"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The new ALF-X robot

The first news about the Telelap ALF-X system “Advanced Laparoscopy through Force-. RefleCT(X)ion” leaked out some three years ago, indicating that SOFAR S.p.A., (a pharma company in Milan) started to use retrofited industrial manipulators to create a da Vinci competition. They art supported by an EU joint effort, and operating under the academic assistance of the New European Surgical Academy (NESA). Next, they teamed up with Immersion Corp.  to ensure a good haptic interface (TouchSense) for their robot, and they tried to patent it (US prov. pat. 20100204713, 20090024142). 
Features include:
  • Preoperative simulation 
  • Force controlled tools (US prov. pat. 20100094312)
  • Automated fulcrum point identification
  • Real-time patient monitoring to enable VR overlay
  • Laser scanners for safe robot positioning
  • The main application would by gyneacology 
  • Target: 1.5 mm clinical accuracy, <60 ms latency
  • Severel trials on porcine models have been done
  • Preclinical trials with the robot included: hysterectomy, salpingo oophorectomy, myomectomy, partial and radical nephrectomy, total pelvic exenteration and cholecystectomy. Current trails focus on:
    • 1. The use of the newly designed handles, surgical arms and instruments
      2. Haptic force transmission
      3. Ergonomic aspects
      4. Safety and reliability
      5. The 3D Stereo Vision system
      6. Docking time
      7. Durability of the re-usable instruments
      8. Capability of complex surgical steps
      9. Economic aspects (all elements are reusable)
This year, they have already had a presentation of the system at the MIRA congress, the Italian SICT, and will be featured in Leueven, as the SERGS as well.

FYI! "The system is called Telelap rather than a robot in order to avoid any misunderstanding, as it is manipulated by the surgeon rather than through artificial intelligence." /Tinelli et al./

Updates on the robot are here.

2 comments:

Carina Vargas said...

Hi Thamás! Very nice Blog!
I'm doing a thesis about the use of US in robotic assisted surgery and also a mapping of the upcoming robots out there. Your blog has been very helpful!
I have two questions:
1. i can't see the movies on this post? it seems it is just a picture in picassa?
2. Where can i find more about th eTelelap Alf-x.? Hve they started sales of the system? or haow far are they? Best regards Carina Vargas

T. said...

They have the CE mark, yet not available commercially, as far as I know. Drop me an email, and I can send you some more materials.