A highly flexible body controlled by external robotic magnetic arms
We are exploring the idea of using miniature magnetic tentacles to reach many areas of the body that are currently difficult for surgeons to access. Potential uses could be in lung tumour biopsies or cardiovascular surgery, where currently the risk of tissue perforations is very high at 17%. The tiny tentacles are few mm in diameter and have a very soft, highly flexible body made up of a series of tiny magnets, embedded along their length that can be controlled by external robotic magnetic arms. We can control the tentacle shape or stiffen the body and control the tip. We are still working on how to drive the device from the outside and trialling different options.
T. da Veiga, J. Chandler, P. Lloyd, G. Pittiglio, N. Wilkinson, A. Hoshiar, R. Harris, P. Valdastri, “Challenges of continuum robots in clinical context: a review“, Progress in Biomedical Engineering, 2020
P. R. Lloyd, A. K. Hoshiar, T. da Veiga, A. Attanasio, N. Marahrens, J. H. Chandler, P. Valdastri, “A learnt approach for the design of magnetically actuated shape forming soft tentacle robots”, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2020, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 3937-3944.