Technology

providing assistance for minimally invasive surgery

Keyhole Technology

With our patented kinematic model, rigid instruments are effectively positioned through a fulcrum (e.g. incision).

RCM mechanism, embodied in a bionic arm

Our kinematic model is biomimetically engineered, according to the human hand and underarm. During movement, the mechanism remains compact and does not swing out hence it is not unexpectedly hindering other instruments.

Offering unique features

With our RCM mechanisms, we develop various Robot-assisted surgical systems. For laparoscopic surgery, we offer:

  • Passive Cobots - operated by hand
    With our technology, the user can manually drag and drop the instrument in the same way as an assistant would hold the surgical instrument. No electronic control is needed to obtain an RCM function. 

  • Active Cobots - operated by NC control
    By adding an NC (numeric control), actuators and sensors, a robotic arm can be deployed for more complex and highly accurate tasks. An example could be a dissection cobot that does a very precise dissection in a particular zone where precision and stability are critical.

  • Master Sleeve Surgical Robotis - without safety fences
    Our mechanics for master sleeve robotics are compact and simple structure. This ensures that there are virtually no restriction in the number of ports and the degrees of freedom. Additionally, it allows the surgeon to be near to the OR table.

Next-generation mechanisms, bionically inspired

Definitions and Insights

Remote Center of Motion (RCM)

The definition for RCM point is "the centre of rotation fixed at a point (a pivot point f.e. laparoscopic port) where no mechanical component exists". 

by Guanghua Zong, Xu Pei, Jingjun Yu, Shusheng Bi, Classification and type synthesis of 1-DOF remote center of motion mechanisms, Mechanism and Machine Theory, 43(12), Dec 2008, pp 1585-1596

Robot: a derivation from the Czech word "robota" meaning "forced labour" or hard work.
In an industrial context, robots are designed for flexible automation. They are mostly build-up of an articulated arm mechanism. These robots need to be NC controlled to realise the desired positioning of the tool.  However, the behaviour of these robots is unpredictable. Therefore, for safety reasons, they should be shielded by fences or have to move at reduced speeds.

On the other hand, an RCM based mechanism is ridged automation. The useful tool path is incorporated into the device, and no NC control is needed. An additional NC control can be added for automation purposes.

Cobot: collaborative robots are robots intended for direct human-robot interaction within a shared space, or where humans and robots are in close proximity.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobot)

NC control: Numeric Control: automated control of machining tools, robots, 3D printers, etc by means of a "computer".

 

Example - LaproArm series
The devices from the LaproArm series are built according to our patented RCM mechanism. It is designed as follows: the upper part of the system enables the instrument to drive left-right mimicking the elbow joint. The up-down motion takes place in the cylindrical embodiment, mimicking the underarm and wrist joint. The surgical instrument is held in front by the 'instrument holder', functioning as the extra hand for laparoscopic surgeons. During movement, the instrument holders follow the spherical surface described by the top face of the surgical cannula entering the incision.

HEPHAESTUS Surgical

Dubbeekstraat 112

3200 Aarschot

Belgium

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