Force sensor attachable to thin fiberscopes/endoscopes utilizing high elasticity fabric

Sensors (Basel). 2014 Mar 12;14(3):5207-20. doi: 10.3390/s140305207.


An endoscope/fiberscope is a minimally invasive tool used for directly observing tissues in areas deep inside the human body where access is limited. However, this tool only yields visual information. If force feedback information were also available, endoscope/fiberscope operators would be able to detect indurated areas that are visually hard to recognize. Furthermore, obtaining such feedback information from tissues in areas where collecting visual information is a challenge would be highly useful. The major obstacle is that such force information is difficult to acquire. This paper presents a novel force sensing system that can be attached to a very thin fiberscope/endoscope. To ensure a small size, high resolution, easy sterilization, and low cost, the proposed force visualization-based system uses a highly elastic material-panty stocking fabric. The paper also presents the methodology for deriving the force value from the captured image. The system has a resolution of less than 0.01 N and sensitivity of greater than 600 pixels/N within the force range of 0-0.2 N.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity*
  • Endoscopes*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Mechanical Phenomena*
  • Stockings, Compression
  • Textiles*