independent motions, or degrees-of-freedom, to the tool 1018. These degrees-of-freedom are provided by both the guide tube 1024 and the instrument 1014.

FIG. 38 shows primarily the overall surgical system. FIGS. 39-42 show further details particularly of the interchangeable instrument concepts as applied to this system. FIG. 43 illustrates a confrol algorithm for the system. The system of FIG. 38 is adapted to provide seven degrees-of-freedom at the tool 1018. Three of the degrees-of-freedom are provided by motions of the adaptor 1015, while four degrees-of-freedom may be provided by motions of the instrument 1014. As will be described in detail later, the adaptor is remotely controllable so that it pivots, translates linearly, and has its guide tube rotate. The instrument also rotates (through the instrument driver), pivots at its wrist, and has two jaw motions at the tool. Now, reference is made to the more detailed drawings of FIGS. 39-42. FIG. 39 is a perspective view at the slave station of the system of FIG. 38 illustrating the interchangeable instrument concepts. FIG. 40 is a cross-sectional view through the storage chamber and as taken along line 1012-1012 of FIG. 39. FIG. 41 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, as talcen along line 1013-1013 of FIG. 39. FIG. 42 is a perspective schematic view of the indexing and registration mechanism used in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 38-41.

Reference is now made to FIG. 39 which is a perspective view illustrating the instrument 1014 and the adaptor 1015 at the slave station S. This instrument system is secured in the manner illusfrated in FIG. 38 to the rigid post 1019 that supports the surgical instrument by way of the mounting bracket 1031 illusfrated in FIG. 38, but not shown in FIG. 39. FIG. 39 also shows several cables that may be separated into five sets for controlling different motions and actions at the slave station. These are individual cables of the aforementioned bundles 1021 and 1022 refeπed to in FIG. 38. FIG. 39 also illustrates the support yoke 10220 that is secured to the mounting bracket 1031, the pivot piece 10222, and support rails 10224 for the carriage 10226. The rails are supported in end pieces 10241 and 10262 with the end piece 10241 attached to the pivot piece 10222. The pivot piece 10222 pivots relative to the support yoke 10220 about pivot pin 10225. A base piece 10234 is supported under the carriage 10226 by means of the support post 10228. The support post 10228 in essence supports the entire instrument assembly, including the adaptor 1015 and the instrument 1014.

As indicated previously, the support yoke 10220 is supported in a fixed position from the mounting bracket 1031. The support yoke 10220 may be considered as having an upper leg 10236 and a lower leg 10238. i the opening 10239 between these legs 10236 and 10238 is aπanged the pivot piece 10222. Cabling extends into the support yoke 10220. This is illustrated in FIG. 39 by the cable set 10501. Associated with the pivot piece 10222 and the carriage 10226 are pulleys (not shown) that receive the cabling for confrol of two degrees-of-freedom. This control from the cable set 10501 includes pivoting of the entire instrument assembly about the pivot pin 10225. This action pivots the guide tube 1024 essentially in a single plane. This pivoting is preferably about an incision of the patient wliich is placed directly under, and in line with, the pivot pin 10225. Other cables of set 10501 control the carriage 10226 in a linear path in the direction of the aπow 10227. See also the cables 10229 extending between the carriage 10226 and the end pieces 10241 and 10262. The carriage moves the instrument and guide tube 1024 back and forth in the direction of the operative site OS. Incidentally, in FIG. 39 the instrument is in its fully advanced state with the tool at the operative site OS.

The base piece 10234 is the main support for the interchangeable instrument apparatus of the invention. Refer to FIGS. 39-42. The base piece 10234 supports the guide tube 1024, the instrument storage chamber 10540, and the instrument driver 10550. The instrument driver 10550 is supported from another carriage, depicted in FIGS. 39 and 1013 as the carriage 10552, and that, in turn, is supported for translation on the caπiage rails 10554. The rails 10554 are supported at opposite ends at end pieces 10556 and 10558, in a manner similar to the support for the other carriage 10226. A support post 10560 interconnects the carriage 10552 with the instrument driver housing 10570. With further reference to FIG. 39, and as mentioned previously, there are a number of cable sets from bundles 1021 and 1022 coupled to and for controlling certain actions of the instrument system. Mention has been made of the cable set 10501 for controlling instrument pivoting and translation, as previously explained. In addition, FIG. 39 depicts four other cable sets 10503, 10505, 10507, and 10509. Cable set 10503 confrols rotation of the guide tube 1024. Cable set 10505 confrols the carriage 10552, and, in turn, the extending and retracting of the instrument driver for instrument exchange. Cable set 10507 controls rotation of the instrument through rotation of the instrument driver. Finally, cable set 10509 controls the tool via the instrument driver and instrument. There is also one other set of control cables not specifically illustrated in FIG. 39 that controls the indexing motor 10565, to be discussed in further detail later. FIG. 41 shows a cross-sectional view tlirough the interchangeable instrument portion of the overall instrument system. This clearly illustrates the internal cable and pulley aπangement for the various motion controls. There is a pulley 10301 driven from the cable set 10503 that controls rotation of the guide tube 1024. There is also a pulley 10303 driven from cable set 10505, along with a companion pulley 10305 that provides control for the carriage 10552. FIG. 41 also illustrates another pulley 10307 driven from cable set 10507, and for controlling the rotation of the instrument driver 10550, and, in turn, the selected instrument.

FIG. 41 illusfrates the guide tube 1024 supported from the base piece 10234. The guide tube 1024 is hollow and is adapted to receive the individual instruments or work sections 10541 disposed in the instrument storage chamber 10540, as well as the instrument driver 10550. Refer to FIG. 35 for an illustration of the instrument and instrument driver positioned in the guide tube 1024. FIG. 41 shows the instrument driver 10550 in its rest or disengaged position. The proximal end 1024A of the guide tube 1024 is supported in the base piece 10234 by means of a pair of bearings 10235 so that the guide tube 1024 is free to rotate in the base piece 10234. This rotation is controlled from the pulley 10237 which is secured to the outer surface of the guide tube 1024 by means of a set screw 10231. The pulley 10237 is controlled to rotate by means of the cabling 10310 that intercouples the pulleys 10301 and 10237 and that is an extension of the cabling 10503. Thus, by means of the cable and pulley aπangement, and by means of the rotational support of the guide tube 1024, the rotational position of the guide tube 1024 is controlled from cable set 10503. Of course, this controlled rotation is effected from the master station via the controller 109, as depicted in the system view of FIG. 38, and as a function of the movements made by the surgeon at the user interface 1011. As indicated before the proximal end 1024A of the guide tube 1024 is supported from the base piece 10234. The distal end of the guide tube 1024, which is adapted to extend through the patient incision, and is disposed at the operative site OS illusfrated about the tool 1018 in FIG. 39, and where a medical or surgical procedure is to be performed. In the system shown in FIG. 39 the distal end of the guide tube 1024 is curved at 1024B. In this way by rotating the guide tube 1024 about its longitudinal axis there is provided a further degree-of-freedom so as to place the end tool at any position in three-dimensional space. The rotation of the guide tube 1024 enables an orbiting of the end tool about the axis of the guide tube 1024. The guide tube 1024 is preferably rigid and constructed of a metal such as aluminum. The tool 1018 illustrated in FIG. 39 may be the same tool as illustrated in FIGS. 36A and 36B. Also, when the instrmnent is fully engaged, as in FIG. 39, the cabling and cable interface is as illusfrated in FIG. 35.

FIG. 41 also illustrates a cross-section of the instrument storage chamber 10540 including the storage magazine 10549, and showing two of the six instrument passages 10542 in the storage magazine 10549. The instrument storage chamber may also be refeπed to herein as an instrument retainer. In FIG. 41 one of the instruments 10541 is about to be engaged by the instrument driver 10550. The other instrument 10541 is in place (storage or rest position) in the instrument storage chamber 10540, and out of the path of the instrument driver 10550. One of the instruments 10541 canies a gripper tool illustrated at 10543, while the other instrument canies a scissors 10544. Because these instruments are adapted to pass to the guide tube 24 and be positioned at the distal end 1024B thereof, the body 10548 of the instrument is flexible so as to be able to curve with the curvature of the guide tube 1024.

Although reference is made herein to the separate instrument and instrument driver, such as illusfrated in FIG. 41, once they are engaged they function as a single piece instrument member. Accordingly reference is also made herein to the instrument driver 10550 as a "driver section" of the overall one piece instrmnent member, and the instrument 10541 as a "working" section of the instrument member. The instrument member has also been previously discussed as having a "coupling section" or "interface section", which is defined between the working section and the driver section where the cables interlock by means of the engaging hook aπangement, such as clearly depicted in FIGS. 33 and 34. This is shown in FIG. 41 at 10559. This is analogous to the interface 1059 illustrated in FIG. 35. The carriage 10552 illustrated in FIG. 41 is moved linearly by the cables 10555 that extend between pulleys 10303 and 10305. These cables attach to the carriage 10552. The carriage movement is controlled from cable set 10505. It is the movement of the carriage 10552 that drives the instrument driver(driver section) 10550. The instrument driver 10550, in its rest or disengaged position, is supported between the instrument driver housing 10570 and the wall 10562 that is used for support of the instrument storage chamber 10540. The instrument magazine 10549 is rotationally supported by means of the axle or shaft 10547, with the use of bushings or bearings, not shown. This support is between walls 10562 and 10563.

FIG. 41 shows the very distal end 10525 of the instrument driver (transporter) 10550 supported at wall 10562. In the rest position of the instrument driver 10550 the driver is out of engagement with the instruments and the magazine 10549, thus permitting rotation of the instrument storage chamber 10540. The proximal end 10526 of the instrument driver 10550 is supported at the instrument driver housing 10570. It may be rotationally supported by means of a bushing 10527. The instrument driver 10550 is supported for rotation, but rotation is only enabled once the driver has engaged the instrument and preferably is at the operative site. The rotation of the instrument driver 10550 is controlled from cable set 10503 by way of the pulley 10307.

In FIG. 39 the cable set 10509 is illustrated as controlling the instrument motions including tool actuation. These cables control a series of pulleys shown in FIG. 41 as pulleys 10529. As indicted in FIG. 41 these pulleys control cabling that extends through the instrument driver and the instrmnent for control of instrument and tool motions. The cables that are controlled from these pulleys may confrol tliree degrees-of-freedom of the instrument, including pivoting at the wrist and two for gripper action. For the details of the interlocking of the instrument and instrument driver refer to FIGS. 33 and 34. The same engagement aπangement can be used in this second embodiment of the invention including the mating hook aπangement, interlocked at interface 10559 when the instrument driver and instrument are engaged.

Reference has been made before to the indexing motor 10565. This motor is illustrated in FIG. 39 positioned next to the base piece 10234, and is further illustrated in FIG. 42 located for interaction with the instrument storage chamber 10540. The indexing motor 10565 is controlled from the master station side, and accordingly there is another cable set (not shown) that actuates the indexing motor 10565. The indexing motor 10565 may be a stepper motor having a degree of rotation that conesponds to the desired rotation of the instrument storage chamber 10540. The stepper motor may be designed to provide 60 degrees of rotation for each actuation, coπesponding to an instrument storage chamber 10540 having six passages (360 degrees divided by 6) for receiving instruments. In FIG. 42 the stepper motor 10565 has an output shaft 10566 that supports an indexing disk 10567, shown also in dashed line in FIG. 40. The indexing disk 10567 is fixed to the shaft 10566 and so rotates with the shaft 10566. FIG. 40 illustrates the disk 10567 caπying four pins 10568 disposed at the periphery of the disk 10567. FIG. 42 also shows these pins 10568. The pins 10568 selectively engage in indexing slots 10569 in an end wall of the magazine 10549. To insure that the rotating chamber stays in proper registration with the instrument driver a spring and ball detent aπangement is employed. Refer to FIGS. 39-42 illustrating a standard ball and spring member 10575 supported in the wall 10563. The ball of member 10575 is urged against an end wall surface 10576 of the magazine 10549. This end wall has a series of detent dimples 10577 (see FIG. 42) disposed at locations coπesponding to the passages in the magazine 10549. The stepper motor 10565 is selectively operated under surgeon confrol from the master station. Each step rotates the disk 10567 through 90 degrees. The engagement of the nns 10568 with the slots 10569 causes a coπesponding rotation of the magazine 10549 through 60 degrees. Each subsequent rotation of the stepper motor 10565 causes a further 60 degree rotation of the magazine 10549. The stepper motor 10565 is controllable in a manner so that, with proper decoding, there may be multiple step actuations to get from one mstrument to the next selected instrument.

The operation of the slave instrument is in a robotic manner from the master station, such as illustrated in FIG. 10. The surgeon can confrol several degrees-of-freedom of the instrument system. In addition, when the surgeon wishes to exchange instruments this can be done directly from the master station from an actuation member and at the proper time in the surgical procedure. One type of actuation member may be by means of a foot switch 410 illustrated in FIG. 10 within access of the surgeon. The foot switch 410 couples to the controller 9. Appropriate electrical signals are coupled from the master station to the slave station basically to confrol the stepper motor 10565 for indexing the magazine 10549. The sequence of operation for the indexing is demonstrated in the flow chart of FIG. 43.

This block diagram indicates the sequence of steps performed commencing with a rest position of the system in which the instruments are all in place in the storage chamber 10540, and the instrument driver is in the position substantially as illustrated in FIG. 41, just out of contact with the registered instrument and with the driver end 10525 disposed in the wall 10562. It is this position that is illustrated in FIG. 43 by box 10420. The next step is to check the regisfration of the instrument driver with the instrument itself. This is depicted by the box 10422. This step may involve the use of some known registration system, such as one using an optical sensing anangement to determine proper registration between the instrument driver 10550 and each of the passages in the magazine 10549, along with the instrument 10541. If proper regisfration is detected then the system proceeds to the next step indicated in FIG. 43 by box 10426, which activates the instrument driver 10550. This starts the process of driving the instrument to the operative site OS. This involves mechanical control signals on the cable set 10505 controlling the carriage 10552, and in turn, the instrument driver 550. If an improper registration is detected then box 10424 indicates the step of coπecting the regisfration. This may be carried out in a well known manner with the use of an optical system to provide slight rotation to the instrument storage chamber 10540 so as to obtain proper regisfration. This system may also use some type of a feedback system.

The next step in the system is indicated in FIG. 43 by the box 10428 which simply detects the fully engaged position of the instrument driver and instrument. This is the position illusfrated in FIG. 39. Again, this position can be readily detected by optical means. The next step illustrated in FIG. 43 by box 10430 is one that commences the interchange process. The intercoupled instrument and instrument driver are withdrawn. This involved movement of the carriage 10552 in the opposite direction. Next, indicated by box 10432, is where the instrument and instrument driver have reached the position illustrated in FIG. 41 previously refeπed to as the "rest position". In that position the instrument driver (transporter) 10550 is clear of the instrument storage chamber 10540, and thus the instrument storage chamber 10540 can be indexed (rotated). This is shown in FIG. 43 by the box 10434. Following these steps, from FIG. 43 it is seen that there may be another registration check (box 10436), and a coπection (box 10438), in a manner similar to the operation previously discussed regarding boxes 10422 and 10424. The process can then repeat at a time determined by the surgeon's instrument selection sequence. There has to be some coπelation between the indexing, what and where particular instruments are stored, and how the indexing is controlled from the master station. As indicated previously a foot switch can be used, such as the switch 10410 illusfrated in FIG. 38. In one version of the control the switch 10410 maybe comprised of six separate actuation buttons, each one coπesponding to one of the six instruments disposed in the instrument storage chamber 10540. Indicia may be provided associated with the storage chamber to indicate what particular instrument is disposed in what particular instrument passage, hi this way the surgeon would know what button to actuate to select the desired instrument. There could be coπesponding indicia associated with the switch buttons so the surgeon knows what button coπesponds exactly to what instrument.

The control system for indexing may also include a decoding scheme so that when the surgeon makes a selection the decoder determines the number of rotations (such as of the stepper motor 10565) necessary to bring the instrument driver into proper registration with the selected instrument. Because it may not always be clear as to the specific instrument sequence that the surgeon will use, the system has to determine how to index from one instrument to the next one selected. This selection process involves more than just sequencing from one instrument to an adjacent instrument. The process will have to accommodate a selection process in which the next selected instrument is not the adjacent instrument. Thus a simple decoder can be used to determine the number of stepper motor steps necessary to move the storage chamber to the next selected instrument.

Another aid that can be provided to the surgeon is a visible display illusfrated in FIG. 38, and on which there can be a diagram that matches the storage chamber pattern showing to the surgeon exactly where each instrument is placed including the type of instrument. This could be set up when the instruments are first selected the disposed in the instrument storage chamber 10540. hi association with this display one could also provide, in place of the switch 10410, a voice activated system so that the surgeon simply indices by voice which instrmnent to select. This may be done by simply numbering the instruments, such as one through six. A further variation may use a touch screen so that the surgeon simply touches an area on the screen coπesponding to the displayed image of the storage chamber with the stored instruments, hi all of the above instances, there are electrical signals generated from the master station, through a touch screen, switch, etc. that are conveyed to the controller 109 and from there to the slave side. The activating signals at the slave side basically confrol the stepper motor 10565 via a cable set not specifically shown in the drawings but that would couple to the stepper motor 10565 illusfrated in FIGS. 39,40 and 42.

Reference is now made to FIG. 44 for a schematic representation of a further alternate embodiment of the invention, hi FIGS. 29 and 38 it is noted that the instruments are contained in a parallel aπay. In accordance with the invention the instruments may also be disposed in a series aπay, as depicted in the schematic diagram of FIG. 44. This embodiment includes a retainer 10580 that is adapted to store a series of instruments 10581 in a serial aπay, also refeπed to herein as a linear chamber or linear retainer. Means are provided to enable the aπay to move laterally in the directions indicated by anows 10585. This movement can be of either the retainer or the instruments themselves. There is an alignment that occurs so that a selected instrument may align with a port 10584 from which the instrument may then be moved to location 10583. This is by a lateral or transverse movement of the instrument out of the retainer 10580. This movement is indicated in FIG. 44 by the aπow 10587. The instrument, once moved, is then in registration with the driver or transporter 10580 which is moveable in the direction of aπow 10588. The driver is controlled as in previous embodiments to transition the instrument to the operative site, through the represented output port 10586.

Although reference is made herein to "surgical instrument" it is contemplated that the principles of this invention also apply to other medical instruments, not necessarily for surgery, and including, but not limited to, such other implements as catheters, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic instruments and implements.

Having now described certain embodiments of the present invention, it should be apparent to one skilled in the art that numerous other embodiments and modifications thereof can be made, some of which have already been described, and all of which are intended to fall within the scope of the present invention. For example, the coupling sections or interface sections have been disclosed as intercoupled cables with hook aπangements, such as shown in FIG. 34. In another aπangement a different mechanical coupling scheme may be employed using a different interlock between cables. Also, in place of mechanical couplings other technologies may be used for coupling action to the instrument and tool, such as SMA technology. Regarding the tool itself, one has been illustrated with a wrist pivot, instead the tool may include a bendable section at or near its distal end. hi place of the stepper motor other indexing aπangements can be used, such as a ratchet and pawl system. Also, encoders can be used at the rotating storage chamber to detect motions to provide feedback for controlling the overall system.

Having now described a limited number of embodiments of the present invention, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous other embodiments and modifications thereof are contemplated as falling within the scope of the present invention.

Claims

What is claimed:
1. A remotely controllable surgical instrument comprising: an instrument shaft having a proximal end drivably intercoupled to a drive unit and a distal end insertable within a subject for performing a medical procedure at an operative site within the subject; a remotely disposed user interface interconnected to a remotely disposed signal processor which processes commands received from the user interface, the signal processor interconnected to the drive unit for transmitting processed command signals received from the user interface to the drive unit; characterized in that the instrument shaft comprises: an elongated shaft which is disposable on a single use; a mechanically drivable coupling mechanism mounted on the proximal end of the elongated shaft which is disposable on a single use together with the elongated shaft as a unit; wherein the elongated shaft is mechanically intercoupled to the drive unit via the coupling mechanism; the distal end of the elongated shaft being remote controllably manipulable via cables drivably intercoupled to the drive unit via the coupling mechanism, the cables being disposable on a single use together as a unit with the elongated shaft.
2. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claim 1 further comprising a mounting mechanism drivably connected to the drive unit, the coupling mechanism being readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the mounting mechanism.
3. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claim 2 wherein the mounting mechanism includes a guide tube for readily receiving and withdrawing the elongated shaft, the guide tube having a distal end insertable within the subject and stationarily positionable at the operative site, the elongated shaft being receivable within the guide tube such that the distal end of the elongated shaft extends through the distal end of the guide tube.
4. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 2 and 3 wherein the 'mounting mechanism comprises a guide tube for readily receiving and withdrawing the elongated shaft, the guide tube having a curvature along a length of the guide tube, the elongated shaft having a readily flexible section along a length of the shaft which readily confonns to the curvature in the guide upon receipt the shaft within the guide tube.
5. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 1 -4 wherein the drive unit is mounted at a location remote from the surgical instrument and comprises two or more motors which are drivably intercoupled to the coupling mechanism.
6. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 1-5 wherein the proximal end of the instrument shaft is drivably pivotable for translation in only a single plane.
7. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 1-6 wherein the drive unit is drivably intercoupled to the coupling mechanism via a cable mechanism, the cable mechanism being readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the drive unit.
8. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 2-4 wherein the drive unit is drivably intercoupled to the mounting mechanism via a cable mechanism, the cable mechanism being readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the mounting mechanism.
9. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 1-8 wherein the drive unit comprises two or more motors, the two or more motors being readily portable.
10. The remotely controllable surgical instrument of claims 1-9 wherein the instrument shaft includes a medical procedure mechanism mounted at the distal end of the instrument shaft, the medical procedure mechanism being drivably intercoupled to the drive unit and disposable together with the instrument shaft as a unit.
11. A medical procedure instrument comprising: an instrument holder comprising an elongated guide member for receiving an elongated instrument insert that carries at its distal end a medical tool for executing a medical procedure at a target site within a patient; characterized in that: the instrument holder is readily manually insertable through an incision into a patient so as to dispose a distal end of the guide member at the target site at wliich the procedure is to be executed; a support for holding the instrument holder, the support holding the distal end of the instrument holder in fixed in position relative to the target site, the medical tool being guided to the target site upon receipt of the instrument insert by the instrmnent holder.
12. A medical apparatus for exchanging surgical instruments having a selected tool to be positioned at an operative site of a subject, characterized in that the apparatus comprises: a guide tube having an open distal end inserted through an incision of the subject, the guide tube being fixedly positioned relative to the subject such that the distal end of the guide tube is fixedly positioned at the operative site, the guide tube being readily manually insertable tlirough the incision; one or more surgical instruments each having a selected tool mounted at a distal end of the instrument; wherein the one or more surgical instruments are readily insertable through the fixedly positioned guide tube such that the selected tool of an instrument is disposed through the open distal end of the guide tube at the operative site upon full insertion of the surgical instrument, the guide tube having a first mounting interface and the surgical instrmnents having a second mounting interface, the first and second mounting interfaces being readily engageable with each other to fixedly mount the surgical instruments within the guide tube upon insertion of the surgical instrument.
13. A medical procedure instrument comprising: a medical implement including a mechanically drivable mechanism intercoupled with a tool for executing a medical procedure at an operative site of a subject; characterized in that the instrument comprises: a drive unit, disposed in a location remote from the medical implement, the drive unit being drivably coupled to the medical implement; the medical implement being manually insertable into a patient so as to dispose the tool at the operative site within the subject; and, the mechanically drivable mechanism of the medical implement being readily couplable to and decouplable from the remotely disposed drive unit.
14. A robotic surgery system comprising: a mechanically driven surgical instrument; characterized in that the systems comprises: a manually portable support for holding the instrument at a position over an operating table so that the instrument may be disposed at an operative site in a patient for remote control thereof via a computer controlled interface; mechanical cabling drivably coupled to the instrument for controlling movement or operation of the instrument; an aπay of electrically driven actuators controlled by signals sent by the computer controlled interface, the actuators mechanically intercoupled to and driving the mechanical cabling; and an engagement member coupling the mechanical cabling to the aπay of actuators, the engagement member being readily attachable to and detachable from the aπay of actuators.
15. A surgical instrument system that is adapted to be inserted through an incision of a patient for operation by a surgeon at an operative site from outside the patient, characterized in that the system comprises: an arm member having a proximal end disposed outside the patient and a distal end internal of the patient; a support for the arm member that provides controlled translation of the arm member with the proximal end of the arm member moving substantially only in a predetermined plane; and an instrument member carried by the arm member and including a tool disposed at the distal end of the arm member.
16. A portable remotely controllable surgical instrument comprising: a manually portable elongated shaft having a proximal end and a distal end manually positionable at an operative site within a subject upon insertion of the shaft through an incision in the subject; characterized in that the instrument includes: a manually portable mounting mechanism being readily manually mountable in a fixed position outside the patient near the incision, the proximal end of the portable shaft being mounted thereon; a portable drive unit drivably intercoupled through the mounting mechanism to a tool mounted at the distal end of the portable shaft; wherein the drive unit is readily positionable at a selected position outside the subject.
17. A portable remotely controllable surgical apparatus comprising: a manually portable elongated shaft having a proximal end and a distal end manually positionable at an operative site within a subject upon insertion of the shaft through an incision in the subject; characterized in that the apparatus includes: a manually portable mounting mechanism being readily manually mountable in a fixed position outside the patient near the incision, the proximal end of the portable elongated shaft being mounted thereon; a manually portable support for fixedly positioning the manually portable mounting mechanism in a selected location relative to the subject, the manually portable support being readily fixedly attachable to and detachable from a stationary structure on or relative to which the subject is mounted.
18. A portable remotely controllable surgical apparatus comprising: a manually portable elongated shaft having a proximal end and a distal end manually positionable at an operative site within a subject upon insertion of the shaft through an incision in the subject; characterized in that the apparatus includes: a manually portable mounting mechanism being readily manually mountable in a fixed position outside the subject, the proximal end of the portable elongated shaft being mounted thereon; a portable drive unit drivably interconnected to the portable elongated shaft through the mounting mechanism; mechanical cabling drivably coupled to the mounting mechanism at one end of the cabling and readily drivably couplable to and decouplable from the portable drive unit at another end of the cabling.
19. A master station of a master/slave surgery system, adapted to be manually manipulated by a sm-geon to, in turn, control motion at a slave station at which is disposed a surgical instrument in response to the surgeon manipulation, characterized in that the master station comprises: a lower positioner assembly; an upper positioner assembly supported over the lower positioner assembly and rotational relative to the lower positioner assembly to enable lateral side-to-side surgeon manipulation; and an ann assembly having a hand assembly at its distal end for engagement by the surgeon's hand, and a proximal end pivotally supported from the upper positioner assembly to enable an orthogonal forward-and-back surgeon manipulation in a direction substantially orthogonal to the lateral surgeon manipulation.
20. A master station of a master/slave surgery system adapted to be manually manipulated by a surgeon to, in turn, control motion at a slave station at which is disposed a surgical instrument in response to the surgeon manipulation, characterized in that the master station comprises: a base; an arm assembly pivotally supported from the base; and a hand assembly pivotally supported from the arm assembly; the hand assembly including a finger holder and a thumb holder, and wherein the holders are supported for relative movement therebetween.
21. A master station of a master/slave surgery system adapted to be manually manipulated by a surgeon to, in turn, control motion at a slave station at which is disposed a surgical instrument in response to the surgeon manipulation, characterized in that the master station comprises: a base; an arm assembly pivotally supported from the base; and a hand assembly pivotally supported from the arm assembly; the hand assembly including a guide shaft adapted to be grasped by the surgeon, an actuator button or switch on the guide shaft, and a multiple rotation joint connecting the guide shaft to the arm assembly.
22. Apparatus for controlling a surgical instrument that is inserted in a patient for facilitating a surgical procedure and controlled remotely from an input device manipulated by a surgeon at a user interface, characterized in that the apparatus comprises: an initializing mechanism that positions the surgical instrument without calculating its original position, and the position of the input device under electronic control; the initializing mechanism including an establishing mechanism which establishes an initial reference position for the input device and an initial reference position for the surgical instrument a calculator that calculates the cuπent absolute position of the input device as it is manipulated by the surgeon; a determining mechanism that determines the desired position of the surgical instrument based upon; the cuπent position of the input device, the reference position of the input device, and the reference position of the surgical instrument, and a movement mechanism that moves the surgical instrument to the desired position so that the position of the surgical instrument coπesponds to that of the input device.
23. A processor and a memory device containing a program of instructions for the processor, characterized in that the program includes: a receiving mechanism which receives a coordinate representative of the desired location of the distal end of a medical instrument at a target site in a patient; and a determining mechanism that detennines from the coordinate an insertion length for the medical instrument so as to locate the distal end at the target site.
PCT/US2002/004495 1998-02-24 2002-02-15 Surgical master/slave system WO2002065933A2 (en)

Priority Applications (30)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US26920301P true 2001-02-15 2001-02-15
US26920001P true 2001-02-15 2001-02-15
US60/269,203 2001-02-15
US60/269,200 2001-02-15
US27621701P true 2001-03-15 2001-03-15
US27608601P true 2001-03-15 2001-03-15
US27615101P true 2001-03-15 2001-03-15
US27615201P true 2001-03-15 2001-03-15
US60/276,151 2001-03-15
US60/276,152 2001-03-15
US60/276,217 2001-03-15
US60/276,086 2001-03-15
US27908701P true 2001-03-27 2001-03-27
US60/279,087 2001-03-27
US09/827,643 2001-04-06
US09/827,643 US6554844B2 (en) 1998-02-24 2001-04-06 Surgical instrument
US29334601P true 2001-05-24 2001-05-24
US60/293,346 2001-05-24
US31349701P true 2001-08-21 2001-08-21
US31349501P true 2001-08-21 2001-08-21
US31349601P true 2001-08-21 2001-08-21
US60/313,495 2001-08-21
US60/313,496 2001-08-21
US60/313,497 2001-08-21
US33228701P true 2001-11-21 2001-11-21
US60/332,287 2001-11-21
US34412401P true 2001-12-21 2001-12-21
US10/034,871 US6810281B2 (en) 2000-12-21 2001-12-21 Medical mapping system
US60/344,124 2001-12-21
US10/034,871 2001-12-21

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2002251958A AU2002251958A1 (en) 2001-02-15 2002-02-15 Surgical master/slave system
US11/014,687 US7604642B2 (en) 1998-02-24 2004-12-16 Interchangeable instrument

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2002/004409 Continuation-In-Part WO2002074178A2 (en) 1998-02-24 2002-02-15 Flexible surgical instrument

Related Child Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/077,233 Continuation-In-Part US7297142B2 (en) 1998-02-24 2002-02-15 Interchangeable surgical instrument
US10/097,923 Continuation-In-Part US6860878B2 (en) 1998-02-24 2002-03-15 Interchangeable instrument

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WO2002065933A2 true WO2002065933A2 (en) 2002-08-29
WO2002065933A3 WO2002065933A3 (en) 2003-12-11

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Family Applications (1)

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