Enhanced Security and Safety in Telerobotic Systems

Principal Investigator: Howard Chizeck

Telerobotic systems have the potential to remotely perform tasks such as handle radioactive material, operate unmanned vehicles, and telesurgery. As these systems are used for inspection, repair, and manipulation of things ranging from hazardous materials to surgical patients, it is increasingly important that they are protected from security threats. In particular, reliable security methods are needed for telerobotic systems where the operator is separated from the robotic system such as telerobotic surgery systems, where the surgeon and patient are in different locations, connected by a communication network.

This invention provides security enhancements to telerobotic surgery systems. It involves the addition of a specialized coprocessor that is used to implement security methods and algorithms. The coprocessor enhances security by recognition and identity confirmation of a telerobotic device operator, based upon their patterns of use of the remote device. Identifiable differences between operators can be determined from less than seven seconds of data collection. Data is continuously obtained throughout the use of a device, enabling a quick identification of any changes in operators.

• This invention will enable surgical specialists to perform secure operations remotely through telerobotic surgery systems. 

• This invention will contribute to a patient’s safety throughout an entire surgical procedure performed through the use of a telerobotic device. 

• This innovation may be used in other remotely operated robotic systems, such as those that operate unmanned vehicles and handle radioactive materials. 

• This invention provides methods and systems for securing remotely-operable devices that are not currently available. 

• Through the use of operation signatures, a remotely-operable device can continuously distinguish between an authorized and an unauthorized user performing a task. This allows for quick identification of a change in operators during an operating session. 

• This invention will be able to detect any malicious attacks on the remotely operated system. 

• By running the coprocessor in parallel with regular manipulator computations this invention is able to add security without adding a delay in communication.

    For more info, contact: Ryan Buckmaster