Eurosensors edition:XXIV location:Linz, Austria date:5-8 September 2010
The evolution of endoscopic capsules, from passive tools to robotic devices, increasingly attracts the interest of the research community. In the past few years, significant progress has been achieved in the miniaturization of electronics and electromechanical systems. However, their use in commercial endoscopic capsules is limited by their power demands, which, to present, cannot be adequately met by embedded power sources. A 3D inductive powering module, providing over 300 mW to the capsule, overcomes the power shortage that currently limits the capabilities of commercial devices, thus enabling the integration of advanced diagnostic/therapeutic features and active locomotion. This is demonstrated in the present paper by a capsule prototype employing the wireless powering unit to drive an on-board vibratory motor for capsule propulsion. Simplified models, illustrating the main principle of this vibratory locomotion scheme, are also provided. Experimental results, involving movement of the prototype over sand and liquid soap, confirm both the effectiveness of the wireless powering system, as well as the efficacy of vibratory locomotion.