Endoscopy System: Stepper Motor Applications
Small Stepper Motors Inside A Compact Endoscopic System Provide Enhanced Visibility And Range Of Motion To Surgeons
Minimally invasive surgery for laparoscopy relies on highly sensitive drive technology. Modern medical technology makes operations safer and allows conventional surgical methods to be replaced with operations which put less strain on patients.One of the best examples of particularly gentle medical interventions is minimally invasive surgery. This requires small-sized openings into the body, through the navel, for example, rather than making large incisions. Minimally invasive surgery represents a significant improvement for patients, however these procedures require more compact, flexible, and dynamic specialist equipment and tools.
As all of the components used need to be as compact as possible, micro drives are the perfect solution for the medical actuator systems deployed in this field. The stepper motors produce high performance from very low volumes and they are also very easy to control and adapt to all medical standards, making them perfect for extending the fingertip sensitivity of the operator. French company EndoControl from La Tronche near Grenoble has developed the new ViKY system (Vision Control for endoscopy), which is a compact motorized endoscope positioner that securly holds and moves the endoscope under direct control from the surgeon. The system is tailored to meet the flexiblity and ergonomic needs of the surgeon, as well as the functionality and standards required for medical procedures. In order to accommodate all of the options the system offers to the operator within the smallest possible space, the developers worked in conjunction with micro drive specialist, FAULHABER from Schonaich. Modern micro motors with precision gears and Motion Controllers are now used for the precision execution of the surgeon’s control commands.
Flexible and Compact
The new endoscopy system was developed with flexibility and compact design in mind from the very outset. The device can handle all standard procedures in the abdomen, chest cavity and other body cavities. Its small size compared to other systems means the surgeon is given better access to the patient. This is a benefit which should not be underestimated, as the surgeons can utilize their experience in direct contact with the patient and are not reliant on pre-filtered information on a screen. Its comparatively low procurement and operating costs, compact size and the added benefit of ease of sterilization which was incorporated into the design make the system ideal for various surgical disciplines. Thanks to the precision control drives, the though the system was initially designed for common endoscopic procedures, such as laparoscopic, coelioscopic, bariatric and thoracic surgeries, the system can be used just as effectively for minimally invasive procedures in the specialities of gynecology, urology and gastro-intestinal, too.
Drive System Is Easily Integrated
Naturally, this kind of application needs motors which are small and compact, but high performance at the same time. It's an opportunity for modern drive technology to be utilized to its full potential. The quiet movement, thanks to bearings associated with EndoControl’s ViKY precise mechanism, the sensitive reaction to control commands, and its high performance ratio all speak volumes. The broad temperature range of -30 to +125 °C is compatible with all standard disinfection methods. The long service life of the system guarantees reliable functionality over a long period, which is a tangible benefit for a medical device. The speed is optimized to the relevant application. The bandwidth of reduction ratios ranges from approx. 3:1 to 1500:1, giving extensive latitude for optimum adjustment of speed and torque. Using the metallic gearheads, up to 700 mNm can be achieved. The position resolution generated provides both sufficient power and high levels of precision to the drive shaft. The compact control center integrated in EndoControl’s ViKY control unit also has built-in adjustable control functions such as power and speed limits. This means that both the controller and the motor fulfill all EMC requirements for use in a medical environment.
Visit the EndoControl website for further information on the ViKY System
For further information on the motors used in this application, visit the Stepper Motors page.