This paper aims to illustrate the growing importance of surgical robots by providing a short historical background and details of a selection of today’s products and their applications.
Following a short introduction, this first provides an historical perspective. It then discusses systems used in minimally invasive surgery (MIS). This is followed by examples of products aimed at other surgical applications and, finally, brief concluding comments are drawn.
The concept of robotic surgery arose in the 1960s and trials commenced in the 1980s. The business is now in a highly dynamic phase with numerous recent product launches and a growing number late-stage developments. MIS systems are attracting much interest but robotic technology is also being applied to many additional surgical procedures.
This provides an insight into the emergence and commercialisation of robotic surgical systems.
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