As modular systems come into the forefront of robotic telesurgery, streamlining the process of selecting surgical tools becomes an important consideration. This paper presents a method for optimal queuing of tools in modular surgical tool systems, based on patterns in tool-use sequences, in order to minimize time spent changing tools. The solution approach is to model the set of tools as a graph, with tool-change frequency expressed as edge weights in the graph, and to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem for the graph. In a set of simulations, this method has shown superior performance at optimizing tool arrangements for streamlining surgical procedures.
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