Endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive and are commonly used in surgeries and various diagnoses. Endoscopes allow vision in very delicate and constricted areas of the human body. Although the endoscope is a very beneficial tool, it still has its disadvantages. Today’s metallic endoscopes are rigid and tend to be hard to manipulate on the fine scales necessary to work within the human body while minimizing harm. Endoscopes made of metal can easily puncture an internal organ if not directed properly .
Soft robotics is a new and unique system for designing and creating a new generation of medical devices . With soft robotics, silicone-based molds can be controlled and driven using nothing more than tubing and air pressure (Fig. 1) . Employing the principles of soft robotics, we are attempting to create a new kind of endoscope made from a silicon-based material. Ideally, a silicone-based endoscope would be cheap to produce and require almost no training to operate, while still maintaining the same benefits of metallic endoscopes. Endoscopes made from soft robotic actuators will have better dexterity due to the wall thickness allowing a full range of motion and flexion. In this study, it was hypothesized that additional controllability in the soft robotic endoscope design could be achieved by controlling the combination of wall thicknesses of the silicone molds during the fabrication process.