Nebraska Patent of the Month – August 2023

Virtual Incision Corporation, a pioneering medical robotics company, has made a name for themselves by developing MIRA – the world’s first miniaturized robotic assisted surgery (RAS) platform. 

RAS is no simple feat, requiring hours and years of research and development. From MIRA itself, to all of the minute controls and tools required for precision control. The company has recently patented their User Control system, designed to enhance user interaction and control in robotic surgical systems.

At the heart of this innovation is a user controller that redefines the way surgeons interact with robotic surgical devices. This advanced user controller is a key component in robotic surgical systems, providing surgeons with a seamless and intuitive interface to control complex robotic arms and end effectors during surgical procedures.

What sets this user controller apart is its unique design that prioritizes both control and comfort. The controller comprises a controller body, a forefinger restraint, and a thumb sheath. The thumb sheath is a pivotal element, offering a range of movement that allows the user’s thumb to engage in a pinching motion. This movement enables precise control over robotic arms and devices, enhancing the surgeon’s dexterity during procedures.

A standout feature of this user controller is the incorporation of a thumb presence sensor within the thumb sheath. This sensor revolutionizes the user experience by detecting the presence of the user’s thumb within the thumb sheath, even during pinching motions. This means that the system is attuned to the surgeon’s hand movements, ensuring a continuous and uninterrupted connection between the user and the robotic system.

The user controller’s design is all about adaptability. The thumb sheath is adjustable between retracted and extended positions, accommodating various hand sizes and preferences. Additionally, the presence of a feedback signal component on the outer surface of the thumb sheath adds an intuitive visual element, aiding the surgeon’s understanding of their thumb’s position within the controller.

Virtual Incision’s user controller marks a significant leap in robotic surgical systems. With its innovative design, intuitive interaction, and thumb presence sensor technology, surgeons are empowered to perform complex procedures with unprecedented precision and control. This advancement not only elevates the surgical experience but also opens doors for further developments in the realm of minimally invasive robotic surgery.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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