Real-Time Haptic Cutting of High Resolution Soft Tissues


We systematically advance the computational performance of physically accurate soft tissue cutting simulation, which is at the core of surgery simulators in general. We demonstrate a real-time performance of 15 simulation frames per second for haptic soft tissue cutting of a deformable body at an effective resolution of 170,000 elements. 

This is achieved by the following innovative components:

  1. A linked octree discretization of the deformable body, which allows for fast and robust topological modifications of the simulation domain,
  2. A composite finite element formulation, which thoroughly reduces the number of simulation degrees of freedom and thus enables to carefully balance simulation performance and accuracy,
  3. A highly efficient geometric multigrid solver for solving the linear systems of equations arising from implicit time integration,
  4. An efficient collision detection algorithm that effectively exploits the composition structure,
  5. A stable haptic rendering algorithm for computing the feedback forces.

Our technique has a high potential to significantly advance the realism of surgery simulators. In collaboration with medical experts, we are interested in applying this general cutting simulation tool to specific surgery planning and training scenarios.

Associated publications

Real-Time Haptic Cutting of High Resolution Soft Tissues
J. Wu, R. Westermann, C. Dick
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics (Proc. Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2014), 196: 469-475
[Download] [Bibtex] [Slides]

Accompanying video of the paper [4 MB DivX]


An executable demo is available upon request. Please contact Dr. Jun Wu