Horan, Ben, Lowe, Daniel, Ang, Quan-Zen, Asgari, Marzieh, Ghanbari, Ali and Nahavandi, Saeid 2011, Virtual haptic cell model for operator training, in ICMT 2011 : Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Mechatronics Technology : Precision Mechatronics for Advanced Manufacturing, Service, and Medical Sectors, [ICMT], [Melbourne, Vic.], pp. 1-5.
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Microrobotic cell injection is an area of growing research interest. Typically, operators rely on visual feedback to perceive the microscale environment and are subject to lengthy training times and low success rates. Haptic interaction offers the ability to utilise the operator’s haptic modality and to enhance operator performance. Our earlier work presented a haptically enabled system for assisting the operator with certain aspects of the cell injection task. The system aimed to enhance the operator’s controllability of the micropipette through a logical mapping between the haptic device and microrobot, as well as introducing virtual fixtures for haptic guidance. The system was also designed in such a way that given the availability of appropriate force sensors, haptic display of the cell penetration force is straightforward. This work presents our progress towards a virtual replication of the system, aimed at facilitating offline operator training. It is suggested that operators can use the virtual system to train offline and later transfer their skills to the physical system. In order to achieve the necessary representation of the cell within the virtual system, methods based on a particle-based cell model are utilised. In addition to providing the necessary visual representation, the cell model provides the ability to estimate cell penetration forces and haptically display them to the operator. Two different approaches to achieving the virtual system are discussed.