Title: Modelling, analysis and experiments of a screw propelling capsule robot

Authors: Huajin Liang; Yisheng Guan; Zhenneng Yin; Hong Zhang

Addresses: School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510640, China ' School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510006, China ' School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510640, China ' Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T2G 2E8, Canada

Abstract: Active locomotion has been a challenge in the research and development of capsule endoscopies for diagnosis and therapy inside gastrointestinal tracts. As one prospective solution to the active locomotion of capsule robots, screw propelling has many important issues to be addressed in both theory and practice. In this paper, we build one- and two-dimensional models of screw propelling and make quantitative analysis to find the relationship between the axial thrust force and the geometric parameters of the screws, for optimal design of the actuation mechanism with high efficiency of propulsion. A few prototypes of the capsule robots are developed and a series of contrast experiments are conducted to verify the theoretical models and analysis. The effectiveness of active drive of capsule robots by screw propelling has been preliminarily shown by the experiments with the prototypes crawling in a tube.

Keywords: capsule endoscopy; capsule robots; robotic endoscopy; active locomotion; screw impellers; gastrointestinal tracts; medical robots; robot locomotion; crawling robots; axial thrust force; geometric parameters; optimal design; robot design; actuation mechanism; screw propulsion; tubes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMRS.2013.057171

International Journal of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, 2013 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.116 - 135

Received: 11 Dec 2012
Accepted: 04 Jan 2013

Published online: 16 Oct 2013 *

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