Automated Tool Rack System for Robotic Surgery (TRS)
Introduction In one vision of the future of surgical robotics, all humans will be removed from the operating room except the patient. In order to enable robotic surgery without human assistance, a means must be developed to change tools. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have invented an automated tool rack system
(TRS) for storing, loading, and unloading surgical tools and presenting them to a surgical robot at a single point of service. It exhibits a compliant mechanism for tool holding to overcome misalignment and misorientation of the tools. This mechanism contains a modular sterilizable assembly, or cassette, which can be generalized for multiple tool types. The cassettes are interchangeable for rapid reloading of the mechanism. The cylindrical configuration of the TRS allows for single-point actuation of the tool holders while minimizing form factor. The TRS is accessed with commands sent over a local area network to present a tool very rapidly. Business opportunity The future of computer-assisted navigational and robotic surgery will include a series of technologies that will be combined to improve the quality of surgical care. The worldwide market for computer-assisted surgery and surgical systems is currently $500 million, growing at annual rates in the 21% to 25% range. Intellectual Property Position This technology is available for licensing. Related Publication(s)
Friedman DW, et al, Automated Tool Handling for the Traumapod Surgical Robot, Proceedings of IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, ICRA2007, Rome Italy, May 2007.
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