Design and coordination kinematics of an insertable robotic effectors platform for single-port access surgery

Jienan Ding, Roger E. Goldman, Kai Xu, Peter K. Allen, Dennis L. Fowler, Nabil Simaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Single port access surgery (SPAS) presents surgeons with added challenges that require new surgical tools and surgical assistance systems with unique capabilities. To address these challenges, we designed and constructed a new insertable robotic end-effectors platform (IREP) for SPAS. The IREP can be inserted through a O15 mm trocar into the abdomen and it uses 21 actuated joints for controlling two dexterous arms and a stereo-vision module. Each dexterous arm has a hybrid mechanical architecture comprised of a two-segment continuum robot, a parallelogram mechanism for improved dual-arm triangulation, and a distal wrist for improved dexterity during suturing. The IREP is unique because of the combination of continuum arms with active and passive segments with rigid parallel kinematics mechanisms. This paper presents the clinical motivation, design considerations, kinematics, statics, and mechanical design of the IREP. The kinematics of coordination between the parallelogram mechanisms and the continuum arms is presented using the pseudo-rigid-body model of the beam representing the passive segment of each snake arm. Kinematic and static simulations and preliminary experiment results are presented in support of our design choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6269103
Pages (from-to)1612-1624
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuum robots
  • kinematics
  • medical robotics
  • parallel mechanisms
  • single-port access surgery (SPAS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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