A Laparascopic Training Environment
Training surgeons for laparascopic surgery is both expensive and time consuming and reducing both parameters, along with the use of animals for surgical practice is highly desirable. The goal of this project is development of a virtual environment which student surgeons could use as part of the early stages in learning to perform laparascopic surgery. We are developing an environment that allows a trainee to perform (portions of) tasks that are analagous to the primary tasks of real surgery: Suturing, Tying knots, Cutting and Dissecting tissue. To do this we need to model 3-dimensional, deformable objects and render them both visually and equally importantly haptically. We also need to develop new methods for all of these in order to be able to do all of this in real time, using both advanced displays and haptic devices such as the Immersion Lap-Sim device. Some of the sub-projects in this work are: framework development, algorithms for modeling suturing, methods for modeling the tissue cutting process, and development of methods for improving haptic rendering speeds (involving "haptic" surface subdivision). Much of this work takes place in the Experimental Robotics Laboratory, http://www.ensc.sfu.ca/research/erl/ , one of the SFU Engineering Science research laboratories associated with GruviLab.