Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version

Fall 11-30-2012


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Carl A. Nelson. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Michael John Head


A modular control interface and simulated virtual reality environment was designed and created in order to determine how the kinematic architecture of a control interface affects minimally invasive surgery. A user is able to selectively determine how many, the type, and location of degrees of freedom they require for the specific surgical simulation through the use of modular joints and constraint components. Furthermore, passive locking was designed and implemented through the use of inflated latex tubing around rotational degree of freedom joints. It is believed these features will have the ability to effectively simulate a variety of surgical simulations and thus improve surgical skills.

Advisor: Carl A. Nelson