A robotic assistant for trans-oral surgery: The robotic endo-laryngeal flexible (Robo-ELF) scope

Kevin Olds, Alexander Hillel, Jonathan Kriss, Archana Nair, Hongho Kim, Elizabeth Cha, Martin Curry, Lee Akst, Rex Yung, Jeremy Richmon, Russell Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper describes the continued development of the Robotic EndoLaryngeal (Robo-ELF) Scope System, a simple clinically usable robot for manipulating flexible endoscopes, particularly in laryngeal surgery. The system includes a robot with three active and two passive degrees of freedom, a five degree of freedom passive positioning arm, a malleable scope shaft support, and a custom joystick controller. The Robo-ELF Scope allows a surgeon to control a flexible endoscope with only one hand and also to release the controls and perform bimanual surgery if desired. We have evaluated the Robo-ELF Scope system in both phantom and cadaver studies and found it superior to hand manipulation of flexible endoscopes and conventional rigid endoscopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Endoscope manipulation
  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Flexible endoscope
  • Laryngeal surgery
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics

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