Development of a Multi-Channel Concentric Tube Robotic System With Active Vision for Transnasal Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Procedures

Abstract

Minimally invasive surgery-based nasopharyngeal cancer treatment is promising, but currently, it is not a common treatment choice because of the absence of suitable tools. In this paper, a multi-channel concentric tube robot is proposed for the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer based on natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery. The proposed system has three channels, i.e. two manipulation channels and one vision channel, and all the three channels are confined by a 10 mm active sheath. The robot is controlled by human-in-the-loop bimanual teleoperation under active endoscopic guidance. The reduced sheath diameter and the steerable vision channel improve the functionality of the system and distinguish our design from the prior art. The feasibility of the system has been evaluated through a series of simulations and experiments. Results show that the proposed system is capable to conduct cooperative tasks in a confined space and the miniaturized manipulator is suitable for transnasal procedures. Besides, comparisons with other types of flexible surgical robots are discussed to further demonstrate the superiority of the proposed system in the target clinical applications.

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