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Robotics 2014, 3(1), 70-82; doi:10.3390/robotics3010070

A Miniature Robot for Retraction Tasks under Vision Assistance in Minimally Invasive Surgery

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, viale R. Piaggio 34, 56025, Pontedera (Pisa) 56025, Italy
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Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Frontiers of Micro and Nanorobotic Systems)
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Abstract

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is one of the main aims of modern medicine. It enables surgery to be performed with a lower number and severity of incisions. Medical robots have been developed worldwide to offer a robotic alternative to traditional medical procedures. New approaches aimed at a substantial decrease of visible scars have been explored, such as Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES). Simple surgical tasks such as the retraction of an organ can be a challenge when performed from narrow access ports. For this reason, there is a continuous need to develop new robotic tools for performing dedicated tasks. This article illustrates the design and testing of a new robotic tool for retraction tasks under vision assistance for NOTES. The retraction robots integrate brushless motors to enable additional degrees of freedom to that provided by magnetic anchoring, thus improving the dexterity of the overall platform. The retraction robot can be easily controlled to reach the target organ and apply a retraction force of up to 1.53 N. Additional degrees of freedom can be used for smooth manipulation and grasping of the organ.
Keywords: miniature robot; minimally invasive surgery; retraction robot; internal motors actuation miniature robot; minimally invasive surgery; retraction robot; internal motors actuation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tortora, G.; Ranzani, T.; De Falco, I.; Dario, P.; Menciassi, A. A Miniature Robot for Retraction Tasks under Vision Assistance in Minimally Invasive Surgery. Robotics 2014, 3, 70-82.

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