Hand-held force magnifier for surgical instruments

George Stetten, Bing Wu, Roberta Klatzky, John Galeotti, Mel Siegel, Randy Lee, Francis Mah, Andrew Eller, Joel Schuman, Ralph Hollis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a novel and relatively simple method for magnifying forces perceived by an operator using a tool. A sensor measures the force between the tip of a tool and its handle held by the operator's fingers. These measurements are used to create a proportionally greater force between the handle and a brace attached to the operator's hand, providing an enhanced perception of forces between the tip of the tool and a target. We have designed and tested a prototype that is completely hand-held and thus can be easily manipulated to a wide variety of locations and orientations. Preliminary psychophysical evaluation demonstrates that the device improves the ability to detect and differentiate between small forces at the tip of the tool. Magnifying forces in this manner may provide an improved ability to perform delicate surgical procedures, while preserving the flexibility of a hand-held instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation Processing in Computer-Assisted Interventions - Second International Conference, IPCAI 2011, Proceedings
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2011
Event2nd International Conference on Information Processing in Computer-Assisted Interventions, IPCAI 2011 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jun 22 2011Jun 22 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6689 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference2nd International Conference on Information Processing in Computer-Assisted Interventions, IPCAI 2011


  • force magnifier
  • force-reflecting
  • haptics
  • microsurgery
  • robotic surgery
  • steady hand
  • touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Hand-held force magnifier for surgical instruments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this