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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ALF-X Telelap getting commercial

The engineers at SOFAR do not rest these days, as the ALF-X Telelap robot received CE mark in December, and now getting on the market. Recent public events revealed more details about the system. The master console—called the surgical cockpit—is centered around a comfortable seat allowing open view on the operation theater. Tool control is realized through laparoscope-like input devices and a 3D stereo vision with polarized glasses. It incorporates a full eye‐tracking system that acts as:
1. Safety system: robot is stopped when the surgeon’s gaze is not fixed at the operation site
2. Activation of any given instrument just by gazing at its respective icon on the screen
3. Zoom function by approaching/retracting the head
4. Every point the surgeon looks at moves to the center of the screen

The system aims to overcome the space limitation of the da Vinci (that it takes up too much space right next to the patient) by the base of the manipulators being a little further from the bed (~80 cm), allowing the nurse to walk around the patient (although risking to be hit by one arm by the surgeon). For this reason some areas are still forbidden for assistants during the operation.
The SOFAR people patented a solution to measure tip-to-tissue forces from entirely outside the patient, allowing a realistic tactile sensing capability:
  • level of sensitivity: 35 g
  • maximum load:  2 kg
  • force feedback scale: 1:1
The system is coming with a variety of tools, which can be sterilized up to many times. Also, the base price of the robot is planned to be set around 2/3 of the da Vinci to acquire some market share.
There have been around 20 animal trials with the system, and it was approved for human trials as well.

From SurgRob

Check the trade mark claims of the ALF-X.
 
Stay tuned for more! 
Previous post on the system.

3 comments:

Hungry Fish said...

Hi,

I was curious to hear whether you had seen any retrospective statements by SOFAR showing that they have indeed received the CE mark for Alf X in December 2011.

I noticed the forward looking statement in the presentation you referenced (thanks for that). Just curious about whether it happened as they predicted.

thanks
Fab

T. said...

I asked them in person last week, and yes, they have it.

Hungry Fish said...

Cool. And thanks for clarifying.