Today's laparoscopic tools impose severe ergonomic limitations and are constrained to only four degrees of freedom. These constraints limit the surgeon's ability to orient the tool tips arbitrarily, and can contribute to a variety of complications. Robots external to the patient have been used to aid in the manipulation of the tools and improve dexterity. However, these robots are expensive, bulky, and are used for only select procedures. In vivo robotic assistants have the potential to enhance the capabilities of the surgeon, reduce costs, and reduce patient trauma. The motion of these in vivo robots will not be constrained by the insertion incisions. Such assistants will need to attain optimal viewing angles by traversing the abdominal organs without causing trauma. This paper presents an experimental analysis of miniature in vivo robot wheels.
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