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SurRoL: An Open-source Reinforcement Learning Centered and dVRK Compatible Platform for Surgical Robot Learning

by   Jiaqi Xu, et al.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Autonomous surgical execution relieves tedious routines and surgeon's fatigue. Recent learning-based methods, especially reinforcement learning (RL) based methods, achieve promising performance for dexterous manipulation, which usually requires the simulation to collect data efficiently and reduce the hardware cost. The existing learning-based simulation platforms for medical robots suffer from limited scenarios and simplified physical interactions, which degrades the real-world performance of learned policies. In this work, we designed SurRoL, an RL-centered simulation platform for surgical robot learning compatible with the da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK). The designed SurRoL integrates a user-friendly RL library for algorithm development and a real-time physics engine, which is able to support more PSM/ECM scenarios and more realistic physical interactions. Ten learning-based surgical tasks are built in the platform, which are common in the real autonomous surgical execution. We evaluate SurRoL using RL algorithms in simulation, provide in-depth analysis, deploy the trained policies on the real dVRK, and show that our SurRoL achieves better transferability in the real world.


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