Résumé : Teleoperation systems have been used in the operating rooms for more than a decade. However, the lack of force feedback in commercially available systems still raises safety issues and forbids surgical gestures like palpation. Although force feedback has already been implemented in experimental setups, a systematic methodology is still lacking to design the control laws.

The approach developed in this thesis is a contribution towards such a systematic

methodology: it combines the use of disturbance observers with the use of a structured fixed-order controller. This approach is validated by experiments performed on a one degree of freedom teleoperation system. A physical model of this system is proposed and validated experimentally.

Disturbance observers allow to compensate friction, which is responsible for performance degradation in teleoperation. Contrary to alternative approaches,they are based on a model of the frictionless mechanical system. This allows to compensate friction with a time varying behavior, which occurs in laparoscopy.

Parametric uncertainties in this model may lead to an unstable closed-loop. A kind of "separation principle" is provided to decouple the design of the closed-loop system from the design of the observer. It relies on a modified problem statement and on the use of available robust design and analysis tools.

A new metric is proposed to evaluate the performance of friction compensation systems experimentally. This metric evaluates the ability of a compensation system to linearize a motion system, irrespective of the task and as a function of frequency. The observer-based friction compensation is evaluated with respect to this new metric and to a task-based metric. It correctly attenuates the friction in the bandwidth of interest and significantly improves position and force tracking during a palpation task.

Structured fixed-order controllers are optimized numerically to achieve robust closed-loop performance despite modeling uncertainty. The structure is chosen among classical teleoperation structures. An efficient algorithm is selected and implemented to design such a controller, which is evaluated for a palpation task. It is compared to a full-order unstructured controller, representative of the design approach that has been used in the teleoperation literature up to now. The comparison highlights the advantages of our new approach: order-reduction steps and counter-intuitive behaviors are avoided.

A structured fixed-order controller combined with a disturbance observer is implemented during a needle insertion experiment and allowed to obtain excellent performance.