Date of this Version
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, VOL. 59, NO. 10, OCTOBER 2012, doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2212439
Laparoscopy is beneficial to patients as measured by less painful recovery and an earlier return to functional health compared to conventional open surgery.However, laparoscopy requires the manipulation of long, slender tools from outside the patient’s body. As a result, laparoscopy generally benefits only patients undergoing relatively simple procedures. An innovative approach to laparoscopy uses miniature in vivo robots that fit entirely inside the abdominal cavity. Our previous work demonstrated that a mobile, wireless robot platform can be successfully operated inside the abdominal cavity with different payloads (biopsy, camera, and physiological sensors). We hope that these robots are a step toward reducing the invasiveness of laparoscopy. The current study presents design details and results of laboratory and in vivo demonstrations of several new payload designs (clamping, cautery, and liquid delivery). Laboratory and in vivo cooperation demonstrations between multiple robots are also presented.