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In Frontiers in physiology

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has been the preferred surgery approach owing to its advantages over conventional open surgery. As a major limitation, the lack of tactile perception impairs the ability of surgeons in tissue distinction and maneuvers. Many studies have been reported on industrial robots to perceive various tactile information. However, only force data are widely used to restore part of the surgeon's sense of touch in MIS. In recent years, inspired by image classification technologies in computer vision, tactile data are represented as images, where a tactile element is treated as an image pixel. Processing raw data or features extracted from tactile images with artificial intelligence (AI) methods, including clustering, support vector machine (SVM), and deep learning, has been proven as effective methods in industrial robotic tactile perception tasks. This holds great promise for utilizing more tactile information in MIS. This review aims to provide potential tactile perception methods for MIS by reviewing literatures on tactile sensing in MIS and literatures on industrial robotic tactile perception technologies, especially AI methods on tactile images.

Huang Chao, Wang Qizhuo, Zhao Mingfu, Chen Chunyan, Pan Sinuo, Yuan Minjie


artificial intelligence, minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, tactile images, tactile perception, tactile sensors