Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Jindong Tan

Committee Members

Caleb Rucker, Eric Wade, Anahita Khojandi


Minimally invasive surgeriy (MIS) techniques are becoming more popular as replacements for traditional open surgeries. These methods benefit patients with lowering blood loss and post-operative pain, reducing recovery period and hospital stay time, decreasing surgical area scarring and cosmetic issues, and lessening the treatment costs, hence greater patient satisfaction would be earned. Manipulating surgical instruments from outside of abdomen and performing surgery needs precise hand-eye coordination which is provided by insertable cameras. The traditional MIS insertable cameras suffer from port complexity and reduced manipulation dexterity, which leads to defection in Hand-eye coordination and surgical flow. Fully insertable robotic camera systems emerged as a promising solution in MIS. Implementing robotic camera systems faces multiple challenges in fixation, manipulation, orientation control, tool-tissue interaction, in vivo illumination and clear imaging.In this dissertation a novel actuation and control mechanism is developed and validated for an insertable laparoscopic camera. This design uses permanent magnets and coils as force/torque generators in an external control unit to manipulate an in vivo camera capsule. The motorless design of this capsule reduces the, wight, size and power consumption of the driven unit. In order to guarantee the smooth motion of the camera inside the abdominal cavity, an interaction force control method was proposed and validated.Optimizing the system's design, through minimizing the control unit size and power consumption and extending maneuverability of insertable camera, was achieved by a novel transformable design, which uses a single permanent magnet in the control unit. The camera robot uses a permanent magnet as fixation and translation unit, and two embedded motor for tilt motion actuation, as well as illumination actuation. Transformable design provides superior imaging quality through an optimized illumination unit and a cleaning module. The illumination module uses freeform optical lenses to control light beams from the LEDs to achieve optimized illumination over surgical zone. The cleaning module prevents lens contamination through a pump actuated debris prevention system, while mechanically wipes the lens in case of contamination. The performance of transformable design and its modules have been assessed experimentally.


Most of the chapters have been published before.

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