Robotics history through the years

Need a doc?

Meet our doctors by watching their short videos

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

Related Content

 Robotic Surgery at Via Christi Health

 Robotic Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

 Patient Story: Art and Amy Simmons

 Patient Story: Bill Molash 

 Patient Story: Erwin 'Corky' Flentie

 Patient Story: Paul Wegner




  _Follow Us