A ROBOTIC COLONOSCOPE WITH DOUBLE BALLOONS: ANALYSIS, DESIGN, AND EXPERIMENTS

Kundong Wang, Bing Chen, and Tong Li

Keywords

Robotic endoscope, double balloon, inchwormlike, in vivo experiment

Abstract

To strike a balance between tissue safety and the anti-skidding ability of the robotic colonoscope, a novel double-balloon mechanism inspired by a double-balloon endoscope used widely in clinic was proposed, designed, and tested in in vitro and in vivo intestine. A driver based on a linear mechanism with a long stroke was adopted so as to overcome the accordion effect caused by the deformation of intestine and propel the colonoscope effectively. Using the double balloons and long-stroke linear driver, a prototype of inchworm-like robotic colonoscope was then produced. It was 90 mm in length, 16 mm in diameter, and 21 g in weight. The diameter of its balloons could vary from 16.5 to 45 mm through deflation and inflation. The linear mechanism as a driver could produce a stroke of length less than 31 mm. Two experiments under simulated intestinal environments, one in vitro experiment and one in vivo experiment, were designed to evaluate the adaptability of the robotic colonoscope to different surface conditions and its general traverse ability. The results indicated that the proposed colonoscope can move within the intestine effectively and safely.

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