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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

IFAC BMS conference deadline extended!

Good news for the late-comers: we pushed back the Biological and Medical Systems Symposium's paper submission deadline to March 4. Please consult the official website (http://bms.iit.bme.hu/) for more information, and submit your paper for a wonderful treat in August in Budapest! 

Looking forward to seeing You here!

Friday, January 27, 2012

More videos of ALF-X

You can see below a few more videos of the ALF-X system presented at the EAES symposium in Brussels. You can see the quick tool exchange, the gaze tracking, the first animal trial and the trocar point setting.

From SurgRob

From SurgRob

From SurgRob

From SurgRob


From SurgRob


Credit: ALF-X by Sofar S.p.A.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CIS news


And finally two nice videos about SRI's M7 robot and some smart neuro-tools:




Photo credit: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Sunday, January 22, 2012

AVRA Surgical's new robot

AVRA Surgical claims to have a surgical robot (for vascular applications) receiving CE mark very soon. However, nothing is really known about it.  Their chairman is Barry Cohen. Also, Dualis MedTech GmbH, a DLR spin-off and subsidiary of AVRA Surgical has just recently made an agreement with HeartWare to develop ventricular assist devices with wireless, transcutaneous energy transfer system (TETS) technology. Since Allaboutroboticsurgery.com has become a media partner of AVRA, more news might come from them.
"AVRA Surgical, Inc. is developing a surgical robotic system of a modular construction which offers a portable lightweight and maneuverable robotic solution not available in any system in hospitals today. We expect CE approval early in 2012 and will commence clinical trials in mid-2012.  The company´s approach to robotic surgery does not stop at the robot alone. The AVRA  method is to design the operating room specifically for robotic surgery and to coordinate the design of the operating table, lighting systems and surgical instruments as a single intuitive operating environment.  At AVRA Surgical, our goal is to improve the economics, efficiency and patient outcomes for all AVRA clients."


Breaking news: mystery solved. :) Updates will come soon. 

Source: AVRA

Saturday, January 21, 2012

RAVEN 2

This is really exciting for the whole community, since Raven will be the only robot besides da Vinci that can collect data from multiple institutions and from various groups and procedures. Its open architecture will allow better access to data.The story was featured by Medgadget, MSNBC and The Economist as well.


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.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Intuitive's fairy tale--every story has a beginning

A little bit of nostalgia never hurts. Especially if the story has a happy ending and some morals. Take this enchanting business study case as a goodnight reading for today! (Compulsory for all ISRG affiliates.) Next time you meet the founders, ask them how they ended the deal!




Source: Harvard Business School

And once nostalgia hit: 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

CIS news

    Image credit: Magnetecs Inc.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Visiting the ALTAIR Robotics lab in Verona

    A Laboratory for Teleoperation and Autonomous Intelligent Robtos (ALTAIR) is led by Prof. Paolo Fiorini within the CS department of the University of Verona. It was founded in 2000, and now full of smart and extremely nice people doing cutting edge robotics research. (They are also fun.) Part of them are working in the university spin-off Surgica Robotica
    "The aim of this laboratory is to lead research and development on non-conventional robotic systems that can interact with the surrounding environment in multiple ways, from teleoperation to autonomous behaviours.  The research focuses mainly on applications for service robotics and field robotics, including all robotic systems that are not concerned with manufacturing operations."
    They are involved with many EU FP7 projects, such as:
    • SAFROS: Its goal is to address the development of technologies for patient safety in robotic surgery. Its aims are to define patient safety metrics for surgical procedures; to develop methods that abide by safety requirements; and to demonstrate that a properly controlled robotic suergery carried out in accordance to our safety criteria can improve the level of patient safety currently achievable by traditional surgery.
    • ACCUROBAS: Its goal is to address the development of technologies for patient safety in robotic surgery. Its aims are to define patient safety metrics for surgical procedures; to develop methods that abide by safety requirements; and to demonstrate that a properly controlled robotic suergery carried out in accordance to our safety criteria can improve the level of patient safety currently achievable by traditional surgery.
    • RoSta: The objective of RoSta is to take the initiative proactively on the definition of formal standards for robotics and to establish de facto standards in the field of robotics -- especially service robotics.
    • I-SUR: To explore the feasibility of automated surgery, in this project we develop general methods for cognitive surgical robots capable of combining sensing, dexterity and cognitive capabilities to carry out autonomously simple surgical actions, such as puncturing, cutting and suturing. Learn more about it here.
    • They are closely cooperating with the Center for Experimental Surgical Robotics and the
    Personally, I really liked thier laparoscopic VR Surgical simulator (more video) and the full-room tracked hybrid image-guided biopsy/cryoablation setup