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Design and Rolling Locomotion of a Magnetically Actuated Soft Capsule Endoscope

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2 Author(s)
Sehyuk Yim ; Department of Mechanical Engineering , Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA ; Metin Sitti

This paper proposes a magnetically actuated soft capsule endoscope (MASCE) as a tetherless miniature mobile robot platform for diagnostic and therapeutic medical applications inside the stomach. Two embedded internal permanent magnets and a large external magnet are used to actuate the robot remotely. The proposed MASCE has three novel features. First, its outside body is made of soft elastomer-based compliant structures. Such compliant structures can deform passively during the robot-tissue contact interactions, which makes the device safer and less invasive. Next, it can be actively deformed in the axial direction by using external magnetic actuation, which provides an extra degree of freedom that enables various advanced functions such as axial position control, drug releasing, drug injection, or biopsy. Finally, it navigates in three dimensions by rolling on the stomach surface as a new surface locomotion method inside the stomach. Here, the external attractive magnetic force is used to anchor the robot on a desired location, and the external magnetic torque is used to roll it to another location, which provides a stable, continuous, and controllable motion. The paper presents design and fabrication methods for the compliant structures of the robot with its axial deformation and position control capability. Rolling-based surface locomotion of the robot using external magnetic torques is modeled, and its feasibility is tested and verified on a synthetic stomach surface by using a magnetically actuated capsule endoscope prototype.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 1 )