da Vinci copycats from Asia
No successful innovation can avoid the rise of pretenders, sometimes lousy copies, sometimes superior designs. Many of the da Vinci copies come from Asia. Here are a couple of examples, you can also learn more about these from the IEC/ISO Workshop materials, presented by Drs Kiyoyuki Chinzei and Kai Xu. And more from Dr. Zhijiang Du.
- The Japanese are well known for their robotic skills, and combined with their protective policies, many da Vinci-like manipulators emerged as a lab prototype, and despite the fact that Intuitive only acquired approval pretty late in 2009, no competitors entered the market. Notable examples include the "Tele-operative Laparoscopic Surgical System" developed at the University of Tokyo, with which even a telesurgical operation between Japan and Thailand was demonstrated.
- Robotics and Automation Laboratory (RAL) at the Nagoya Institute of Technology has also been a partner with UTokyo and CAMIT in Kyushu University.
- Just next door, the Waseda University has also developed "surgical robot systems that perform advanced, minimally invasive surgery and rehabilitation support systems."
- The NEDO system was announced last autumn.
- As an alternative approach, Hitachi Medical made a try with the commercialization of an MR compatible setup.
- In China, the Beijing Institute of Technology built a robot for facial orthotics, with a very similar look. (NB! The first da Vinci procedure was only performed in 2009 in China, however, surgical robot development projects began a lot earlier.)
- We have already covered the Micro-Hand A.
- The laparoscopic surgical robotic system from the Harbin Institute of Technology could not defy its ancestor.