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La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

Sahlmann J.,Observatoire de Geneva | Henning T.,Max Planck Institute for Astronomy | Queloz D.,Observatoire de Geneva | Quirrenbach A.,University of Heidelberg | And 42 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. The ESPRI project relies on the astrometric capabilities offered by the PRIMA facility of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer for discovering and studying planetary systems. Our survey consists of obtaining high-precision astrometry for a large sample of stars over several years to detect their barycentric motions due to orbiting planets. We present the operation's principle, the instrument's implementation, and the results of a first series of test observations. Aims. We give a comprehensive overview of the instrument infrastructure and present the observation strategy for dual-field relative astrometry in the infrared K-band. We describe the differential delay lines, a key component of the PRIMA facility that was delivered by the ESPRI consortium, and discuss their performance within the facility. This paper serves as reference for future ESPRI publications and for the users of the PRIMA facility. Methods. Observations of bright visual binaries were used to test the observation procedures and to establish the instrument's astrometric precision and accuracy. The data reduction strategy for the astrometry and the necessary corrections to the raw data are presented. Adaptive optics observations with NACO were used as an independent verification of PRIMA astrometric observations. Results. The PRIMA facility was used to carry out tests of astrometric observations. The astrometric performance in terms of precision is limited by the atmospheric turbulence at a level close to the theoretical expectations and a precision of 30 μas was achieved. In contrast, the astrometric accuracy is insufficient for the goals of the ESPRI project and is currently limited by systematic errors that originate in the part of the interferometer beamtrain that is not monitored by the internal metrology system. Conclusions. Our observations led to defining corrective actions required to make the facility ready for carrying out the ESPRI search for extrasolar planets. © 2013 ESO. Source


Santos-Carreras L.,Laboratoire Of Systemes Robotiques | Leuenberger K.,ETH Zurich | Samur E.,Laboratoire Of Systemes Robotiques | Gassert R.,ETH Zurich | Bleuler H.,Laboratoire Of Systemes Robotiques
Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments | Year: 2013

Robotic surgery provides many benefits such as reduced invasiveness and increased dexterity. This comes at the cost of no direct contact between surgeon and patient. This physical separation prevents surgeons from performing direct haptic exploration of tissues and organs, imposing exclusive reliance on visual cues. Current technology is not yet able to both measure and reproduce a realistic and complete sense of touch (interaction force, temperature, roughness, etc.). In this paper, we put forward a concept based on multimodal feedback consisting of the integration of different kinds of visual and tactile cues with force feedback that can potentially improve both the surgeon's performance and the patient's safety. We present a cost-effective tactile display simulating a pulsating artery that has been integrated into a haptic workstation to combine both tactile and force-feedback information. Furthermore, we investigate the effect of different feedback types, including tactile and/or visual cues, on the performance of subjects carrying out two typical palpation tasks: (1) exploring a tissue to find a hidden artery and (2) identifying the orientation of a hidden artery. The results show that adding tactile feedback significantly reduces task completion time. Moreover, for high difficulty levels, subjects perform better with the feedback condition combining tactile and visual cues. As a matter of fact, the majority of the subjects in the study preferred this combined feedback because redundant feedback reassures subjects in their actions. Based on this work, we can infer that multimodal haptic feedback improves subjects' performance and confidence during exploratory procedures. © 2012 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Source

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