Traditional medical robots are mainly based on the idea of transitioning rigid surgical instruments into the domain of robotic systems and teleoperated devices. However, the current trend in medicine is pushing towards building smaller and safer platforms to navigate in hard-to-reach surgical areas. Soft robots represent a promising technology in this field because they are constructed from compliant materials, thus can safely interact with delicate anatomical structures, preserving their physiological function. Our research is focused on the design, mechanics, and manufacturing of novel multi-scale and multi-material biomedical robotic systems. This talk will illustrate our work towards achieving safe navigation, distal articulation, integrated sensing, and effective force transmission in minimally invasive surgery by highlighting two classes of soft surgical robots: soft-foldable robots and soft reactive skins.
Talk: Soft robots for advanced interventional endoscopy