History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan2006SensingNon-contact Stiffness Imager

Tomohiro KawaharaGraduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University
Satoshi MatsunagaNTT COMWARE Co., Ltd.
Shinji TanakaGraduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University
Makoto KanekoGraduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University
In this paper, we newly proposed a Non-contact Stiffness Imager that can enhance the definition of a stiff point by imparting a fluid force to the environment. Our approach capable of stiffness distribution measurement enables to increase safety and efficiency of stiffness sensing, and it is quite effective for medical application such as sensing of stiffness distribution of internal organs to find tumor. The main aspects of our study are summarized as follows: 1. We classified non-contact stiffness sensing approach into four groups by considering force impartment and displacement measurement method. In addition, the definition and basic working principle of Non-Contact Stiffness Imager were shown for measuring relative stiffness distribution of environment. 2. We confirmed the effectiveness and sensing performance of the proposed approach through the basic experiments by using the developed experimental system. 3. As an application example, we showed an endoscope camera with the function of a non-contact stiffness sensing and showed an approach for visually enhancing the stiffness pattern of tissue for a given point force during the clinical experiment. 21th RSJ Best Paper Award in 2007.
Conceptual image of proposed appraoch
Application to endoscopic examination


Correspondence papers

Makoto Kaneko, Tomohiro Kawahara, Satoshi Matsunaga, Toshio Tsuji, and Shinji Tanaka:Touching Stomach by Air

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 664-669, 2003.

Tomohiro Kawahara, and Makoto Kaneko:Non-Contact Stiffness Imager for Medical Application

IEEE International Conference on Information Acquisition, pp. 350-355, 2005.

Tomohiro Kawahara, Satoshi Matsunaga, Shinji Tanaka, and Makoto Kaneko:Non-contact Stiffness Imager

Journal of the RSJ, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 363-369, 2006(in Japanese).

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