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da Vinci Xi Surgical System is ready to flex its arms


April 9, 2014

The da Vinci Xi offers improved access to the patient's body

The da Vinci Xi offers improved access to the patient's body

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While many people no doubt still look at Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci robotic surgical system as a sort of "wonder of the future," it's actually been around now for over 10 years. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that a new-and-improved model has just been announced. Among other things, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System promises a greater range of motion and more reach than its predecessor.

Like the regular da Vinci, the Xi is designed for performing minimally-invasive surgery. It does so using robotic arms equipped with long skinny surgical instruments, along with an endoscopic camera, that enter the patient's abdomen or chest via relatively small incisions.

Using a separate control system, the surgeon views real-time 3D HD video output from the camera and remotely operates the arms accordingly, in order to perform the desired procedure within the patient's body. Although that control system is often situated right in the operating room alongside the robot, it could be located as far away as another part of the world.

One of the Xi's improvements over the original system is a new overhead arrangement of the arms, which allows them to access more areas of the body without any repositioning of the robot or the patient required. According to Intuitive Surgical, this arrangement "has been optimized for complex, multi-quadrant surgeries."

The camera is also now more compact, it offers better visual definition and clarity, and it can be attached to any of the arms as needed. Those arms are smaller, thinner and feature newly-designed joints, which results in a wider range of motion. Additionally, the system now has a longer reach, thanks to longer shafts on the surgical instruments.

The Xi is also compatible with the company's Firefly Fluorescence Imaging System, which is used "to provide the surgeon with additional visual information in a variety of surgical procedures by enabling real-time visualization and assessment of vessels, bile ducts and tissue perfusion."

Intuitive Surgical is currently introducing the new system in the US, and is seeking regulatory clearances for other markets.

Source: Intuitive Surgical

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

so awesome. now lets make it autonomous!


neat, now give it a well designed user interface and a huge database listing what to do so people without surgical knowledge can use it (in an emergency), and or make it autonomous like Milton said :) Then make it cheap enough for third world countries to afford.

I also noticed this: "it could be located as far away as another part of the world": ...very descriptive :)

Benjamin Clements
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