In flexible endoscopy a flexible tube with a steerable camera is used to inspect the internal patient tracts and to perform small surgical interventions. In current practice the physician is faced with usability problems. Often assistance is required to manipulate the flexible endoscope and the instruments. As a consequence the physician lacks force feedback on tissue and endoscope interaction, communication errors easily occur, and two persons are required to perform a relatively simple procedure. In addition, current experiments to perform more advanced therapeutic procedures by using steerable instruments are limited by the lack of availability of intuitive and user-friendly tools. This thesis describes the development and evaluation of a robotic flexible endoscope that allows a single physician to perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in an intuitive and user-friendly way. The robotic modules interact with standard available endoscopy equipment and the setup can be customized to the clinical requirements of a specific procedure. The main focus of the research was directed to the usability of handling all degrees of freedom of the endoscope and the instruments. A fully functional system was realized that is prepared for clinical practice because of the integration of safety and cleanability aspects, and its easy positioning close to the patient. In general, feedback on the experimental setups indicate that the robotic flexible endoscope for diagnosis, existing therapy, as well as experimental therapy is highly appreciated by novice and expert participants. Novices are enthusiastic about the ease with which the degrees of freedom are operated, whereas experts value the clinical opportunities that robotic control provides.
|Award date||6 Sep 2013|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Sep 2013|
- Medical robotics