Despite revolutionary advances in many fields of medicine, there are no active mobile in vivo devices commercially available, or in use, today. Several research groups are actively looking at a number of mobility methods in a number of lumens, but little commercial work has been done. While robotic surgery is available today thanks to robots such as the da Vinci surgical system, these methods are very expensive, require heavy external equipment, and are still constrained by entry incisions. An alternative approach may be to place the robot completely inside the patient. Such devices may enable non-invasive imaging and diagnostics. These devices may be significantly less expensive than current minimally invasive methods, without extensive support equipment, which may allow them to be also used routinely in the ER/trauma sites and remote locations. This paper explores using mobile capsule crawlers inside the body. Preliminary designs are discussed, and current research efforts into providing contact locomotion using micro-tread tracks are explored including initial drawbar force generation experimental results.

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