Since the 1980s, the advancement of medical technology has reached heights that medical professionals could previously only dream of. While the idea of surgical robotics may once have seemed impossible, this technology is available for many medical procedures today. At SEPAC, our team is constantly tracking the evolution of medical technology, enabling us to provide you with modern, customized solutions for any application in the medical industry.

The Beginning of the Medical Technology Evolution

To understand what robotic surgery is, we first must look back to the mid-1980s. It was during this period that the field of robotics truly began to expand as, for the first time, computer technology began to catch up with design engineering.

The earliest version of what would become surgical robotic technology was a standard industrial robot arm known as the PUMA 560 (Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly/Programmable Universal Manipulation Arm). An engineer at Unimation first developed this technology. Eventually, Unimation would go on to become a subsidiary of Westinghouse Corp.

Working off the structure of the PUMA 560, Dr. Yik San Kwoh of California’s Memorial Medical Center went on to develop a specialized computer program for it in 1985. This groundbreaking program made it possible for a surgical robot to utilize Computed Tomography (CT) to place a needle for a human brain biopsy. The success of this surgery shattered the medical industry’s preconceived ideas of robotics in surgery, and launched a global “Age of Medical Robots.”

Robotic Medical Technology Advances

As news of the PUMA 560’s success spread, scientists across the world began working to develop more advanced robotic surgery technology. In London’s Imperial College, a new surgical robot known as the PROBOT was invented. In 1992, Dr. Senthil Nathan utilized this new technology to complete the world’s first fully robotic surgery.

In California, researchers at Integrated Surgical Supplies were developing a surgical robot called ROBODOC. This technology was specifically designed for use in Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA), as it was able to mill out highly precise cavities in the femur, making it easier to insert the necessary fillings during hip replacement surgery.

ROBODOC ultimately became the first robot to assist in this type of surgery. As this type of technology advances, it is vital to take safety precautions to ensure patient wellbeing and avoid any potential hazards.

SEPAC’s Contribution to the Medical Robotics Industry

Today, the da Vinci Surgical System is the most advanced technology in surgical robotics. It is designed with a Surgeon Console, a Vision System, and a Patient-side Cart, all of which work together to enable surgeons to perform surgery with an immense range of motion and precision.

This level of precision is vital for the proper performance of surgical robotics. At SEPAC, we are experts in precision and proud to be one of the best resources for low to zero backlash electromagnetic clutch and brake solutions.

Our years of expertise enable us to consistently meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. We provide custom clutch and brake solutions for any application. For example, we have worked with multiple OEMs on development of their surgical robot platform and utilized each brake technology we offer in different axis, joints and actuators to increase performance of their overall system. We provided them with a custom design perfectly tailored to their specific needs and budget.

For more examples of our product applications, explore our interactive infographic.

Trusted Electromagnetic Clutch and Brake Solutions From SEPAC

At SEPAC, we understand that the right technology saves lives. Our team of design engineers is continually creating dependable designs to meet the needs of each individual customer. We are AS9100 and ISO 9001 certified, and have become one of the most trusted resources for clutch and brake solutions in industries that require immense precision and reliability. To learn more about our solutions, reach out to us today.