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Abstract— This paper presents a new hand-held device capable of amplifying delicate micromanipulation forces during minimal invasive surgical tasks. It relays force sensing to the user through a simple sliding feature that is coupled to the surgical tool, which translates relative to the casing of the device held by the operator. This forgoes the need of grounding frames or anchoring mechanisms to the body, allowing the device to be used in general surgical environments without affecting the workflow. The device uses a three-phase linear motor that is compact and capable of generating high forces that allow amplification factors of up to ×15. It features a closed-loop force control scheme to perform the required force amplification in which the force exerted on to the user is measured, forming the feedback in the control loop. The device permits interchangeability of instrumentation through a simple docking feature, and thus can be generalized to a range of surgical instruments for micromanipulation tasks. Detailed bench test and user trials have been performed to validate the accuracy and practical performance of the device. The results have shown a five times reduction of the minimum force threshold perceived by the subjects and ergonomically sound manipulation advantages.

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