Computational Optimization of Notch Spacing for a Transnasal Ear Endoscopy Continuum Robot

Chiluisa AJ, Van Rossum FJ, Gafford JB, Labadie RF, Webster III RJ, Fichera L, International Symposium on Medical Robotics 2020 (2020).
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This paper presents a computational framework to optimize the visual coverage attainable by a notched-tube continuum robotic endoscope inside the middle ear cavity. Our framework combines anatomically-accurate geometric (mesh)models of the middle ear with a sampling-based motion planning algorithm (RRT) and a ray-casting procedure to quantify what regions of the middle ear can be accessed and visualized by the endoscope. To demonstrate the use of this framework, we run computer simulations to investigate the effect of varying the distance between each pair of consecutive flexure elements(i.e., notches) in our robotic endoscope.