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RESEARCH PAPERS

Mechanical Design of Robotic In Vivo Wheeled Mobility

[+] Author and Article Information
Mark E. Rentschler, Shane M. Farritor

 University of Nebraska, Department of Mechanical Engineering, N104 Walter Scott Engineering Center, Lincoln, NE 68588

Karl D. Iagnemma

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Rm 3–435A Cambridge, MA 02215

J. Mech. Des. 129(10), 1037-1045 (Oct 21, 2006) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2757189 History: Received July 06, 2006; Revised October 21, 2006

A new approach to laparoscopic surgery involves placing a robot completely within the patient. These in vivo robots are then able to provide visual feedback and task assistance that would otherwise require additional incisions. Wheeled in vivo robots can provide a mobile platform for cameras, graspers, and other sensory devices that assist in laparoscopy. Development of wheeled in vivo mobile robots was achieved through a design process that included modeling, finite element analysis (FEA), bench top testing, and animal tests. Laboratory testing using a wheel test platform identified a helical wheel design as the best candidate. Finite element simulations were then used to better understand how changing the helical wheel geometric parameters affected drawbar force. Several prototype mobile robots were then developed based on these results. The drawbar forces of these robots were measured in the laboratory to confirm the FEA results. Finally, these robots were successfully tested during animal surgeries.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Mobile in vivo robot with two independent drive wheels and a stabilizing tail

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Figure 2

Endoluminal natural orifice robot (upper left), abdominal exploration robot (upper right), mobile camera robot (bottom left), and the mobile camera and biopsy robot (bottom right)

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Figure 3

Laboratory bench-top wheel test platform schematic

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Figure 4

Wheel test platform in the laboratory

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Figure 5

Five different wheels tested in the laboratory using the wheel test platform

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Figure 6

Helical wheel test platform laboratory drawbar force results for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N, and 0.45N) and four different slip ratios (SR=0.00, 0.09, 0.17, and 0.23)

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Figure 7

Finite element simulation model using the baseline helical wheel

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Figure 8

Baseline helical wheel finite element drawbar force results for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N, and 0.45N) and four different slip ratios (SR=0.00, 0.09, 0.17, and 0.23)

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Figure 9

Finite element baseline helical wheel drawbar force results for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N, and 0.45N) and four different slip ratios (SR=0.00, 0.09, 0.17, and 0.23)

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Figure 10

von Mises stresses from the finite element simulation model

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Figure 11

Results that show how the change in wheel diameter affects drawbar force for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N, and 0.45N)

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Figure 12

Results that show how the change in grouser pitch angle affects drawbar force for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N, and 0.45N)

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Figure 13

Results that show how the change in grouser width affects drawbar force for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N,and 0.45N)

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Figure 14

Results that show how the change in grouser depth affects drawbar force for three different robot weights (0.15N, 0.30N, and 0.45N)

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Figure 15

12mmdiam helical wheel drawbar test results

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Figure 16

Mean drawbar force test results for four different robots

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Figure 17

Crawler during crawler abdominal exploration. The length of travel shown is approximately 0.5m, while the total distance traveled without assistance was approximately 1m.

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Figure 18

View from laparoscope (upper left) and view from the mobile camera robot (upper right) during successful cholecystectomy. View for the laparoscope (bottom left) of the mobile camera and biopsy robot during successful biopsy of hepatic tissue and recovered sample (bottom right).

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