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Locomotion techniques for robotic colonoscopy

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6 Author(s)
I. Kassim ; Inst. of Nat. Neuroscience, Singapore ; L. Phee ; W. S. Ng ; Feng Gong
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Colonoscopy has become a routine procedure in many hospitals all over the world for colon cancer diagnosis. This review article discusses the work done by researchers in the quest to automate the colonoscopy procedure. In vitro and in vivo experimentation have been carried out to prove the possibilities of a robot crawling along a patient's colon, treating polyps as they are encountered. Locomotion is an essential part of robotic colonoscopy. The robot must be able to propel itself from the anus right up to the cecum without damaging the colon walls. The challenge is to design a robust locomotion technique that is able to advance through the stretchable, slippery, and mobile colon, which is always in its collapsed stage, in three-dimensional orientation. The authors believe that in the future, conventional colonoscopy will be revolutionized, giving way to robotics to assist doctors in colonoscope manipulation and performing therapeutic procedures and leaving doctors to concentrate on the diagnostic aspect of the procedure, which would encourage mass screening as more patients can be evaluated per session.

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IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 3 )