Conventional flexible endoscopes are increasingly used for complex intra- and transluminal interventions. However, the 60-years old design concept is not intuitive and not ergonomic, leading to a long learning curve. Moreover, it requires a team of highly skilled physicians to perform complex interventions.
This project introduces a master-slave system that combines the advantages of a conventional flexible endoscope with an intuitive and ergonomic control system. The add-on steering concept consists of three modules; a tip steering module, a shaft manipulator and an instrument module. Together they control the degrees of freedom required to position and stabilize the endoscopic tip and the instruments.
The introduction of computerized control also allows possibilities such as imagebased navigation and semi-automated steering. Camera egomotion estimation and automated target detection lead to assistive navigation algorithms during diagnostic endoscopy. Target tracking and centralization are employed to facilitate more complex interventions.
The Teleflex project aims to improve procedure efficiency and reduce endoscopists workload and patient pain at relatively low cost. Teleflex has been developed in
close cooperation with both industrial and clinical partners.
So far, the project resulted in a working proof-of-principle setup of all three modules and image-based steering. This setup is evaluated by novices and experts in endoscopy using several experimental laboratory setups. The first clinical trial is under progress at the AMC, evaluating safety and efficacy of robotic tip steering in colonoscopy.
Involved PHd Candidates
- Nanda van der Stap, MIRA, University of Twente
- Esther Rozeboom, MIRA, University of Twente
- Maarten Bezemer, CTIT, University of Twente, 2014
- Jitendra Khatait Mechanical Automation and Mechatronics, University of Twente, 2013
- Rob Reilink, MIRA, University of Twente, 2012