Cambridge Medical Robotics, a UK firm, is revealing its Versius robotic surgery system. The system consists of modular robotic arms, any number of which can be used depending on a procedure. The arms can have a camera or any one of the dozen or so tools attached, and they can be quickly swapped for other tools as necessary.
Each of the arms can be placed around the patient table or even hung from above to save valuable space. The surgeon wears a pair of 3D glasses and operates by looking at a monitor instead of peering into a scope common on existing systems. This can help improve ergonomics and allow the surgeon to see and interact easier with clinicians managing the patient and the robot. The robot is operated using a controller similar to video game joysticks and the system delivers haptic feedback from the instrument to the controller, so the surgeon can actually feel the anatomy being worked on.
Unlike existing robotic surgical systems, the Versius can work with instruments requiring only a 5 mm incision. Typically the smallest instrument sizes on robotic systems is 8 mm, and unlike 5 mm incisions these typically require suturing and maintenance.
The company has already performed a number of studies, including on cadavers, and is compiling responses and data from 32 surgeons that has already used the Versius system. The firm hopes to receive the CE Mark in Europe in 2018 and FDA regulatory green light shortly thereafter.