We explored how the perception of stiffness can be distorted in Minimally Invasive Surgery. We combined a mechanical simulator with a haptic device, and implemented linear springs at the tip of the simulated laparoscopic device. To explore the influence of mechanical advantage on perception, we set different values of the ratio between internal and external length of the tool. We found that a nonsymmetrical ratio causes bias in the perceived stiffness when novice tangential probing is compared to radial probing. In contrast, haptic experts did not show similar perceptual bias.
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