Title: A new tele-robotic endoscope.
Author: prof. Alberto Rovetta N. AU-1
References:

Bansevitchus R., Piezoeletric Systems, Ed. Univ. Kaunas, 1995

Objectives
The endoscopes with optical fibers are fundamental for the study and the care of the most endocavitary illnesses and particularly of tumors. The design presents a new adoption of piezoelectric actuators, with connections with cables to the external source.

Contents
A prototype of a robotized endoscope, of small size, called "Microshuttle". The name indicates the telerobotic control and the reduced size. The microrobot must execute the following performances: 1) to move forwards by internal source and to be able to send to the external the images of the cavity under examination; 2) to measure physical parameters of its trajectory through the environment in the body; 3) to take samples of the tissue; 4) to guide laser beams or other energy kinds on targets, which are detected from the external.
The principles of the most modern design (concurrent engineering and simultaneous engineering) have been applied to a first prototype. It is composed from the following parts:

- Motor which performs the movement inside the intestine and which uses piezoelectric material, of Philips Co., and other materials able to miniaturize the microrobot structure;- control system which manages the functions;- energy source which provides the energy necessary for the movement and for the control;- equipment functional for diagnosis (microcameras, laser, etc.).
Electrodes of energy ring are divided in 4 sectors and an alternate voltage with the form:
u = A sin ( w t + ( i - 1 ) p / 2) ; i = 1,2,3,4
where i is the number of electrodes, and w is the frequency.
For all possible motions, movement wave principle is used.

Results
Flexible endoscopic device, which may be used through oral, rectal, or a vaginal approach. It is flexible and allows a deeper access. The tele-endoscope is proposed also for analysis, taking off of tissues and in the future for minimally invasive surgery. It is a capsule of 5 cm of total length and 1.3 cm in diameter, and is able to move forwards and backwards and to rotate.
The characteristics of the piezoceramic rings are:
type PXE 5 (PXE 59)
D (mm) 10 0.1 (12 0.15)
d (mm) 5 0.1 ( 6 0.15)
H (mm) 2 (1)
capacity (pf) 550 25% (1200 25%)

The control is a generator which produces waves with triangular or squared waves. The system is composed by a card, a transformer, electric cables and electronic equipment, with outputs for the rings. A switch is used for the start and the stop.

Future possible developments
The prototype has been developed in order to offer a first example and a practical step for the realization; the system will be improved in order to prepare it for future applications.