For years, researchers and scientists searched for a robot that would make medical procedures easier and safer.
1981 — robotic arm allows technicians to work with nuclear material from a safe, protected distance and NASA has a robotic arm it uses on shuttle repair.
1985 — deep sea robotics explore at depths unsafe for humans
1986 — a robot is used as an excavation tool on wreckage of the Titanic
Late 1980s — Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded research into the possibility of a remote surgery program targeted toward battlefield triage. Similar to drone planes used today, the intent was to minimize human casualties by replacing human medics with robots. The idea didn’t pan out because:
- Telecommunication transmissions required to control a robot at long distances may let enemy tracking devices identify a medic robot on a battlefield, making both the soldier being treated and the robot vulnerable to the enemy before treatment could occur.
- In the past 20 years, policies and guidelines for emergency treatment of wounded soldiers have changed from performing a surgical procedure on the battlefield to stabilizing soldiers and transporting them to a hospital for surgical procedures.
DARPA funded significant advancements at many institutions, including:
SRI International — work on minimally invasive surgery leads to the first FDA-approved telerobotic surgical system.
IBM — develops remote center technology
MIT — develops cable-driven technology for low friction manipulators used in da Vinci today
1995 — Intuitive Surgical is founded, licenses are secured on developed technologies
1999 — da Vinci Standard goes to market
2006 — da Vinci S Robotic Surgery System® with 3-D HD vision marketed
2007 — Via Christi introduces da Vinci S system to Wichita area
2009 — da Vinci Si system goes to market
2010 — Via Christi adds da Vinci Si robotic system
2011 — Via Christi Hospital on Harry’s second da Vinci Si robotic system makes it only Kansas hospital with three da Vinci systems
2011 — Via Christi is first Wichita hospital to acquire da Vinci Skills Simulator
2012 — Single Site da Vinci available at Via Christi Hospital on Harry in June