Model-free control strategy for hysteric non-linear antagonistic soft actuators for haptic feedback needle insertion

MSc assignment

A remotely operated needle insertion device with haptic force feedback has been developed at the UT. The main use case will be doing needle insertions like biopsies inside an MRI or CT scan. The device is remotely operated with a joystick-like controller which is called the master device. In turn, the needle device is called the slave device. The force on the needle in the slave device is measured and fed back to the master device as haptic feedback.

In this thesis, one or multiple model-free control strategies will be developed and tested to be compared to the current feed-forward controller. These control strategies will be implemented in conjunction with a more traditional method for antagonistic actuator control. Furthermore, the force tracking of the haptic feedback controller still has room for improvement. This controller will be updated with more sophisticated control strategies in order to improve the force tracking felt in the master device.

Overall the goal of the thesis is to research what effect using a different antagonistic actuator set-up combined with model-free control strategies will have on the performance of the haptic feedback felt at the master device.