Robotic Probe for Semi-Autonomous Colonoscopies

Researchers on the College of Leeds within the UK have developed a robotic system that may help a doctor or nurse to carry out a colonoscopy. The system makes use of magnets to information a probe by the physique, and its builders declare that the strategy is less complicated for operators and fewer painful and uncomfortable for sufferers. The researchers hope that the system may make colonoscopies extra extensively accessible.

Colonoscopies are important in detecting quite a lot of pathologies, together with colorectal most cancers. Nonetheless, they aren’t essentially the most comfy process, and a few sufferers require an anesthetic earlier than they will endure one. Due to this fact, creating strategies to make the process simpler for sufferers, and clinicians, is worth it.

“Colonoscopy gives doctors a window into the world hidden deep inside the human body and it provides a vital role in the screening of diseases such as colorectal cancer. But the technology has remained relatively unchanged for decades,” mentioned Pietro Valdastri, a researcher concerned within the examine. “What we have developed is a system that is easier for doctors or nurses to operate and is less painful for patients. It marks an important a step in the move to make colonoscopy much more widely available – essential if colorectal cancer is to be identified early.”

The brand new system consists of a small capsule related to a cable that may be inserted extra simply than the tools for a traditional colonoscopy. Then, an exterior robotic arm, utilizing magnets, is ready to non-invasively manipulate the capsule by the rectum and colon.

To make the system as versatile as doable, the researchers created completely different ranges of management for customers. These embrace merely choosing the specified area for within the colon and letting the robotic arm manipulate the probe into place mechanically, full management over the robotic arm utilizing a joystick, and semi-autonomous navigation, the place the robotic will information the capsule, however the person can override this manually if mandatory.

“Robot-assisted colonoscopy has the potential to revolutionize the way the procedure is carried out. It means people conducting the examination do not need to be experts in manipulating the device,” mentioned Bruno Scaglioni, one other researcher concerned within the examine. “That will hopefully make the technique more widely available, where it could be offered in clinics and health centers rather than hospitals.”

Research in Nature Machine Intelligence: Enabling the future of colonoscopy with intelligent and autonomous magnetic manipulation

By way of: University of Leeds

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