Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) has gained popularity in current abdominal surgical procedures due to its reduced skin incision length, shortened recovery time and decreased postoperative complications. One trend is to enhance these benefits by developing technologies to expand the application of single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) which has even less incision and incision-related complication. However, the practical application of SILS has been constrained by many complexities, including fundamental procedure issues (e. g. limited space), as well as the issues related to surgical tools, such as lack of actuation force, weak tool tips, poor visualization and lack of dexterous multitasking tools. Due to this lack of multitasking tools, the surgical tools or robots have to be retracted, exchanged and reset multiple times during the surgery, increasing the surgical time, the risk of injury and the surgeon’s level of fatigue. This paper focuses on developing a multifunctional manipulator with an automatic tool changing capability to boost practical application of SILS. The manipulator uses a wire-driven method that minimizes the potential damage from sterilization since the electronic actuation and sensing components are located remotely from the end-effector which needs heat or chemical sterilization before surgery. The feasibility of the tool tip changing method has been demonstrated by experiments.

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