Single-port laparoscopic surgery (SLS), which utilises one major incision, has become increasingly popular in the healthcare sector in recent years. However, this technique suffers from several problems particularly the inability of current SLS instruments to provide the optimum angulation that is required during SLS operations. In this paper, the development of a novel latching-type electromagnetic actuator is reported, which is aimed to enhance the function of SLS instruments. This new actuator is designed to be embedded at selected joints along SLS instruments to enable the surgeon to transform them from their straight and slender shape to an articulated posture. The developed electromagnetic actuator is comprised of electromagnetic coil elements, a solid magnetic shell, and a permanent magnet used to enhance the magnetic field interaction along the force generation path and also to provide the latching effect. In this investigation, electromagnetic finite element analyses were conducted to design and optimise the actuator’s electromagnetic circuit. In addition, the performance of the new actuator was numerically and experimentally determined when output magnetic forces and torques in excess of 9 N and 45 mNm, respectively together with an angulation of 30° were achieved under a short pulse of current supply to the magnetic circuit of the actuator.
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