Surgical robotics is one of the fast emerging areas in healthcare and medical science. The da Vinci surgical system (Figure.1) is one of the most successful and commercialized surgical systems used for robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.
The focus is now on scarless surgery. Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) involves passing surgical instruments, a tiny camera, through a natural orifice of the body to the desired organ (Figure.2). By avoiding major incisions through the skin, muscle, and nerves of the abdomen, for instance, patients may experience a quicker recovery with less pain and scarring while reducing the risk of post operative hernias.
TeleFLEX project is one of the initiatives from University of Twente to achieve that goal. The objective of this project is to design and develop tele-manipulation system with intuitive control for endo-/transluminal endoscopic surgery based on master-slave approach. The slave side includes an endoscope/ endoscopic platform, which provides access channels for the flexible surgical instruments and other accessories required for the particular intervention. Figure.3 shows a typical endoscope with instruments.