The force transmission of a flexible instrument through an endoscope is considerably deteriorated due to friction between the contacting surfaces. Friction force along the axial direction can be reduced by combining the translational motion input with rotation. A ratio ζ is defined to measure the reduction in the friction force along the axial direction due to the combined motion input at the proximal end of the instrument. An analytical formula is derived that shows the reduction in the friction force for the combined motion input. A flexible multibody model was setup and various simulations were performed with different motion inputs. The simulation result showed a reduction of 80% in the value of ζ in accordance with the analytical result for the given velocity ratio. Several experiments were performed with constant translational motion input combined with constant and sinusoidal rotational motion input. A maximum reduction of 84% is obtained in the value of ζ against a reduction of 89% calculated analytically. The knowledge of force transmission with a combination of motions can be used to increase the force fidelity of a flexible instrument in applications like robotic surgery with a flexible instrument.

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