ENGS 89/90 Reports

Degree Program


Year of Graduation


Project Advisor

Ryan J. Halter

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 3-1-2019


Endoscopy is the medical technique of visualizing the internal organs by direct insertion of a small video camera into the body. The camera feeds live video to an external screen to view the area of interest. Endoscopic surgery of the upper airway currently poses a particular challenge to surgeons due to the a narrow operating space in the esophagus. There are two approaches: telescopic endoscope or operating microscope - each with their own limitations. With the telescopic approach, a surgeon holds an endoscope with one hand and a surgical instrument in the other, so they are only able to complete one-handed procedures. Alternatively, a surgeon can use an operating microscope, which allows both hands to be available for operation. However, the surgeon’s line of sight is on the same plane as the instrumentation, which can obscure the view and are also longer and prone to hand tremors. Additionally, for both types of procedures, the tools are rigid and do not allow for a dynamic field of view. The goal of this project is to develop a hands-free, remote-controlled endoscope that can be used in upper airway surgeries (laryngoscopies). Such a device would allow surgeons better visualization of the field while maintaining the use of both hands for surgery, which in turn will improve success rates, minimize complications, and enhance procedural efficiency. The device will fit within the dimensions of the upper airway, and the camera tip will turn right, left, up and down at the surgeons immediate command. The final deliverable for this project will include an endoscope prototype compatible with current laryngoscopes; a light source attached to the camera; a digital control mechanism for the surgeon to interface with the endoscope; optimized size for upper airway fit; a maneuverable camera tip for better visualization. Based on our deliverables, we divided the project into four main components: lighting, locking mechanism, articulation, and user interface. After preliminary research and individual testing of these four main components, we settled on a final design. The endoscope camera head rests on small spring, which allows it to rotate. LEDs are ringed around the camera head via epoxy. The LED wires run parallel to the camera cord to an external power source. Four additional wires run parallel to these, which function as cables for a pulley system. The camera wire is encased in a 3D printed polyurethane case, designed with four custom grooves for the cables to run down. This is all encased within a stainless steel tube. At the back-end of the device, the pulley cables connect to cross-shaped rotors, which are connected to two servo motors (one for up-down motion, one for right-left). The servo motors turn according to input from a joystick operated by the surgeon.

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