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This article describes the design, optimization, and prototype testing of a Miniature Anchored Robotic Videoscope for networked Expedited Laparoscopy (MARVEL), which is a camera module (CM) that features wireless communications and control and is designed to decrease the surgical-tool bottleneck experienced by surgeons in state-of-the art Laparoscopic Endoscopic Single-Site (LESS) minimally invasive abdominal surgery. Software simulation is utilized to characterize the internal human body (in vivo) wireless channel to optimize the antenna, transceiver architecture, and communication protocols between multiple CMs. A CM research platform has been realized that includes: a near-zero latency video wireless communications link; a pan/tilt camera platform, actuated by two motors, which provides surgeons a full hemisphere field of view inside the abdominal cavity; a small wireless camera; an illumination control system; wireless controlled focus; digital zoom; and a wireless human‐ machine interface (HMI) to control the CM. An in vivo experiment on a porcine subject has been carried out to test the performance of the system and features, with the exception of recently added autofocus and digital zoom. MARVEL is a research platform for a broad range of experiments for faculty and students in the Colleges of Engineering and Medicine at USF and at Tampa General Hospital.
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Keywords: In vivo channel modeling; In vivo wireless networking; Minimally invasive surgery

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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