Gastrointestinal cancer, when detected early, is treated by accessing the lesion through the natural orifice using flexible endoscopes. However, the limited degree-of-freedom (DOF) of conventional treatment devices and the narrow surgical view through the endoscope demand advanced techniques. In contrast, multi-DOF forceps systems are an excellent alternative; however, these systems often involve high fabrication costs because they require a large number of micro-parts. To solve this problem, we designed compact multi-DOF endoluminal forceps with a monolithic structure comprising compliant hinges. To allow an efficient stress dispersion at the base end when the hinge bends, we proposed a novel design method to obtain the hinge parameters using the beam of uniform strength theory. This method does not involve a high computational cost. The results show that the improved design with a variable hinge thickness can reduce the maximum bending stress, dispersing the stress in a larger area than that of the previous design considering a constant thickness of the hinge. Moreover, the experiments conducted in a prototype confirm that the radius of the curvature was significantly improved. The proposed method could aid in designing other continuum robots relying on compliant hinges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes