A passive, parallel master-slave mechanism is presented for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided interventions in the pelvis. The mechanism allows a physician to stand outside the MRI scanner while manipulating a needle inside the bore and, unlike a powered robot, does not place actuators in proximity to the patient. The manipulator combines two parallel mechanisms based on the Delta robot architecture. The mechanism also includes a two-axis gimbal to allow for tool angulation, giving a total of five degrees of freedom so that the physician can insert and steer a needle using continuous natural arm and wrist movements, unlike simple needle guides. The need for access between the patient's legs and within the MRI scanner leads to an unusual asymmetric design in which the sliding prismatic joints form the vertices of an isosceles triangle. Kinematic analysis shows that the dexterity index of this design is improved over the desired workspace, as compared to an equilateral design. The analysis is extended to estimate the effect of friction and model the input:output force transmission. Prototypes, with final dimensions selected for transperineal prostate interventions, showed force transmission behavior as predicted by simulation, and easily withstood maximum forces required for tool insertion.
View details for PubMedID 25729467