Skip to main content

Semi-automatic Knob System for Assisting Flexible Endoscope Steering


In this paper, a semi-automatic knob system for assisting control of flexible endoscope is introduced. For conventional flexible endoscope, the torque to bend the bending part is increased proportionally to the curvature of the insertion tube. As the bending angle increases, the required torque is increased. This characteristic makes a surgeon tired. The proposed semi-automatic knob system consists of a knob controller, a power generation unit, and a bending part. The knob controller includes four FSR (force sensitive resistor) sensors to measure external force applied by the operator. The power generation unit generates the power depending on the signal level of FSR sensors. Using the semi-automatic knob system, a user can control the steering of the flexible endoscope with less power as compared to conventional flexible endoscope. The usefulness of the proposed system is verified through experiments.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. [1]

    A. S. Liberman, I. Shrier, and P. H. Gordon, “Injuries sustained by colorectal surgeons performing colonoscopy,” Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques, vol. 19, no. 12, pp. 1606–1609, December 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    J. D. Waye, D. K. Rex, and C. B. Williams, “Insertion technique,” Colonoscopy: Principles and Practice, 2nd ed., Blackwell Publishing Ltd., London, pp. 537–559, 2009.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    A. K. Shergill, K. R. McQuaid, and D. Rempel, “Ergonomics and GI endoscopy,” Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 145–153, July 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    M. R. Sanaka, F. Deepinder, P. N. Thota, R. Lopez, and C. A. Burke, “Adenomas are detected more often in morning than in afternoon colonoscopy,” The American Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 104, no. 7, pp. 1659–1664, July 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    S. L. Hansel, M. D. Crowell, D. S. Pardi, E. P. Bouras, and J. K. DiBaise, “Prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal injury among endoscopists: a controlled pilot study,” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 399–404, May 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. [6]

    E. C. Lee, A. Rafig, R. Merrell, R. Ackerman, and J. T. Dennerlein, “Ergonomics and human factors in endoscopic surgery: a comparison of manual vs telerobotic simulation systems,” Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 1064–1070, August 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    P. Allemann, L. Ott, M. Asakuma, N. Masson, S. Perretta, B. Dallemagne, D. Coumaros, M. D. Mathelin, L. Soler, and J. Marescaux, “Joystick interfaces are not suitable for robotized endoscope applied to NOTES,” Surgical Innovation, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 111–116, June 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    R. Reilink, S. Stramigioli, A. M. L. Kappers, and S. Misra, “Evaluation of flexible endoscope steering using haptic guidance,” The International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 178–186, June 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. [9]

    A. Moglia, A. Menciassi, M. O. Schurr, and P. Dario, “Wireless capsule endoscopy: from diagnostic devices to multipurpose robotic systems,” Biomedical Microdevices, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 235–243, April 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    J. Woo, J. H. Choi, J. T. Seo, T. I. Kim, and B.-J. Yi, “Development of a robotic colonoscopic manipulation system, using haptic feedbaack algorithm,” Yonsei Medical Journal, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 139–143, January 2017.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    J. Ruiter, E. Rozeboom, M. van der Voort, M. Bonnema, I. Broeders, “Design and evaluation of robotic steering of a flexible endoscope,” Proc. of the 4th IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, pp. 761–767, 2012.

  12. [12]

    H.-T. Ryu, J. Woo, B.-R. So, and B.-J. Yi, “Shape and contact force estimation of inserted flexible medical device,” International Journal of Control, Automation and Systems, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 163–174, January 2020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. [13]

    P. S. Tassios, S. D. Ladas, I. Grammenos, K. Demertzis, and S. A. Raptis, “Acquisition of competence in colonoscopy: the learning curve of trainees,” Endoscopy, vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 702–706, December 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    FSR 400 Series Data Sheet, Interlink Electronics, Inc.,

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Byung-Ju Yi.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Recommended by Associate Editor Jaesoon Choi under the direction of Editor-in-Chief Keum-Shik Hong. This work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (or Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program-Artificial intelligence bio-robot medical convergence project) (20001257, Artificial intelligence algorithm based vascular intervention robot system for reducing radiation exposure and achieving 0.5 mm accuracy) funded By the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy(MOTIE, Korea), the Ministry of Health & Welfare(MOHW), Ministry of Science and ICT(MSIT), Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology(KEIT), and performed by ICT based Medical Robotic Systems Team of Hanyang University, Department of Electronic Systems Engineering was supported by the BK21 Plus Program funded by National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF).

Hyun-Soo Yoon received his B.S. degree in electronics and electrical engineering from Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea, in 2007, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electronic, electrical, control and instrumentation engineering from Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, in 2009 and 2017, respectively. From September 2017 to December 2018, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Research Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. From January 2019 to December 2019, He was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Intelligent and Interactive Robotics, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul, Korea. He is currently a Senior Researcher with the Division of Intelligent Robot, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), Daegu, Korea. His research interests include medical robot system, robot hand, mechanism design and analysis, and wire-driven mechanism.

Byung-Ju Yi received his B.S. degree from Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, in 1984, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA, in 1986 and 1991, respectively, all in mechanical engineering. From January 1991 to August 1992, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Robotics Group, The University of Texas at Austin. From September 1992 to February 1995, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, Korea Institute of Technology and Education, Cheonan, Chungnam, Korea. In March 1995, he joined the Department of Control and Instrumentation Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. He is currently a Professor with the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, Hanyang University. He was a Visiting Professor at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MA, USA, in 2004 and a JSPS Fellow at Kyushu University, Japan, in 2011. His research interests include general robot mechanics with application to surgical robotic systems (ENT, neurosurgical, and needle insertion areas), deep learning based robotic manipulation, and ubiquitous sensor network-based robotics. Dr. Yi is a Member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society also he was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics from 2005 to 2008 and he was a president of Korean Society of Medical Robotics from 2016 to 2018. He was the president of the Korean Robotics Society in 2019.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yoon, HS., Yi, BJ. Semi-automatic Knob System for Assisting Flexible Endoscope Steering. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 18, 2650–2657 (2020).

Download citation


  • Admittance control
  • colonoscopy
  • colorectal surgeon-assistant system
  • flexible endoscope steering