Surgical robots have now been around for years inside high tech hospitals, most famously the da Vinci system from Intuitive Surgical. Though in the news lately over FDA concerns and sales forecasts, the company offers technology otherwise not available from anyone else.
But, because the underlying technology inside the da Vinci is coming down in price, competition will surely increase. Case in point is the IBIS system developed at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which uses many off-the shelf devices to perform much of the functionality of the considerably more expensive da Vinci. Moreover, it has force-feedback features allowing the user to feel when the robot’s tools come in contact with tissue or other objects.