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Highly dexterous 2-module soft robot for intra-organ navigation in minimally invasive surgery

Abidi, H; Brancadoro, M; Diodato, A; Cianchetti, M; Wurdemann, HA; Althoefer, A; Menciassi, A; (2018) Highly dexterous 2-module soft robot for intra-organ navigation in minimally invasive surgery. The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery , 14 (1) , Article e1875. 10.1002/rcs.1875. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: For some surgical interventions, like the Total Mesorectal Excision (TME), traditional laparoscopes lack the flexibility to safely maneuver and reach difficult surgical targets. This paper answers this need through designing, fabricating and modelling a highly dexterous 2-module soft robot for minimally invasive surgery (MIS). / Methods: A soft robotic approach is proposed that uses flexible fluidic actuators (FFAs) allowing highly dexterous and inherently safe navigation. Dexterity is provided by an optimized design of fluid chambers within the robot modules. Safe physical interaction is ensured by fabricating the entire structure by soft and compliant elastomers, resulting in a squeezable 2-module robot. An inner free lumen/chamber along the central axis serves as a guide of flexible endoscopic tools. A constant curvature based inverse kinematics model is also proposed, providing insight into the robot capabilities. / Results: Experimental tests in a surgical scenario using a cadaver model are reported, demonstrating the robot advantages over standard systems in a realistic MIS environment. / Conclusion: Simulations and experiments show the efficacy of the proposed soft robot.

Type: Article
Title: Highly dexterous 2-module soft robot for intra-organ navigation in minimally invasive surgery
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/rcs.1875
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcs.1875
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1576555
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