Interesting Surgical Robots that you should know about…
Robot-Assisted surgeries have been a thing since their emergence. They have served their share in the operating theatre to enhance the recovery of patients and they have aided in reducing the complexity and risk of many surgeries. Their contribution to medicine is remarkable as they have, and are being accepted and accommodated into various surgical procedures. They come with a lot of benefits like reduced radiation exposure, faster recovery, less pain, greater accuracy, etc. Though the commercial aspects of creating, marketing, and servicing a medical robot are a huge deal, Many companies have championed their way through the MedTech market. And, here are a few of those that you should have a look at.
1. Vicarious Surgical — Beta 2
This US-based Company is mainly focusing on building robots that provide extended abdominal access. They are currently working on their Beta 2 robotic platform. They claim to provide an endoscopic robot that has a dexterous “human hand-like” End-effector that helps surgeons access the abdominal areas which otherwise cannot be done effectively with just a surgeon’s arm. The platform assists surgeons by providing an immersive view of the patient’s anatomy through a VR headset. The endoscopic arm is said to require just a single insertion port which greatly aids in faster healing. The platform seems to be very promising as they have got very good reviews for their beta 1 version. The beta 2 which has more ergonomic enhancements compared to its predecessor is about to be tested in a clinical setting soon.
2. Intuitive Surgical — Da Vinci
In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, this industry pioneer came up with a multi-port Robot-Assisted laparoscopic surgical platform called the Da Vinci in 2000. This company has led the medical robotics market since then, though they seem to face quite a few challenges recently due to supply chain disruptions and higher prices they are eventually pushing the medical robotics industry to newer dimensions.
3. ROSA Spine — Zimmer Biomet
This robotic platform serves in both Spinal and brain-related surgeries. This was designed in such a way that it can facilitate better adaptability and a faster learning curve. They have been leading the neuro-surgery market since 2016. They have used the Staubli Tx2_ robots in their platform along with the NDI navigation system. The navigation system aids in Co-ordinate registration for seamlessly keeping the patient movement in sync with the doctor’s intra-operative plans whereas the Staubli Tx2_60 aids in providing the much-needed rigidity and dexterity.
4. Perfint’s — MAXIO
This India — based company has quite a few products like MAXIO, ROBIO, and PIGGA for Targeted needle insertion-based procedures in the field of radiology. Mostly they are being used for tumor ablation, biopsy, etc. They seem to be very cost-effective compared to other players in the market. Though there seem to arise a few competitors in this space from navigation system-based replacements for MAXIO, their system has been showing positive results from procedures like brachytherapy as well.
Their patented docking system provides great robot stability for CT — guided robotic surgeries and it is widely adopted across hospitals in Russia, the UK, India, etc.
5. TiNavi ‘s — TiRobot
The robot was developed in China and it is mostly used to perform Robotic assistance in placing pedicle screws in spine surgeries. The robot is built using the famous UR cobot. This is a fascinating case of integrating cobots into surgical use cases because they were initially not developed for surgical purposes. They seem to have made the whole system effective by integrating a cobot like UR. This robot is widely served in surgeries involving the fixation pedicle screws for spinal decompression and scoliosis, etc.
6. XACT Robotics
This table-mounted robotic surgical platform is based out of Israel and they have recently cleared FDA for Ablation based procedures. They seem to have a very compact design for CT and fluoroscopy-assisted robotic surgery. They claim that it can be easily ported from place to place and can be docked on operating tables easily because of its smaller footprint and lighter weight. Their motion planning capabilities are yet a question to me as there is not much literature available on that and the available ones just speak only about the Remote center point movements of the robot.
7. Quantum Surgical’s — Epione Robot
The Epione has just got FDA clearance in March 2022 for performing surgeries in cancer treatment. This is a big milestone for the company’s mission of “democratizing minimally invasive cancer treatment”. They have used the Staubli Tx2_60 Robotic arm to perform the intervention and they seem to be quite promising from their initial cadaveric results. Though I do not know much about their motion planning and image procession capabilities. From an initial view, they seem to be quite a sophisticated system for minimally invasive surgeries.
- Robotic systems for percutaneous needle-guided interventions — https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25421786/
- State-of-art in medical robotics and navigation for liver and lung — https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/DELIVERABLE-D4.1.1-State-of-art-in-medical-robotics-Interventions-Wiskerke/5875ac4b48872e477e01fa9a906d794ee42dfce8#paper-header