Da Vinci Competition: Endoscopic Robotic Surgical System
(ED NOTE: This article is significant for two reasons: incorporation of a haptic, or sensory feedback, and that da Vinci has good ole competition, to raise the game level)
Intuitive Surgical is the dominant player in robotic surgery, having developed the now famous da Vinci System that turned traditional endoscopy into a futuristic endeavor. Now we learn of a system being developed by SOFAR, an Italian pharmaceutical firm, that looks set to compete with the da Vinci.
The Telelap ALF-X features haptic feedback, allowing the surgeon to indirectly “feel” the tissues that are being manipulated. This can lead to improved safety and allow certain maneuvers to be performed with greater confidence. The system also tracks the surgeon’s eye movements, positioning the camera so the field of view is centered where the eyes are looking. The system is highly adjustable for an optimal ergonomic experience. Here are a few video previews of the system in action:
Control and haptic feedback:
Personalized adjustment of the system for optimal ergonomics: