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

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Designer's sketch of a da Vinci master interface.

Friday, January 20, 2017

SMARTsurg H2020 project

 The SMart weArable Robotic Teleoperated Surgery (SMARTsurg) is a H2020 funded EU project with a goal to promote dexterity and ergonomics in soft tissue robot-assisted surgery, launching in this January with 10 partners and a €4 m budget. The scope of the project is to harness haptics and control for better surgical robotics:
"Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RAMIS) offers many advantages when compared to traditional MIS, including improved vision, precision and dexterity. While the popularity of RAMIS is steadily increasing, the potential for improving patient outcomes and penetrating into many procedures is not fully realised, largely because of serious limitations in the current instrumentation, control and feedback to the surgeon. Specifically, restricted access, lack of force feedback, and use of rigid tools in confined spaces filled with organs pose challenges to full adoption. We aim to develop novel technology to overcome barriers to expansion of RAMIS to more procedures, focusing on real-world surgical scenarios of urology, vascular surgery, and soft tissue orthopaedic surgery. A team of highly experienced clinical, academic, and industrial partners will collaborate to develop: 
  • dexterous anthropomorphic instruments with minimal cognitive demand 
  • a range of bespoke end-effectors with embedded surgical tools using additive manufacturing methods for rapid prototyping and testing utilizing a user-centred approach, 
  • wearable multi-sensory master for tele-operation to optimise perception and action and 
  • wearable smart glasses for augmented reality guidance of the surgeon based on real-time 3D reconstruction of the surgical field, utilising dynamic active constraints and restricting the instruments to safe regions.
The demonstration platform will be based on commercial robotic manipulators enhanced with the SMARTsurg advanced hardware and software features. Testing will be performed on laboratory phantoms with surgeons to bring the technology closer to exploitation and to validate acceptance by clinicians. The study will benefit patients, surgeons and health providers, by promoting safety and ergonomics as well as reducing costs. Furthermore, there is a potential to improve complex remote handling procedures in other domains beyond RAMIS."

You can follow them on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Updates on the RoSS II trainer

"The RoSS simulator was developed by Thenkurussi (“Kesh”) Kesavadas, PhD, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UB, right; and surgeon Khurshid Guru, MD, director of the Center for Robotic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute."
  • "RoSS is a portable, stand-alone Robotic Surgery Simulator that teaches novice surgeons the motor and cognitive skills required for operating the da Vinci surgical robot.
  • The RoSS uses virtual reality to introduce the user to the fundamentals of robot-assisted surgery. It boasts a multi-level curriculum, designed with various levels of difficulty, that takes the user through and teaches the required skills for effectively advancing robotic surgery abilities. 
  • RoSS is the only robotic surgery simulator featuring full-length surgical procedures in 3D, otherwise known as HoST.
  • RoSS is portable, so novice surgeons are able to practice and train without using valuable OR space and time.
  What is new in Ross II   
  • The portable, stand-alone RoSS II console is a sleek redesign of the original RoSS that boasts improved graphics, enhanced visualization, smaller size, and decreased weight.      
  • NEW Improved Graphics     
  • NEW Improved Physics in Skills Modules     
  • NEW Superior Arm Motion and Interaction     
  • NEW Robotic Skills Assessment (RSA) Score 
Features and benefits      
  • Portable, stand-alone console can be setup anywhere.     
  • Integrated management system stores metrics for all users and tasks performed.     
  • HoST (Hands-on Surgical Training) modules use actual surgical cases for unparalleled realism.     Adjustability and usability customizable to each user.     
  • Proven track record of mechanical and electrical reliability.     
  • Ergonomically adjustable to each user     
Virtual Reality Based Training      
  • The RoSS II  simulator addresses the rapidly growing need for a realistic training environment for robot-assisted surgery by:         
  • Offering 16 modules with progressive difficulty from pinching, camera and clutch operation to tissue cutting and cautery         
  • Developing motor and cognitive skills for performing robot-assisted surgery         
  • Providing in-vivo virtual operative steps with three levels of complexity         
  • Storing performance metrics for all users in a comprehensive database for export to Excel"

Source: ROSS, Uni. Buffalo

Sunday, January 15, 2017


The controller design and operation modes of Meere's Eterne robot--from a recent patent

Friday, January 13, 2017

Perception of da Vinci surgery

"We administered survey questionnaires via face-to-face interviews with surgical patients (n = 101), healthcare providers (n = 58), and senior members of hospital administration (n = 6) at a community hospital that performs robotic surgery. The respondents were asked about their perception regarding the infection rate, operative time, operative blood loss, incision size, cost, length of hospital stay (LOS), risk of complications, precision and accuracy, tactile sensation, and technique of robotic-assisted surgery as compared with conventional laparoscopic surgery. We then performed a comprehensive literature review to assess whether or not these perceptions could be corroborated with clinical evidence." An the results are worth looking into:
  Source: Surgical Endoscopy