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A Soft Robotics Nonlinear Hybrid Position/Force Control for Tendon Driven Catheters

Minou Kouh Soltani*, Sohrab Khanmohammadi, Farzan Ghalichi, and Farrokh Janabi-Sharifi
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 15, no. 1, pp.54-63, 2017

Abstract : "Minimally invasive steerable catheters, commonly implemented in cardiac ablation, are currently operated by interventionalists exposing them to X-ray radiation and requiring the dexterity for accurate steering. To conduct robot-assisted cardiac ablation, highly accurate stable control platform for precise force/position control on the moving tissue is required. This paper introduces hybrid force/position control strategy to apply a constant force to the cardiac tissue while tracking the desired trajectory. The position controller is based on a nonlinear model predictive tracking control satisfying the input constraints. Cosserat rod theory is incorporated for the distal shaft modeling of tendon-driven catheters, and the model is reformulated for controller design and stability proof. Lyapunov-based stability analysis is conducted. To apply the controller, the force-displacement mapping of the cardiac tissue is obtained through ex vivo experimental tests. The performance of the controller is evaluated, and the catheter is capable of regulating the force with the RMSE of 4.9 mN and tracking the position with the RMSE of 0.89 mm. The promising results verify the potential of the application of the introduced approach in real applications including in vitro and clinical cardiac ablation."

Keyword : "Catheter, constrained robots, hybrid force/position control, nonlinear model predictive tracking control, stability."

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