Our new work on teleoperation and contact detection of a waterjet-actuated soft continuum manipulator has been published on RA-L. This work presents a method to enable intuitive articulation of a waterjet-actuated soft continuum robot in the confined space of the stomach and describes in detail the integration of contact detection within the teleoperation scheme to prevent integral windup of the feedback controller.

Federico Campisano

Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with most new cases occurring in low and middle income countries, where access to screening programs is hindered by the high cost of conventional endoscopy. The waterjet-actuated HydroJet endoscopic platform was developed as a low-cost, disposable alternative for inspection of the gastric cavity in low-resource settings. In this work, we present a teleoperation scheme and contact detection algorithm that work together to enable intuitive teleoperation of the HydroJet within the confined space of the stomach. Using a geometrically accurate stomach model and realistic anatomical inspection targets, we demonstrate that, using these methods, a novice user can complete a gastroscopy in approximately the same amount of time with the HydroJet as with a conventional endoscope.