Abstract: Wheel-driven mobile in vivo robotic devices can provide an unconstrained platform for visualization and task performance. Careful understanding of the wheel–tissue interaction is necessary to predict in vivo performance of medical mobility systems. Here, an analytical study of the friction involving rolling contact of a surgical wheel, moving at constant velocities over soft tissue, is presented and verified. A quasi-static frictionless solution is first derived from existing theory, and newly developed theory considering frictional effects is later introduced. In this analysis, the effect of friction on wheel mobility over a viscoelastic substrate is analyzed with wheel velocity as the only changing variable. The analytical model is later verified by experiments and Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations. A simple application of this model to help design a surgical robot is also presented. Additional results indicate that the resistance force, which arises from the tissue viscosity, approaches zero for small and very large wheel velocities.

Wang, X., Sliker, L.J., Qi, H., Rentschler, M.E., "A Quasi-static Model of Wheel-Tissue Interaction for Surgical Robotics," Medical Engineering and Physics. 35(9): 1368-1376, 2013.

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