Cambridge Medical Robotics unveils first look at Versius ‘bot

Cambridge Medical Robotics VersiusCambridge Medical Robotics released the first photos today of its surgical robot, Versius, designed to make minimal access surgery more widely available and easier to perform.

“We’ve designed Versius with surgeons in mind. By equipping them with a remarkable tool, fit for their demanding job, we can change the way surgery is delivered,” CEO Martin Frost said in a press release. “Having operated in stealth mode for the past three years, I am delighted to be able to show what our amazing team has managed to develop in such a short period of time.”

Versius’ jointed arms – demonstrated in the photos – mimic the flexibility and versatility of a surgeon’s arm, allowing the surgeons to perform most keyhole surgeries without having to adjust or relearn how they complete the operations, technology director Luke Hares explained in a video. Its wrist joints specifically offer greater precision by holding tools in the same manner as a person and are equipped with instruments that can be used in a 5mm port.

The design also makes the robot easily manageable for bedside staff. With its light weight, Versius is easy to set up and tear down, which means the robot can be relocated efficiently and used more frequently each day. In addition, because it measures its position and force thousands of times per second, the robot is safer to maneuver and move around.

“If you drive up utilization, you keep the system busy, use it four or five times a day, you can completely transform the economics, which means that this essential tool can be made affordable so the surgeons can afford to use it,” Hares said.

Versius was created to be used across gynecology, urology, upper gastrointestinal, and colorectal surgery and features an open console that improves team communications and lets surgeons set their preferred console height. Lastly, its modular design allows for up to five arms to be controlled and used during an operation.

“In 10 years’ time, I hope that surgical robotics will have moved from being an expensive niche tool – which is where it is now – to a universal tool, which is just ubiquitous and available in every operating theater so that the vast majority of surgeons can use for the vast majority of their cases,” Hares said.

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