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In open abdominal surgical procedures, many surgical instruments, e.g., knives, cutting shears and clamps, are generally used. Therefore, a haptic interface should display reaction force of a soft biological tissue through such a surgical instrument. Simplest solution for this difficulty is that an actual instrument is mechanically mounted on the traditional haptic interface driven by servomotors. However, operators lose a sense of reality when they change the instrument since they must perform a procedure which is not required in actual surgery for attaching/detaching the instrument to/from the haptic interface. Therefore, a novel haptic interface using MR (Magneto-Rheological) fluid is developed in this research. Rheological property of MR fluid can be changed in a short time by applied magnetic flux density. By cutting the fluid using a surgical instrument, operators can feel resistance force as if they cut tissue. However, MR fluid cannot display large deformation of soft tissues since elastic region of MR fluid is small. Therefore, a container of the fluid is moved by a motion table driven by servomotors. In this paper, concept and design of the haptic interface and performance evaluations are described.

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