Haptic Laparoscopic Surgical Simulator


The HaptiLap laparoscopic surgical simulator is a virtual reality software (and hardware) system for the training in surgical procedures using haptic (force)  feedback and 3D (stereoscopic) display.

HaptiLap is a unique combination of: PC software, custom designed mechanical hardware and haptic devices, that allows surgeons to practice laparoscopic techniques. The software offers more realism, more functionality and more complex procedures than any alternative.

HaptiLap was selected by the IET as a finalist for their prestigious international Innovations Awards (2011).

HaptiLap was formerly known as Empedocles

It is used by paediatric surgeons at the RBHSC to investigate the potential of VR training, their findings have been reported at medical conferences; e.g. BAPES and ESPES (European Society for Paediatric Endoscopic Surgery.). A senior consultant who examines for NIMTA and the Royal College of Surgeons has said “ HaptiLap is a very powerful tool with the potential to be adaptable and widely available, due to its extremely low cost. The fact that it can be used to simulate complex procedures, such as Fundoplication with complex anatomical detail and collision forces, makes it a very exiting innovation, and gives it the potential to outstrip the mechanical training aids, still in wide use today. I am involved locally and nationally in developing the training for the next generation of surgeons, I believe that HaptiLap has already demonstrated its potential (including, at the BAPS meetings, Belfast 2011) and would be widely welcomed in the surgical training community.”

Regulatory changes and changes in training practices (limitation in hours of operative training exposure) make it imperative that surgeons in training can get extended access to high quality training tools and develop transferable skills to improve patient care and safety. There is a need to recognise that expenditure is cost effective and sustainable, this is precisely the function that HaptiLap fulfills.

The software is optimized for maximum processor performance, threads of execution separate the functions: suturing, deformation, UI, haptics and graphics. GPU shaders facilitate enhanced realism, (e.g. particle blood/fluid models.)