Project Focus

This project focuses on a developing mobile robotic capsule endoscopes (RCE) for exploration of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Such robots could improve procedures for both the patient and physician. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Steven Edmundowicz in Gastroentrology at CU Anschutz, Dr. Christoffer Heckman at CU Boulder, and Drs. Hao Zhang and Hua Wang in the Department of Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines. Project funding and recent peer-reviewed papers are listed below.

Colonoscopies without the doctor?, CU Boulder Today

IEEE Transactions on Robotics (2020): Novel Optimization-Based Design and Surgical Evaluation of a Treaded Robotic Capsule Colonoscope

Abstract: Robotic capsule endoscopes (RCEs) are being widely investigated to improve the state of various endoscopy procedures. This paper presents the novel design of a multi-DOF sensor-enabled RCE for colonoscopies (Endoculus) and evaluates porcine in vivo and ex vivo performance. The novelty of the design includes a custom “double-worm” drive...

IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2018): Autonomous Localization, Navigation and Haustral Fold Detection for Robotic Endoscopy

Abstract: Capsule endoscopes have gained popularity over the last decade as minimally invasive devices for diagnosing gastrointestinal abnormalities such as colorectal cancer. While this technology offers a less invasive and more convenient alternative to traditional scopes, these capsules are only able to provide observational capabilities due to their passive nature...

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (2018): A Modular Endoscopy Simulation Apparatus (MESA) for Robotic Medical Device Sensing and Control Validation

Abstract: Much of ongoing robotic endoscope research is focused on locomotion, with only limited exploration into feedback control and autonomy in the unconventional and dynamic in vivo environment. This letter presents a modular endoscopy simulation apparatus (MESA) to quickly, affordably, and repeatedly test novel robotic endoscope control schemes in a...

Expert Review of Medical Devices (2015): Magnetically-driven Medical Devices: A Review

Abstract: A widely accepted definition of a medical device is an instrument or apparatus that is used to diagnose, prevent or treat disease. Medical devices take a broad range of forms and utilize various methods to operate, such as physical, mechanical or thermal. Of particular interest in this paper are...

Expert Review of Medical Devices (2016): Towards Autonomous Motion Control in Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery

Abstract: Introduction : While autonomous surgical robotic systems exist primarily at the research level, recently these systems have made a strong push into clinical settings. The autonomous or semi-autonomous control of surgical robotic platforms may offer significant improvements to a diverse field of surgical procedures, allowing for high precision, intelligent...

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (2018): A Platform for Developing Robotic Navigation Strategies in a Deformable, Dynamic Environment

Abstract: While in vivo robotic locomotion has demonstrated its potential through a number of means, sensing and closed-loop control for such devices has not been at the forefront of research. By enabling real-time navigation, capsule endoscopy could transform from passive capsule endoscopes (CE) and remote-controlled (robotic capsule endoscopes) devices into...

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (2017): SRAL: Shared Representative Appearance Learning for Long-Term Visual Place Recognition

Abstract: Place recognition, or loop closure detection, is an essential component to address the problem of visual simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Long-term navigation of robots in outdoor environments introduces new challenges to enable life-long SLAM, including the strong appearance change resulting from vegetation, weather, and illumination variations across various...

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (2016): An Intestinal Manometry Force Sensor for Robotic Capsule Endoscopy: An Acute, Multi-Patient In vivo Animal and Human Study

Abstract: Goal: Development of a new medical device class generally termed robotic capsule endoscopes (RCE) is currently being pursued by multiple research groups. These maneuverable devices will allow minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment of intestinal pathologies. While the intraluminal pressures related to the migrating motor complex (MMC) are well understood,...

Tribology International (2016): Frictional Resistance Model for Tissue-Capsule Endoscope Sliding Contact in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Abstract: Wireless capsule endoscopes are becoming prevalent in the medical field as screening, diagnostic and therapeutic tools within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, state-of-the art capsules lack active locomotion systems, which could improve accuracy and broaden applications. The actuation efficiency for direct capsule-tissue contact depends on the frictional resistance between...

ASME Journal of Medical Devices (2015): Benchtop Testing of a Novel Robotic Capsule with Differential Drive Capabilities

Abstract: While colorectal cancer (CRC) is a treatable disease with a relative five-year survival rate of 90% if detected in the early and localized stage, it remains the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for both men and women. Despite the recent efforts in wireless capsule endoscopy...

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