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J Med Eng Technol. 2005 Jan-Feb;29(1):1-7.

A micro creeping robot for colonoscopy based on the earthworm.

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  • 1Institute of Precision Engineering and Intelligent Microsystem Shanghai JiaoTong University No. 1954 Huashan Road Shanghai 200030, P.R. China.


Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) has become one of the most important research areas in the field of medical engineering. Robotic colonoscopy is a typical medical procedure that complies with the requirements of MIS. In this paper, a new novel miniature robot for intestinal inspection based on the earthworm is described; its diameter and length are 7.5 mm and 120 mm respectively. The micro robot is driven by a DC motor which has good performance and sufficient power. In this paper the structure and locomotion mechanism of this robot are introduced; the mechanical model is built; and simulation is carried out. The control system and software design are also discussed in detail. Some actuating characteristic experiments have been performed, where the micro robot creeps in declining rubber tubes. The experimental results are in accord with simulation results, and show that this kind of robot can move reliably in horizontal and certain declining tubes. This research has laid a foundation for the application of the miniature robot endoscope.

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