Design and Modeling of Distal Dexterity Mechanisms for Needle-sized Robots: Systems for Lung and Endonasal Interventions
Swaney, Philip Joseph
Toward improving surgery and patient care, this work presents the development of needle-sized surgical tools and robotic systems that incorporate distal articulation mechanisms. In the human body, there are numerous critical locations that are difficult or impossible to reach safely in a minimally-invasive fashion using existing tools and approaches. In this work, a new articulated steerable needle and miniature wrist are developed for needle-sized tools. Geometry and mechanics inform the design of these articulating devices, and models are developed to predict their behavior. Using these articulating tools, robotic systems are created for the treatment of lung and skull base cancers toward providing minimally-invasive access to these difficult to reach locations in the body.