While the advantages of robot-assisted surgery are many, these procedures also have a downside which is often overlooked: the surgeon receives no physical feedback while performing a robot-assisted procedure. To remedy this problem, a researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands has developed the Surgeon’s Operating Force-feedback Interface Eindhoven (Sofie) robot. Sofie can alter the resistance of the surgical controls based on how much force it is exerting on the patient’s tissues, which will help surgeons keep track of how much pressure they are placing on the patient’s organs.
Van den Bedem’s creation is also more compact than most surgical robots, and is mounted on the operating table instead of the floor. This means that when the table is tilted or moved within the room, Sofie will move with it, so no readjustments will be necessary
TU/e has patented the force-feedback system, and van den Bedem is now looking into commercializing Sofie. She anticipates it will be at least five years before the robot is available for purchase.
Statement from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven: Better surgery with new surgical robot with force feedback …
More from Gizmag: Surgical robot provides haptic feedback to users
(hat tip: Engadget)