Minimally invasive surgery (MIS), including laparoscopy, endoscopy and colonoscopy, refers to performance of diagnostic or surgical intervention in the internal body cavity through small incisions (or no incisions) to reduce the recovery time and minimize scarring [1]. It has gained worldwide popularity since the first report of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the mid-1980s due to lower complications, cosmetic benefits and quick recovery [2] and has grown to include robotic approaches. One of the main challenges for this type of surgery is to provide sufficient real-time visual feedback using cameras. To address issues of narrow visual field and limited workspace in surgical visual feedback, existing devices may use onboard motors to provide pan and tilt orientation for the camera [3, 4], which makes the system bulky and expensive. (Here we draw a distinction from wire-driven steerable laparoscopes and constrain the discussion to robotic devices.)

In this paper, we present a novel camera system with a parallel structure and elastic platform which has three active degrees of freedom (DOFs) to increase the visual field and implement a mechanical zoom function. This camera head can be mounted on various surgical robots (e.g. [5]) or can be inserted as a standalone device. The novelty of this device lies in its elastic platform, and the authors are unaware of this type of design or its kinematic analysis being presented previously.

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