To detect and treat colorectal cancers endoscopes are commonly used to perform colonoscopies, with an estimated 15 million performed in America every year. Endoscope designs rely on physicians physically pushing the long device into position through the intestine thereupon applying potentially damaging forces to the intestinal wall. To improve endoscopic procedures this paper presents the novel concept of Inverted Tubular Element Locomotion (ITEL) to reduce interaction forces between the endoscope and the intestine wall. Experiments are performed that demonstrate functionality of the tubular design and less than 3.5 kPa to deploy. The tube material thickness has a linear relationship with the force required. This unique design has the potential to enhance patient safety and to improve procedural efficiency.

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