[justify]'Snake', known commonly as Cardio Arm, is an Imaging-Sensing Navigated and Kinematically Enhancedi-snake.i-snake is a new surgical robot which aims to provide a platform to extend the use of this surgical technique breaking new ground across the fields of surgery and engineering. Thei-snake will incorporate state of the art imaging and intuitive manipulation technologies, allowing surgeons to carry out more complex and demanding procedures within the body, previously only possible using more invasive surgical approaches. Using special motors, multiple sensing mechanisms and imaging tools at its 'head', the flexiblei-snake robot will act as the surgeon’s hands and eyes, allowing them to navigate difficult and restrictive regions of the body. Among the many possible applications ofi-snake are the clinical investigations of the alimentary tract, or complex, multi-vessel coronary bypass surgery. Thei-snake uses a biologically-inspired articulation design to allow flexible articulation of the instrument tip. It combines both intra- and inter-operative image guided surgical navigation with dynamic active constraints for improved surgical precision and safety. The robot could be used to facilitate coronary bypass operations; if physicians could avoid cracking the chest open, most of the trauma of the surgery could be avoided. Thei-snake would also be a great exploratory device, allowing physicians to have eyes (and other sensors) inside the body. What the new Cardio Arm does is open up a whole new world, a field where open-heart surgeries can be done with a small incision; where recovery time will be reduced, and hospital-related infections and complications due to surgery drastically cut down.
A lot of people are scared of going under the knife for a variety of fears which grip them. A very perfect solution to such problems is provided byi-snake.i-snake, which is also known as the Cardio Arm is a jointed robot, allowing to control its head while the rest of its joints follow exactly where the head has been to avoid any accidental internal injuries. The robot wraps itself around the heart until it finds what it’s sent inside the body for. (i.e., to remove damaged tissues).The only contact the surgeon makes with the patient’s body is to make an incision so the robot can enter the system. Once inside, Cardio Arm is controlled by a joystick and a computer for monitoring. Thei-snake in ordinary words can be defined as a long tube housing special motors, sensors and imaging tools used together for heart bypass surgery. It could also be used to diagnose problems in the gut and bowel by acting as the surgeon’s hands and eyes in hard to reach places inside the body. This highly flexible robot could allow coronary bypass operations to be performed without the need for open-heart surgery and it would help heal your heart after traveling through blood vessels. Using technology from the aerospace industry,i-snake will incorporate state-of-the-art imaging, pressure and navigational sensors that will allow it to carry out more complex procedures. It could also be used to cut out small tumors in the treatment of bowel cancer. Besides bypass surgeries on the heart, the Cardio Arm or a modification of it, could be applied in the areas of laparoscopy, colonoscopy, and arthroscopy. Like playing a video game, the Cardio Arm is controlled by a joystick and gives 103 degrees of freedom, and can wrap around organs like the heart until it finds the problematic tissue.
The main challenge in designing these robots deals with putting actuated joints in a tight volume where we minimize the length of the stages and their cross sectional areas. The main concept of design is to stack two degree-of-freedom joints on top of each other, forming a serpentine robot. The central element of the Cardio Arm technology is a tele-operated probe, which is highly flexible, either assuming the shape of its surroundings, or reshaped according to the surgeon's needs. As it moves through the body, it is programmed to "remember" where it was in space and time, to avoid harming delicate tissues as it retracts from any point. A working channel inside the body of the "snake" allows surgeons to pass tools to deep regions inside the body, behind organs to reach places that were otherwise impossible to access without a scalpel and saw.
The smallest version of the device is 300 millimeters long and has a diameter of 12 millimeters. The Cardio Arm is composed of 50 rigid cylindrical links serially connected by three cables. Two adjacent links can rotate approximately _10 degrees relative to each other. The current distal apparatus is 10 mm in diameter and 300 mm in length, with 105 degree-of-freedom. A novel feature of this mechanism is that all of the links do not have to be individually controlled; this device is sometimes called a “follow-the-leader” mechanism. When the user specifies inputs for the distal tip of the robot, all the other links follow its location. The operator uses a 2-degree-of-freedom joystick to control the distal link together with a button to control forward/backward motions. The radius of curvature of the distal apparatus is 35 mm at minimum. The maximum speed of forward and reverse movement is up to 20 mm/s. All mechanics responsible for maneuverability are mounted in a feeder instrumentation box (500 mm length, 170 mm width, and 100 mm height). The custom-designed software translates the master manipulator’s input into movement of the Cardio arm. In case of emergency the mechanism can be turned limp so that it can be withdrawn safely and quickly. Visualization is provided by an onboard optical 15-K bundle fiber scope with an integrated light guide, 65° field of view, 640_ 480 CCD camera.[/justify]