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Our group has been developing a compact, active catheter that can be safely used in human blood vessels. The catheter is driven not by electronic mechanisms, but by a water pressure system with micro valves for multidegrees of freedom. The active catheter is composed of a soft, flexible, MRI-compatible material. In this paper, we propose what we call “pressure pulse drive,” a new control method to precisely bend the active segment. We design a new set of optimized valves for this method and experimentally verify the precise bending motion and simultaneous drive of the two active catheter segments.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2012