Autonomously capsule robot could improve colonoscopy acceptance, accuracy

A study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2017 featured an autonomously controlled capsule robot that could change the public's perception of colonoscopy.

Study author and Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University associate professor Keith Obstein, MD, and colleagues tested the autonomous colonoscopy robot 30 times in a pig's colon. Researchers inserted the robot rectally, and guided it with an external magnet attached to a robotic arm.

The robot completed the retroflexion maneuver autonomously after pressing a button. It completed the maneuver 45 times. Each attempt took 12 seconds on average.

Dr. Obstein said in a release, "Not only is the robot able to actively maneuver through the GI tract to perform diagnostics, it is also able to perform therapeutic maneuvers, such as biopsies of tissue or polyp removal, due to the tether, which other capsule devices are unable to do."

Dr. Obstein said his team expects to being a human trial by the end of 2018.

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