Date Published:Jun 2016
BACKGROUND: Robot-assisted minimally-invasive surgery is well recognized as a feasible solution for diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in humans. METHODS: This paper discusses the kinematics of a parallel 4 Degrees-of-Freedom (DOF) surgical manipulator designed for minimally invasive in-bore prostate percutaneous interventions through the patient's perineum. The proposed manipulator takes advantage of four sliders actuated by MRI-compatible piezoelectric motors and incremental rotary encoders. Errors, mostly originating from the design and manufacturing process, need to be identified and reduced before the robot is deployed in clinical trials. RESULTS: The manipulator has undergone several experiments to evaluate the repeatability and accuracy (about 1 mm in air (in x or y direction) at the needle's reference point) of needle placement, which is an essential concern in percutaneous prostate interventions. CONCLUSION: The acquired results endorse the sustainability, precision and reliability of the manipulator. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.