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Development of a colon endoscope robot that adjusts its locomotion through the use of reinforcement learning

  • G. Trovato
  • M. Shikanai
  • G. Ukawa
  • J. Kinoshita
  • N. Murai
  • J. W. Lee
  • H. Ishii
  • A. Takanishi
  • K. Tanoue
  • S. Ieiri
  • K. Konishi
  • M. Hashizume
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Fibre optic colonoscopy is usually performed with manual introduction and advancement of the endoscope, but there is potential for a robot capable of locomoting autonomously from the rectum to the caecum. A prototype robot was designed and tested.

Methods

The robot colonic endoscope consists in a front body with clockwise helical fin and a rear body with anticlockwise one, both connected via a DC motor. Input voltage is adjusted automatically by the robot, through the use of reinforcement learning, determining speed and direction (forward or backward).

Results

Experiments were performed both in-vitro and in-vivo, showing the feasibility of the robot. The device is capable of moving in a slippery environment, and reinforcement learning algorithms such as Q-learning and SARSA can obtain better results than simply applying full tension to the robot.

Conclusions

This self-propelled robotic endoscope has potential as an alternative to current fibre optic colonoscopy examination methods, especially with the addition of new sensors under development.

Keywords

Colon endoscope Medical robot Autonomous colonoscope Forward/reverse screw Reinforcement learning 

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Copyright information

© CARS 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Trovato
    • 1
  • M. Shikanai
    • 1
  • G. Ukawa
    • 1
  • J. Kinoshita
    • 1
  • N. Murai
    • 1
  • J. W. Lee
    • 1
  • H. Ishii
    • 1
  • A. Takanishi
    • 1
  • K. Tanoue
    • 2
  • S. Ieiri
    • 2
  • K. Konishi
    • 2
  • M. Hashizume
    • 2
  1. 1.Waseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Kyushu University HospitalFukuokaJapan

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