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A Case Study on Pill-Sized Robot in Gastro-Intestinal Tract to Teach Robot Programming and Navigation

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.17.1 - 22.17.10



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Paper Authors


Yi Guo Stevens Institute of Technology

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Yi Guo received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical
Engineering from Xi'an University of Technology, China, in 1992 and 1995, respectively. She obtained the Ph.D. degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 1999. From 2000 to 2002, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Central Florida from 2002 to 2005. Since 2005, she has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. Her main research interests are nonlinear control systems, autonomous mobile robots, reconfigurable sensor networks, and control of nanoscale systems. Dr. Guo is a Senior Member of IEEE.

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Shubo Zhang Stevens Institute of Technology

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Shubo Zhang received the B.S. degree from department of Automatic Control at Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing,China, in 2007 ,and the M.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, USA , in 2009. He is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology. His research interest is control design for Micro/Nano-robots in Biomedical Applications.

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Hong Man Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Hong Man joined the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stevens in January 2000. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in December 1999. Dr. Man is currently an associate professor in the department of ECE. He is serving as the director of the undergraduate Computer Engineering program, and the director of the Visual Information Environment Laboratory at Stevens. His research interests have been in image and video processing, medical imaging, data analysis and pattern recognition. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 technical journal and conference papers on these topics. He is a senior member of IEEE and member of ASEE.

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Arthur B. Ritter Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Ritter received his B.Ch.E. degree from the City College of New York, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Ch.E. from the University of Rochester. Before returning for his Ph.D. degree he had over 10 years of industrial experience in the aerospace industry for the US Navy and United Aircraft in solid rocket propellant development and as a development engineer for the Mixing Equipment Company and the DuPont Co. His first academic appointment was at Stevens Institute of Technology in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering where he did research on solar energy storage and conversion and optimal control of chemical processes. He taught courses in transport phenomena and process control. While at Stevens he met Francis Chinard, MD from UMD-New Jersey Medical School and started collaborative research in pulmonary transport and metabolism in-vivo. This led to a full time position in Dr. Chinard’s lab in the department of Medicine at NJMS. After a few years he was recruited to the department of Physiology where he spent the next 20 years teaching Cardiovascular and Respiratory physiology, statistics for the life sciences and physical chemistry to Medical, Dental and Graduate students. His research areas were microcirculatory and cardio-respiratory physiology. He was course director of the medical physiology course for five years before returning to Stevens to start the Biomedical Engineering program. He was the PI or Co-PI on grants from NSF, NIH, AHA and New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.
Dr. Ritter has mentored nine Ph.D. students in Physiology and Biomedical Engineering and over 40 Masters student’s in Biomedical Engineering.
He is the co-author of over 45 publications in peer reviewed journals and numerous abstracts and presentations at local, national and international conferences. He is the primary author of an undergraduate textbook in Biomedical Engineering.
His current research interests are in Systems Physiology, Rotary Protein Motors, The Failing Heart, and Biorobotics. He recently started a Biorobotics lab for research in Robotics and minimalyy invasive surgery with colaboration with surgeons at Hackensack University Medical Center (NJ).

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A Case Study on Pill-Sized Robot in Gastro-Intestinal Tract to Teach Robot Programming and NavigationAbstractMicro/nano-robots for biomedical applications are an emerging area that has receivedadvancement during the last decade. Despite of books/textbooks in nanotechnology, there are agrowing number of articles appeared in journals and conference proceedings in biomedicalmicro/nano-robotics. Medical robotics has been an active research area since the 80s andenormous amount of teaching materials is available, particularly in medical instrumentation andmedical imaging. Contrary to the large amount of teaching and learning materials on large-scalemedical robots, instructional materials on micro/nano-robotics for bio-medical applications arevery limited. There is a general lack of learning materials on micro/nano-robotics inundergraduate education. We develop teaching materials targeting undergraduate students in bio-medical engineering and related disciplines where micro-robotics techniques could be readilyapplied.In this paper, we present a case study on a pill-sized robot in gastro-intestinal (GI tract) to teachundergraduate micro-robotics and also principles of robot programming and navigation. The casestudy consists of a lecture unit and a laboratory module. The lecture unit introduces commercialcapsule endoscopes and proposes a conceptual design of a vitamin pill size robot vehicle that canoperate within human’s GI tract. Figure 1 shows the design of the robot. The laboratory moduleis based on the platform of the Webots simulator. The objective of the laboratory modules is toteach students how to program robots to navigate in an uncertain environment and how to controlthe robot. Two main robot navigation mechanisms will be demonstrated: the semi-autonomousand autonomous modes. In the semi-autonomous mode, human can interfere with or control therobot through communication when needed; while in the autonomous mode, the robot is pre-programmed so that it achieves the task and adapts itself to the environment intelligently. Figure2 shows the basic setup of the system and an interface of the Webots simulator where a micro-robot navigates in the GI tract. Figure 1: Inside of the endoscope capsule robot.Figure 2: An ingested capsule communicates wirelessly with an external control console.

Guo, Y., & Zhang, S., & Man, H., & Ritter, A. B. (2011, June), A Case Study on Pill-Sized Robot in Gastro-Intestinal Tract to Teach Robot Programming and Navigation Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17299

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