Endoscopy robotics: Current and future applications

Dig Endosc. 2019 Mar;31(2):119-124. doi: 10.1111/den.13270. Epub 2018 Oct 24.


Many different types of endoscopy robot have been developed or are under development. Some of these innovative biotechnologies are dedicated to complex endoscopic procedures such as endoscopic submucosal dissection whereas others are purely diagnostic. In endoscopy robotics, there are still several problems that need a solution. These problems basically concern robotic locomotion and instrument control, as well as clinical application. In most cases, the technology is still under development. The current fields of investigation are augmented reality, advances in actuation and reduction of hysteresis, optical analysis, wireless movement transmission and many others. Besides endoscopic submucosal dissection, other promising fields of implementation of endoscopy robots are natural orifices transluminal endoscopic surgery and bariatric endoscopy. Obviously, endoscopy robots are expensive, but both doctors and health system providers are becoming more aware of the possibilities that these platforms can offer. Improvement of the performance of endoscopy robots undoubtedly will lead to their widespread use and, therefore, a balance in cost-effectiveness.

Keywords: endoscopic submucosal dissection; endoscopy; innovative biotechnology; natural orifices transluminal endoscopic surgery; robotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy / instrumentation*
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Endoscopy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / trends*