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Rep U S. 2015 Sep 28;2015:4381-4387.

Optimizing Design Parameters for Sets of Concentric Tube Robots using Sampling-based Motion Planning.

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Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Concentric tube robots are tentacle-like medical robots that can bend around anatomical obstacles to access hard-to-reach clinical targets. The component tubes of these robots can be swapped prior to performing a task in order to customize the robot's behavior and reachable workspace. Optimizing a robot's design by appropriately selecting tube parameters can improve the robot's effectiveness on a procedure-and patient-specific basis. In this paper, we present an algorithm that generates sets of concentric tube robot designs that can collectively maximize the reachable percentage of a given goal region in the human body. Our algorithm combines a search in the design space of a concentric tube robot using a global optimization method with a sampling-based motion planner in the robot's configuration space in order to find sets of designs that enable motions to goal regions while avoiding contact with anatomical obstacles. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm in a simulated scenario based on lung anatomy.

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