Robotic surgery has gradually gained acceptance due to its numerous advantages such as tremor filtration, increased dexterity and motion scaling. There remains, however, a significant scope for improvement, especially in the areas of surgeon-robot interface and autonomous procedures. Previous studies have attempted to identify factors affecting a surgeon's performance in a master-slave robotic system by tracking hand movements. These studies relied on conventional optical or magnetic tracking systems, making their use impracticable in the operating room. This study concentrated on building an intrinsic movement capture platform using microcontroller based hardware wired to a surgical robot. Software was developed to enable tracking and analysis of hand movements while surgical tasks were performed. Movement capture was applied towards automated movements of the robotic instruments. By emulating control signals, recorded surgical movements were replayed by the robot's end-effectors. Though this work uses a surgical robot as the platform, the ideas and concepts put forward are applicable to telerobotic systems in general.
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