Caturo: The smallest concentric tube robot ever made


Scientists have high expedients for a bitsy glass tube robot in perfecting the capabilities and safety of robots used in non-invasive microsurgeries.

One vital demand in drug is the need for farther miniaturization of dexterous miniaturized bias that are geared towards microsurgery — a delicate operation carried- out using a bitsy, devoted medical instruments or tools similar as micro forceps.

“ One of the crucial trends in drug is the call for miniaturized smart bias, as we’ve witnessed the paradigm shift from large and complex medical robots with rigid links to simple handheld performances, ” explained Chibundo Nwafor, a experimenter at the Université Bourgogne Franche- Comté( UBFC), France. Developing robots and instruments that are compact and flexible makes them safer and easier to maneuver in delicate natural surroundings.

To this end, Nwafor and his associates, which includes platoon lead Kanty Rabenorosoa, associate professor in the Department of Automatic Control andMicro-Mechatronic Systems( AS2M) at the FEMTO- ST Institute in Besancon, France, erected a the lowest ever concentric tube robot, which they named Caturo.

“ Caturo was born out of a need to develop a special kind of microrobot that could attack the daunting challenge of microsurgery, ” explained Nwafor. “ utmost especially, areas taking a bitsysub-millimeter opening to allow the microrobot access to a hard- to- reach surgical point and without any reliance on the girding terrain or body towel to reach the asked point. “

A typical illustration is eye surgery, due to its size — too small for conventional robots and its complex and fragile internal compositions, this requires a flexible robot whose entire body configuration can be controlled and covered( without causing unwanted damage). ”


Concentric tube robots

Concentric tube robots have been around for about ten times and have demonstrated veritably intriguing capabilities for minimally invasive procedures, similar as scarless surgeries. In fact, among continuum robots, concentric tube robots are the lowest, and can achieve largely controlled body configurations and movement.

“ They comprise concentricallypre-curved tubes nested into each other, whose configuration is controlled by the restatement/ gyration at the proximal tube end, ” said Nwafor. “ This type of robot is ideal for medical interventions as they’re extrinsically actuated. ” Since the robot’s active corridor are made of tubes, this point enables their miniaturization when compared to other continuum robots, which might not be as easy to gauge down.

Taking advantage of the inflexibility of glass on the micro-scale, the platoon says it was possible to develop a new generation of miniaturized continuum robots for medical operations. Caturo is thus characterized by asub-millimeter glass polymer capillary tube with a periphery of just 90µm.

“ Itssub-millimeter size opens up vast prospects in microsurgery, similar as single harborage, multiple robot deployment and 3D movement in a complex anatomical structure for sample collection or medicine delivery, ” said Nwafor. Using apre-curved optic fiber as part of the robot allows the platoon to also bring ray light directly to the surgical spot, which has implicit in thermal treatment and mending without conventional issues, similar as line- of- sight challenges or taking glasses to reflect the ray to the asked spot.

To gain the curve in the glass polymer tube, the platoon used thermal treatment of a thin, heat- shrink polymer on a glass capillary constrained in a 3D- published earth with the asked pattern. “ The advantage of the use of glass polymer compound structure includes low- temperature shape setting, dropped disunion, low cost, biocompatibility, and the possibility of presto, customizable tube prototyping for case-specific onsite fabrication, ” added Nwafor.


Caturo’s capabilities were explored through colorful demonstrations, similar as constrained path deployment through 1 mm wide sewing needles to show its project. Its ’ capability to delivery medicines or carry out procedures similar as necropsies were tested in fluid junking and delivery operations. “ also, experimental test using a single fisheye was carried- out and also, transmission of a ray through pre-curves optic fiber, ” said Nwafor. “

This shows the multitudinous prospects of Caturo in medical operation, though the coming phase is working towards clinical trials via advancements and possible commercialization in the nearest future. ”

Having nailed down this evidence- of- conception prototype, the platoon will next look at expanding medical operations by perfecting on the Caturo’s design, including adding the number ofpre-curved tubes for further inflexibility as well as the microfabrication of different end effectors for colorful surgical tasks.

“ We need to continue perfecting the overall robotic system, ” said Nwafor. “ This might take another three to four times. In the meantime, for commercialization, concentric tube robots made by Nitinol have lately been made commercially available by Virtuoso Surgical — therefore, we believe that the proposed approach forpre-curving compound tubes will only grow in fashionability. ”



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