Doctor, I shrunk the robot. Or… Out of their tiny little robotic minds

Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, with the Axsis robotic surgery technology
Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, with the Axsis robotic surgery technology

By Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants

Surgical robots today are large and unwieldy. This causes a number of challenges in the operating theatre. 

Setting up and managing the robots, for example, takes up valuable operating time. It’s also difficult to swap a robot in and out of a surgical procedure if traditional tools are more appropriate for some elements of an operation. And there are safety issues when clinical staff work in close proximity to a large piece of moving equipment.

So a surgeon has to weigh the benefits of surgical robotics against these limitations for each procedure where a robot is used.

There is an opportunity here – if we can simply make the robot smaller, many of these limitations disappear. It is much easier to move a small robot into an operating theatre, put it into position for an operation and move it out again afterwards. The safety concerns are also much reduced.  Continue reading Doctor, I shrunk the robot. Or… Out of their tiny little robotic minds

Brains trust: The impact of robotics on neurosurgery

Renishaw’s Neuroinspire surgical planning software
A screenshot from the newest version of Renishaw’s Neuroinspire surgical planning software

In this exclusive article, Stuart Campbell, clinical sales development manager of the neurological products division at Renishaw, discusses key trends on the use of robotics in neurosurgery

The curious case of Phineas Gage is one of the earliest and most well known cases of serious brain injury. On September 13th, 1848, Gage was working as a railway foreman in Vermont when an explosion caused a three foot long iron rod to be propelled straight through his skull.

At the time, doctors thought it impossible to survive such an injury and his remarkable survival and reported personality changes affected the study of neuroscience forever. In recent years, a new technology is changing the face of neuroscience – robotics, which offers high precision access to a complex and sensitive region.

Industrial environments are rife with automation and robotic systems. The upwards trend is only increasing, with the International Federation of Robotics predicting that by 2018, 1.3 million industrial robots will be entering service in factories across the globe.  Continue reading Brains trust: The impact of robotics on neurosurgery

Cambridge Consultants demonstrates tiny robot small enough to assist in eye operations

Cambridge Consultants has been demonstrating a tiny robot which is small enough to assist in eye surgery.

The company says the “Axsis” robot heralds “the next wave of surgical robotics innovation.

Propelling surgical innovation to the next stage, product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants is showcasing Axsis – one of the smallest known robots for surgical use. With an external body the size of a drinks can and instruments only 1.8 millimetres in diameter, Axsis provides a glimpse into the future of surgical robotics.  Continue reading Cambridge Consultants demonstrates tiny robot small enough to assist in eye operations

Intuitive Surgical to develop products in China with Shanghai Fosun

intuitive surgical

Intuitive Surgical and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical have formed a joint venture to research, develop, manufacture and sell innovative, robotic-assisted catheter-based medical devices.

The joint venture between Intuitive Surgical, the global leader in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery, and Fosun Pharma, a leading healthcare group strategically comprising the complete value chain, will initially produce products targeting early diagnosis and cost-effective treatment of lung cancer, one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer in the world.

The technology will be used in robotic-assisted medical devices based on catheters, and incorporates proprietary intellectual property developed or owned by Intuitive Surgical.  Continue reading Intuitive Surgical to develop products in China with Shanghai Fosun

Cambridge Medical Robotics secures $20m in Series A financing

cambridge medical robotics calypso-press-release

Cambridge Medical Robotics has secured $20.3 million in a Series A funding round from new investors including ABB Technology Ventures, LGT Global Invest and Cambridge Innovation Capital. 

Following the successful start of clinical cadaveric trials in June 2016, investment proceeds will enable CMR to continue on its path towards becoming a global medical device manufacturer.

Specifically, the proceeds will be used to progress development and commercialisation of its medical robotic technology, and to expand the team in preparation for regulatory approval.  Continue reading Cambridge Medical Robotics secures $20m in Series A financing

IEEE experts ‘driven by unconventional inspiration’ to help humanity

emily-surf-breaching

The IEEE says its experts are “driven by unconventional inspiration” to advance technologies and help humanity

Members within the IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, are incorporating outside technologies and ideas to drive innovation in a range of robotic fields such as disaster response, medical and biomechanical engineering. 

In this article, the IEE provides some areas its innovators are looking into.  Continue reading IEEE experts ‘driven by unconventional inspiration’ to help humanity

Orthopedic surgical robots to carry out joint replacement with precision

robotic surgery

Various advanced tools and techniques have been implemented by orthopedic surgeons over the past decade to improve patient outcomes.

These tools and techniques help them in improving patient outcomes and offer comfort to patients during treatment. The orthopedic surgery robots use the 3D imaging technology and computer navigation techniques to improve ability of surgeons to place implants with precise alignment.

Many studies have shown that these techniques are safer and more effective as compared to traditional surgical techniques. Continue reading Orthopedic surgical robots to carry out joint replacement with precision

The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

medical robotics human-eye-diagram

In this exclusive article for Robotics and Automation News, Chris Wagnerhead of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, takes a microscopic look at the developments in medical robotics

This is an exciting time for medical robotics, as there is a proliferation of systems on the market or in development.

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci, the long-time market leader for robotic laparoscopic procedures, now has potential competition from Medtronic, Verb Surgical (backed by Google and J&J), Auris Surgical, Transenterix’s ALF-X, and Titan Medical’s Sport system.

Similarly, the orthopaedics robot market is active with Stryker’s Mako platform, Think Surgical’s TCAT system, Mazor Robotics Renaissance system for spine surgery, and Blue Belt Technologies (now owned by Smith & Nephew) Navio system.

One interesting observation is of the physical size of the various systems as compared to the active operating volume of the robot.  Continue reading The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

Hong Kong University claims world’s first internally motorized minimally invasive surgical robotic system

Prof Law (left), Prof Yeung (middle) and Prof Yung (right), with their single incision or natural orifice (incision-less) robotic surgery system
Prof Law (left), Prof Yeung (middle) and Prof Yung (right), with their single incision or natural orifice (incision-less) robotic surgery system

A team in Hong Kong is claiming to have developed the world’s first internally motorized minimally invasive surgical robotic system for single incision or natural orifice (incision-less) robotic surgery. 

A statement by the the group, which comprises leading Hong Kong universities working with commercial partner companies, said the system can minimize surgical trauma and improve the safety of current robotic surgery.

The project is said to have developed a novel surgical robotic system (NSRS) with haptic (tactile) feedback and capable of single incision or natural orifice (incision-less) robotic surgery.

The development was initiated by Professor Yeung Chung-Kwong (Prof Yeung), honorary clinical professor at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong (HKU).  Continue reading Hong Kong University claims world’s first internally motorized minimally invasive surgical robotic system

Intuitive Surgical receives all-clear from US government on robotic surgery system

da vinci SingleSite-cross-section-hub-tissue-72dpi-200x127px

Intuitive Surgical, a maker of robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery, says the United States Food and Drug Administration has provided clearance for the company’s da Vinci Xi  Single-Site instruments and accessories.

Intuitive Surgical’s Single-Site technology enables surgeons to operate through a single incision in the patient’s umbilicus during cholecystectomy, benign hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy procedures.

“The da Vinci Xi was designed to seamlessly integrate advanced and future technologies and we are extremely pleased to further expand our line of product offerings with the clearance of Single-Site instruments and accessories,” said Sal Brogna, executive vice president, product operations, Intuitive Surgical. “Single-Site technology adds great versatility to the da Vinci Xi by enabling both single port and multi-port surgery on a single system.”  Continue reading Intuitive Surgical receives all-clear from US government on robotic surgery system

Intuitive Surgical expands EndoWrist stapler range

intuitive surgical endowrist

Intuitive Surgical, the robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery equipment maker, says the United States Food and Drug Administration has provided clearance for the company’s da Vinci Xi EndoWrist Stapler 30 (30mm) instruments and reloads.

Availability of the Stapler 30 for the da Vinci Xi Surgical System expands the company’s EndoWrist Stapler portfolio through the offering of new curved and straight tip instruments and four reloads.

With general surgery, thoracic, gynecologic and urologic surgery indications, the Stapler 30 Curved-Tip instrument provides enhanced placement and visualization around tenuous vasculature. Continue reading Intuitive Surgical expands EndoWrist stapler range

Surgical robotics market forecast to reach $30 billion globally by 2020

The global sales of surgical robotic systems is projected to reach $6.4 billion by 2020.

This is according to a new report by Allied Market Research, titled, World Surgical Robotics Market – Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014-2020.

The gynecology application segment accounted for 28 per cent share of the surgical robotic systems market share in 2014, and is expected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period.  Continue reading Surgical robotics market forecast to reach $30 billion globally by 2020