Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

FP7 Stiff-Flop project logo

STIFF-FLOP

Project reference: 287728
Funded under

STIFFness controllable Flexible and Learn-able manipulator for surgical OPerations

From 2012-01-01 to 2015-12-31, closed project

Project details

Total cost:

EUR 9 554 661

EU contribution:

EUR 7 350 000

Coordinated in:

United Kingdom

Call for proposal:

FP7-ICT-2011-7See other projects for this call

Funding scheme:

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Design and fabrication of a soft robotic arm that can reconfigure itself and stiffen by hydrostatic actuation

In Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), tools go through narrow openings and manipulate soft organs that can move, deform, or change stiffness. Currently, there are limitations on robot-assisted surgical systems. STIFF-FLOP will design, build and operate an innovative soft robotic arm that can squeeze through a standard MIS port, reconfigure itself and stiffen by hydrostatic actuation to perform compliant force control tasks while facing unexpected situations. The project will address the complete system: the design and fabrication of the soft manipulator, distributed sensing, biologically inspired actuation and control architectures, learning and developing cognition through interaction with a human instructor, and manipulating soft objects in complex and uncertain environments. The soft arm will be tested in a minimally invasive robotic surgery application to demonstrate its feasibility.

Objective

Summary: In Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), tools go through narrow openings and manipulate soft organs that can move, deform, or change stiffness. There are limitations on modern laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgical systems due to restricted access through Trocar ports, lack of haptic feedback, and difficulties with rigid robot tools operating inside a confined space filled with organs. Also, many control algorithms suffer from stability problems in the presence of unexpected conditions. Yet biological "manipulators", like the octopus arm and the elephant trunk, can manipulate objects while controlling the stiffness of selected body parts and being inherently compliant when interacting with objects.<br/>Contributions: We will design, build and operate an innovative soft robotic arm that can squeeze through a standard MIS port (e.g. 12 to 15 mm diameter Trocar port or 20 mm diameter umbilical single port), reconfigure itself and stiffen by hydrostatic actuation to perform compliant force control tasks while facing unexpected situations. We will address the complete system: the design and fabrication of the soft manipulator with a gripper at the tip, distributed sensing, biologically inspired actuation and control architectures, learning and developing cognition through interaction with a human instructor, and manipulating soft objects in complex and uncertain environments.We will advance the state of the art of embodied cognition through real world experiments on manipulators that can selectively control their stiffness and degrees of freedom morphing from a complete soft state to an articulated one. This variable stiffness robot arm will have many applications in MIS including NOTES (Natural Orifices Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery). With the support of KARL STORZ ENDOSCOPES, the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES) and three internationally-leading medical institutes (see support letters), we will test the soft arm in a minimally invasive robotic surgery application to demonstrate its feasibility.

Related information

Open Access

Coordinator

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom

EU contribution: EUR 1 324 725


9th Floor, Capital House, Weston St 42
SE1 3QD London
United Kingdom
Administrative contact: Paul Labbett
Tel.: +44 20 7848 8184
Fax: +44 20 7848 8187
E-mail

Participants

UNIVERSITAET SIEGEN
Germany

EU contribution: EUR 788 174


HERRENGARTEN
57072 SIEGEN
Germany
Administrative contact: Heinz Ahlers
Tel.: +49 271 740 4850
Fax: +49 271 740 14850
E-mail
FUNDACION TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION
Spain

EU contribution: EUR 533 125


PASEO MIKELETEGI PARQUE TECNOLOGICO DE MIRAMON
20009 DONOSTIA SAN SEBASTIAN
Spain
Administrative contact: Anthony Remazeilles
Tel.: +34 943 105 101
Fax: +34 946 460 900
E-mail
THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM
Israel

EU contribution: EUR 566 900


GIVAT RAM CAMPUS
91904 JERUSALEM
Israel
Administrative contact: Jane Turner
Tel.: +972 2 6586676
Fax: +972 7 22447007
E-mail
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TORINO
Italy

EU contribution: EUR 359 836


Via Giuseppe Verdi
10124 TORINO
Italy
Administrative contact: Alessandro De Filippo
Tel.: +39 011 6709624
E-mail
SCUOLA SUPERIORE DI STUDI UNIVERSITARI E DI PERFEZIONAMENTO SANT'ANNA
Italy

EU contribution: EUR 655 232


PIAZZA MARTIRI DELLA LIBERTA, 33
56127 PISA
Italy
Administrative contact: Paolo Dario
Tel.: +39 050 883528
Fax: +39 050 883519
E-mail
FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Italy

EU contribution: EUR 682 332


VIA MOREGO
16163 GENOVA
Italy
Administrative contact: Simona Ventriglia
Tel.: +39 010 71781285
E-mail
STICHTING E.A.E.S
Netherlands

EU contribution: EUR 79 458


LUCHTHAVENWEG
5657 EA EINDHOVEN
Netherlands
Administrative contact: Alberto Arezzo
Tel.: +393358378243
Fax: +390116336641
E-mail
FUNDACJA ROZWOJU KARDIOCHIRURGII IM PROF ZBIGNIEWA RELIGI
Poland

EU contribution: EUR 594 152


UL. WOLNOSCI
41 800 ZABRZE
Poland
Administrative contact: Zbigniew Nawrat
Tel.: +32 3 735664
Fax: +32 3 735677
E-mail
PRZEMYSLOWY INSTYTUT AUTOMATYKI I POMIAROW PIAP
Poland

EU contribution: EUR 384 770


ALEJE JEROZOLIMSKIE 202
02486 WARSAW
Poland
Administrative contact: Karina Mucha
Tel.: +48 22 874 00 17
E-mail
UNIVERSITY OF SURREY
United Kingdom

EU contribution: EUR 906 764


Stag Hill
GU2 7XH GUILDFORD
United Kingdom
Administrative contact: Maria Sega-Buhalis
Tel.: +44 1483 683498
Fax: +44 1483 683791
E-mail
THE SHADOW ROBOT COMPANY LIMITED
United Kingdom

EU contribution: EUR 474 532


IDA Road
N15-5JE London
United Kingdom
Administrative contact: RICH WALKER
Tel.: +44 207 700 2487
E-mail
Record Number: 100747 / Last updated on: 2016-04-09