A Continuum Manipulator for Open-Source Surgical Robotics Research and Shared Development

01/04/2021
by   Angus B. Clark, et al.
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Many have explored the application of continuum robot manipulators for minimally invasive surgery, and have successfully demonstrated the advantages their flexible design provides – with some solutions having reached commercialisation and clinical practice. However, the usual high complexity and closed-nature of such designs has traditionally restricted the shared development of continuum robots across the research area, thus impacting further progress and the solution of open challenges. In order to close this gap, this paper introduces ENDO, an open-source 3-segment continuum robot manipulator with control and actuation mechanism, whose focus is on simplicity, affordability, and accessibility. This robotic system is fabricated from low cost off-the-shelf components and rapid prototyping methods, and its information for implementation (and that of future iterations), including CAD files and source code, is available to the public on the Open Source Medical Robots initiative's repository on GitHub (https://github.com/OpenSourceMedicalRobots), with the control library also available directly from Arduino. Herein, we present details of the robot design and control, validate functionality by experimentally evaluating its workspace, and discuss possible paths for future development.

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