PalpSim is the world's first augmented reality environment for medical procedures training. The simulator hardware is masked from view using chroma-key techniques. The trainee sees a computer generated patient and needle, and interacts using their own hands. This simulation provides a high level of face validity for training how to use palpation to identify the location of a blood vessel for needle puncture.

The palpation step requires both force and tactile feedback. For the palpation haptics effect, two off-the-shelf force feedback devices have been linked together to provide a hybrid device that gives five degrees of force feedback. This is combined with a custom built hydraulic interface to provide a pulse like tactile effect. The needle interface is based on a modified PHANTOM Omni end effector that allows a real interventional radiology needle to be mounted and used during simulation.

Related Publications

  1. Coles, T. R., John, N. W., Gould, D., Caldwell, D. G., & others. (2011). Integrating haptics with augmented reality in a femoral palpation and needle insertion training simulation. Haptics, IEEE Transactions On, 4(3), 199–209. [bib]