Tribology Letters

, 58:36 | Cite as

Frictional and Viscous Characteristics of an Expanding–Extending Robotic Endoscope in the Intestinal Environment

  • Shu HeEmail author
  • Guozheng Yan
  • Jinyang Gao
  • Zhiwu Wang
  • Pingping Jiang
Original Paper


The development of robotic endoscopes is heading in the direction of intraluminal detection, but some features of the intestinal tract have hindered progress. This study aims to explore the frictional and viscous properties of the intestinal environment as encountered by expanding–extending robotic endoscopes in order to optimize the design of robotic endoscopy. Two models of intestinal deformation were built according to the different states between robot and intestine, and then the three axial forces experienced by robot were analyzed: Coulomb friction, marginal resistance, and viscous resistance. The proposed models were verified through a custom-made experimental platform, and the experimental results showed that the axial force of the robot body was between 0.1 and 0.4 N; the anchoring force was obviously bigger than the force of the robot body if the anchoring diameter was 10 mm larger than the diameter of intestine. In this paper, the effects of the axial motion mechanism’s speed to the force of the robot body and anchoring mechanism were analyzed according to the models we built and the experimental results. The research helps further the study of the mechanical characteristics of the intestine and the development of robotic endoscope.


Robotic endoscope Friction model Marginal resistance Intestine 



In this paper, the research was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 31170968).


  1. 1.
    Valdastri, P., Simi, M., Webster III, R.J.: Advanced technologies for gastrointestinal endoscopy. Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 14, 397–429 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ciuti, G., Menciassi, A., Dario, P.: Capsule endoscopy: from current achievements to open challenges. IEEE Rev. Biomed. Eng. 4, 59–72 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Iddan, G., Meron, G., Glukhovsky, A., Swain, P.: Wireless capsule endoscopy. Nature 405, 417 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gao, P., Yan, G., Wang, Z., Wang, K., Jiang, P., Zhou, Y.: A robotic endoscope based on minimally invasive locomotion and wireless techniques for human colon. Int. J. Med. Robot. Comput. Assist. Surg. 7(3), 256–267 (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Woods, S.P., Constandinou, T.G.: Wireless capsule endoscope for targeted drug delivery: mechanics and design considerations. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 60(4), 945–953 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chen, W., Yan, G., Wang, Z., Jiang, P., Liu, H.: A wireless capsule robot with spiral legs for human intestine. Int. J. Med. Robot. Comput. Assist. Surg. 10(2), 147–161 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lin, W., Shi, Y., Jia, Z., Yan, G.: Design of a wireless anchoring and extending micro robot system for gastrointestinal tract. Int. J. Med. Robot. Comput. Assist. Surg. 9(2), 167–179 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Valdastri, P., Webster, R.J., Quaglia, C., Quirini, M., Menciassi, A., Dario, P.: A new mechanism for mesoscale legged locomotion in compliant tubular environments. IEEE Trans. Robot. 25(5), 1047–1057 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Terry, B.S., Schoen, J.A., Rentschler, M.E.: Measurements of the contact force from myenteric contractions on a solid bolus. J. Robot. Surg. 7(1), 53–57 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Terry, B.S., Passernig, A.C., Hill, M.L., Schoen, J.A., Rentschler, M.E.: Small intestine mucosal adhesivity to In vivo capsule robot materials. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. 15, 24–32 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Terry, B.S., Passernig, A.C., Hill, M.L., Schoen, J.A., Rentschler, M.E.: Preliminary mechanical characterization of the small bowel for in vivo robotic mobility. J. Biomech. Eng. 133(9), 091010 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhang, C., Liu, H., Tan, R., Li, H.: Modeling of velocity-dependent frictional resistance of a capsule robot inside an intestine. Tribol. Lett. 47(2), 295–301 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zhang, C., Liu, H., Li, H.: Modeling of frictional resistance of a capsule robot moving in the intestine at a constant velocity. Tribol. Lett. 53(1), 71–78 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lyle, A.B., Luftig, J.T., Rentschler, M.E.: A tribological investigation of the small bowel lumen surface. Tribol. Int. 62, 171–176 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chen, W., Ke, Q., He, S., Luo, W., Ji, X.C., Yan, G.: Experimental research on anchoring force in intestine for the motion of capsule robot. J. Med. Eng. Technol. 37(5), 334–341 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tan, R., Liu, H., Su, G., Zhang, C., Li, H., Wang, Y.: Experimental investigation of the small intestine’s viscoelasticity for the motion of capsule robot. In: 2011 International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation (ICMA). IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wang, K.D., Yan, G.Z.: Research on measurement and modeling of the gastro intestine’s frictional characteristics. Meas. Sci. Technol. 20(1), 015803 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shu He
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guozheng Yan
    • 1
  • Jinyang Gao
    • 1
  • Zhiwu Wang
    • 1
  • Pingping Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information and Electrical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations