Robotic Multi-Articulated Endoscopic Surgical Tools for NOTES
Preliminary thoughts on the use of fluid power for minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) promises to be the next major advance in minimally invasive surgical innovation since laparoscopy a couple of decades ago. For this to occur, advanced technology for surgical devices and tools is needed. The present project aims to address the deficiencies of existing surgical tools through the
development of a novel fluid powered endoscopic robotic platform for NOTES. Unlike robotic laparoscopic surgeries in which a robot manipulates
a set of cable driven, otherwise passive, end- effectors (tools), our vision is that the surgical tools themselves be the robotic device. This will improve
accuracy and the introduce the possibility of incorporating additional degrees of freedom. The robotic tool itself will be electronically controlled and teleoperated with haptic feedback. Our goals for this project include demonstrating the feasibility of a multi-articulated robotic endoscopic device in which the tools themselves comprise the robotic system rather than the more common passive end-effectors. The main challenges of the proposed device include multi-degree of freedom mechanism design, power delivery and actuation, micro-valve design and fabrication, and force-feedback control. These challenges will be met through the development of a prototype designed to demonstrate the necessary functionality.