Machine Vision for the Inspection of Surgical Tasks: Applications to Robotic Surgery Systems
The use of machine vision to inspect the outcome of
surgical tasks is investigated, with the aim of incorporating this
approach in robotic surgery systems. Machine vision is a non-contact
form of inspection i.e. no part of the vision system is in direct contact
with the patient, and is therefore well suited for surgery where
sterility is an important consideration,. As a proof-of-concept, three
primary surgical tasks for a common neurosurgical procedure were
inspected using machine vision. Experiments were performed on
cadaveric pig heads to simulate the two possible outcomes i.e.
satisfactory or unsatisfactory, for tasks involved in making a burr
hole, namely incision, retraction, and drilling. We identify low level
image features to distinguish the two outcomes, as well as report on
results that validate our proposed approach. The potential of using
machine vision in a surgical environment, and the challenges that
must be addressed, are identified and discussed.
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