The introduction of gastrointestinal endoscopy as novel minimally invasive method has transformed the discipline of gastroenterology and yielded several breakthroughs: The atraumatic accessibility of the gastrointestinal (GI) lumen has revolutionized the prevention and diagnosis of GI tumors and benign disorders like gastroduodenal ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease, the treatment of biliary and pancreatic disease [5, 6]. Endoscope and endoscopic tool design, however, has only slightly changed in the last 40 years, which leaves them suboptimal compared to current technical standards. Either endoscopic tools are fixed or use mechanical wire based tools. We want to develop next-generation micro-robotic endoscopic tools based on smart materials as actuators such as electroactive polymers (EAPs), ionic polymer–metal composites (IPMCs), dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) or shape memory alloys (SMAs). Our approach will allow the first pilot steps for the transformation of endoscopy towards a smart robotic co-working intervention. This project will start with the implementation of smart material actuators for endoscopic and laparoscopic dissection tools, as the forces and flexure requirements are limited and provide for a good proof of concept for this new actuation technology. The project is based on a local synergy of clinical partners at the University Hospital Dresden, the Institute of Semiconductors and Microsystems at the TU Dresden, the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden and local SMEs, joint in the environment of the Else Kröner-Fresenius Center for Digital Health.