Simon Leonard; Justin Opfermann; Nicholas Uebele; Lydia Carroll; Ryan Walter; Christopher Bayne; Jiawei Ge; Axel Krieger
This paper presents a dual-arm suturing robot. We extend the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) with a second robot manipulator, whose purpose is to manage loose suture thread, a task that was previously executed by a human assistant. We also introduce novel near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) sutures that are automatically segmented and delimit the boundaries of the suturing task. During ex-vivo experiments of porcine models, our results demonstrate that this new system is capable of outperforming human surgeons in all but one metric for the task of vaginal cuff closure (porcine model) and is more consistent in every aspect of the task. We also present results to demonstrate that the system can perform a vaginal cuff closure during an in-vivo experiment (porcine model).