The system enables four-arm laparoscopic surgery. (Credit: EPFL)

Researchers have developed the first system that enables four-arm laparoscopic surgery by controlling two additional robotic arms via haptic foot interfaces. It combines multi-limb manipulation with advanced shared control augmentation.

The system allows surgeons, in addition to their two natural arms, to control two additional robotic arms using haptic foot interfaces with five degrees of freedom. Each hand controls a manipulative instrument, while one foot controls an endoscope/camera, and another foot controls an actuated gripper.

A key innovation of this system lies in the shared control between the surgeon and the robotic assistants. The control framework developed by the researchers ensures that the surgeon and robots can work collaboratively within a concurrent workspace while meeting the precision and safety demands of laparoscopic surgery.