A flexure-based wrist for needle-sized surgical robots

Losey, Dylan P; York, Peter A; Swaney, Philip J; Burgner, Jessica; Webster III, Robert J
Proceedings SPIE 8671, Medical Imaging, pp. 86711G-1–9, 2013
A flexure-based wrist for needle-sized surgical robots


We present a novel flexure-based wrist design intended for use with needle-sized robotic manipulators. It is designed to be mounted at the tip of a traditional surgical needle, deployed through an endoscope working channel, or attached to the tip of a concentric tube robot. In all these applications, the wrist enables dexterity in small spaces. The wrist consists of two stacked flexure joints that are actuated by thin pull wires. In this paper we present the design of the wrist, its kinematics, and an experimental evaluation of the relationship between actuation force and tip displacement conducted using a scale model.

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