How control unit upgrades increase precision in endoscope systems

Close up of Circuit Board in Blue - Lattice

An endoscopic system is used during medical procedures to evaluate, diagnose, or treat a patient. Medical companies designing these systems are looking for ways to make a safer and more sustainable tool for medical providers. Growing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and security are key to making these improvements.

As technologies advance, companies are exploring more ways to improve their systems. High speed performance is required of the main control unit to support the enhanced performance that an AI system requires. Robotic assisted endoscope systems are a growing market and they provide decreased risks for both patients and medical staff, enhanced precision and accuracy, and improved visualization and access. Security features help to ensure that only certified software is installed and certified tools are connected to the system.

Arrow can help designers accelerate their product development by advising on the components and features to consider when designing an endoscope system and the control unit needed to support improved performance features and robotic controls. Utilizing the engineering expertise and wide portfolio of suppliers at Arrow, customers will have a large team of trusted advisors at their disposal to consult with throughout the development process and production lifetime of their products.

Want the opinion of an Arrow engineer on how control units affect your endoscope system’s performance? Contact Us
Control Unit System Block Diagram for Endoscope System

System Considerations

The control unit is a highly integrated system that manages the data and image processing, robotic interface, display, and other communications interfaces. Selecting the right components to integrate the required features for the system is essential to meet safety and security standards within the medical market.

Close up of Circuit Board in blue

The control unit manages the endoscope and communication to the robotic tools and is the central compute hub for the system. A microprocessor or FPGA will be the key component to manage all interfaces and image processing tasks. Selecting the right device that can manage the amount of data coming from the various sensors, image processing unit, communication interfaces, and robot will be key to having an efficient system. Arrow can discuss the benefits of each offering to find the best solution for this socket. This device will reside on a custom compute module, system on module (SOM), or industrial motherboard. System needs will determine whether to include wireless connectivity to allow for over-the-air updates and/or tracking purposes.

Standard display considerations such as size, resolution, viewing angle, interface, temperature, and lifetime are needed to select the right device. Meanwhile, special considerations for medical applications are also required when selecting the display unit for a control unit in an endoscopic system. These special considerations include touch sensitivity, anti-reflection/glare abilities, impact resistance, anti-bacterial treatments, and housing option. The display unit may require a capacitive touch interface that supports a gloved hand. Reflection and glare resistance ensures a clear image from the endoscopy itself and system controls. Housing options will protect against fluids, noise effects coming from the system, and impact related damage.

The control unit will also require a medical grade power supply. The ratings for the power supply will vary depending on the system requirements. When selecting a medical-grade power supply, it’s important to ensure that it meets the safety and regulatory requirements for medical applications, such as IEC 60601-1, as well as factors such as isolation, efficiency, input and output voltage range, and environmental specifications, to ensure that the power supply meets the requirements of your specific application. Custom labeling is also an option if the power supply is in a housing separate from the control unit.

Evaluate what power supply configuration would be best for your system’s needs by speaking with an Arrow engineer. Connect with us

Within the control unit, board-to-board connectors may be required to connect various PCBs in the unit. Externally, interconnect is key to make sure the data and power connections are reliable between the control unit and other devices in the endoscopic system. All cabling and interconnect plugged into the control unit should take into consideration any IP rating requirements to protect the system from potential fluids and certifications required. Security is also a consideration when selecting interconnect to ensure that only verified tools are used. When custom cables are required, the Arrow team can offer a variety of options and suppliers.

The use of a robot in an endoscopic system can offer significant benefits for both surgeons and patients, improving the accuracy and safety of procedures while also allowing for more complex and intricate surgeries to be performed. When designing a robot for a medical application, several electrical components must be considered. Some of these components include motors, sensors, a control system, power management, communication interfaces, and safety features. Overall, the electrical components used in a medical robot must be carefully selected and integrated to ensure the robot is safe, reliable, and capable of performing its intended function with high precision and accuracy. Arrow can assist in navigating the tools available when integrating AI capabilities into the robotic controls and work to ensure that the robot’s interface is compatible with the control unit.

Finally, security standards such as FIPS 140-2 and future generations may also be required to ensure the product meets security and authentication standards. Security must be considered when planning for over-the-air and field programmable updates or even for the plug-in tools and receptacles. Wireless connectivity, USB, Ethernet ports, and other accessible interfaces will all have to be accounted for when determining the required security features for the system.


  • Safety & Security Enhancements
  • Improved Accuracy
  • Reliable Interconnect
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Robotics
  • Risk Reduction

32-bit Microcontroller - XMC7000
FPGA - Arria® V ST
FPGA - PolarFire
Quad-Core Microprocessor - i.MX8
Boundary Devices
System on Module - Nitrogen8M
Digi International
System of Module - ConnectCore
Industrial Motherboard - IMB-H110
Industrial Motherboard - K3841-Q
ELO Touch
Touchscreen Monitor
Touch Panel
Advanced Energy/Excelsys
AC/DC Module
DC/DC Module
AC/DC Power Supply
AC/DC Power Supply
AC/DC Power Supply
AC/DC Power Supply
CMOS Image Sensor - NanEye
Image Processing Unit - OVMed
Wire Housing – Minitek Power
Cable Assembly - ix Industrial
Customizable Connector - MediSpec
Edge Card - MEC6-RA
TE Connectivity
M.2 Connector Card Edge
Secure MCU & TPM
Secure Authenticator
ST Microelectronics
Secure MCU & TPM

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