COMPUTER MOTION INC
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This American company develops, manufactures and markets proprietary robotic and computerized surgical systems. The company, founded by Yulun Wang, Ph.D., has its registered office in Goleta, California, United States. Its development team, led by Wang, holds several key patents in robotics for medical applications.
The company specializes in developing robotic and computerized systems to enhance a surgeon’s performance and centralize and simplify a surgeon’s control of the operating room. It has also played a significant role in transitioning the surgical community from current open procedures to increasingly demanded endoscopic procedures.
The company’s products include AESOP surgical robot, which which places an endoscope in response to a surgeon’s verbal commands; HERMES control center, which is designed to enhance efficiency and safety of surgical procedures; ZEUS surgical robotic system, which is designed to enable the surgeons to perform complex surgical and microsurgical procedures; and SOCRATES telementoring system, which allows a surgeon to mentor and collaborate with another surgeon during an operation and also allows a remote surgeon to participate in a surgery by remotely controlling AESOP.
The company is the world’s leading supplier of medical robots. It is known for its AESOP product line. It has first introduced AESOP (an acronym for Automated Endoscopic System for Optimal Positioning) in October 1994. AESOP has successfully assisted more than 12,500 minimally invasive surgeries in more than 100 hospitals and surgery centers around the world.
In June 2003, the company agreed to merge with its chief rival Intuitive Surgical, Inc., ending the litigation between them. Prior to the merger, it sued Intuitive Surgical for patent infringement. The company had actually gotten into the robotic surgery field earlier than Intutitive Surgical, and had its own system, known as the ZEUS Robotic Surgical System. Although the ZEUS system was approved in Europe, the FDA had not yet approved it for any procedure at the time that the FDA first approved Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci system. The uncertainty created by the litigation between the companies was a drag on each company’s growth. After the merger, the company’s ZEUS system was phased out in favor of the da Vinci system.
Computer Motion, Inc. develops and markets proprietary robotic and computerized surgical systems that are intended to enhance a surgeon’s performance and centralize and simplify a surgeon’s control of the operating room (OR). The AESOP Endoscope Postioner is a surgical robot capable of positioning an endoscope in response to commands. ZEUS Surgical System is a robotic platform designed to improve the ability to perform complex surgical procedures and enable new, minimally invasive microsurgical procedures to be performed. HERMES Control Center is a voice-activated OR control system designed to enable the direct control of multiple OR devices. SOCRATES Telementoring System is an interactive telecollaborative system allowing a surgeon to collaborate with another surgeon during an operation. On March 7, 2003, the Company entered into a merger agreement with Intuitive Surgical, Inc., pursuant to which Computer Motion will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intuitive Surgical.
Description and history
Computer Motion, Inc. develops and markets proprietary robotic and computerized surgical systems that are intended to enhance a surgeon’s performance and centralize and simplify a surgeon’s control of the operating room (OR). The Company has developed four products and a suite of supporting supplies, accessories and services. These are the AESOP Endoscope Postioner, a surgical robot capable of positioning an endoscope in response to a surgeon’s commands; the ZEUS Surgical System, a robotic platform designed to improve a surgeon’s ability to perform complex surgical procedures and enable new, minimally invasive microsurgical procedures that are currently impossible or very difficult to perform; the HERMES Control Center, a voice-activated OR control system designed to enable a surgeon to directly control multiple OR devices, and the SOCRATES Telementoring System, an interactive telecollaborative system allowing a surgeon to mentor and collaborate with another surgeon during an operation. On March 7, 2003, the Company entered into a merger agreement with Intuitive Surgical, Inc., pursuant to which Computer Motion will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intuitive Surgical upon completion.
The Computer Motion AESOP system is a surgical robot that approximates the form and function of a human arm. It allows control of the endoscope (a specially designed optical tube, which, when connected to a medical video camera and light source, is passed into the body to allow the surgeon to view the operative site on a video monitor) using simple verbal commands.
The AESOP platform is a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared surgical robot and incorporates FDA-cleared voice control interface for use in the OR. The AESOP system was introduced in the fourth quarter of 1994. AESOP 2000 with voice control was introduced in the fourth quarter of 1996. The AESOP 3000 platform, introduced in December 1997, is an FDA-cleared surgical robot capable of assisting in advanced minimally invasive cardiothoracic procedures. The AESOP 3000 robotic arm features added flexibility and functionality over its predecessor, adding the range of motion necessary for endoscopic viewing in the thoracic (chest) cavity. AESOP is cleared for use by the FDA in general surgery, ear nose throat, cardio thorasic, urologic, vascular, bariatric and gynecological procedures. The AESOP HR platform allows for control of AESOP through the HERMES Control Center. AESOP HR enables the operative surgeon to view the status of the AESOP device, save memory positions and view the AESOP menu structure on a surgical monitor. The AESOP HR platform also allows the surgeon to adjust AESOP’s speed to an optimal setting based on the constraints of the procedure.
The introduction of the Alpha Virtual Port, in June 2000, enabled the application of AESOP in open procedures. The Alpha Virtual Port provides a free-space pivot point for the use of AESOP in sternotomy-accessed cardiac procedures, as well as open abdominal procedures.
The Computer Motion ZEUS Surgical System consists of three surgeon-controlled robotic arms, one of which positions an endoscope, while the other two hold disposable and reusable surgical instruments. The open design of the console provides the surgeon with an unobstructed view of the patient and allows clear communication with the operating room staff. At the console, the surgeon controls the instrument handles and views the operative site on a 3-D video monitor or a boom-mounted 3-D binocular display. ZEUS senses the surgeon’s hand movements through the new MicroWrist surgeon interface. It then scales the surgeon’s hand movements into precise, tremor-free micro movements at the operative site.
The Company received the first in a series of FDA 510(k) clearances for ZEUS in October 2001. This 510(k) clearance allowed ZEUS to be used with blunt dissectors, retractors, atraumatic graspers and stabilizers during laparoscopic and thorascopic surgery. In September 2002, the Company received an FDA 510(k) clearance for the marketing of ZEUS in general laparoscopic surgery. This clearance allows clinical use of the ZEUS system for a broad set of general surgery applications such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy and laparoscopic nissen fundoplication.
HERMES is a centralized control system that networks multiple HERMES-Ready medical devices and provides the surgeon and OR staff with direct control using simple verbal commands or an interactive touch screen pendant. The HERMES system provides both visual graphic feedback and digitized audio feedback to the surgical team. The visual feedback is displayed directly on the endoscopic video monitor and the digitized audio feedback provides valuable device-specific status information. The FDA-cleared devices controlled by the HERMES system include: endoscopic cameras, overhead cameras, light sources, insufflators, arthroscopic shavers, arthroscopic pumps, VCRs, printers, digital image capture device, OR lights, surgical tables, electrosurgical units and the Company’s telephone, port expander, AESOP and ZEUS systems. The HERMES-Ready interfaces for these cleared devices were created in collaboration between Computer Motion and various HERMES alliance partners, including Stryker Endoscopy, Smith and Nephew Endoscopy, Berchtold, Steris, Skytron, ValleyLab (TYCO) and ConMed.
The SOCRATES Telementoring System is the latest generation technology platform being developed by Computer Motion. SOCRATES enables remote access to HERMES networked devices via proprietary software and standard teleconferencing components. The SOCRATES system allows an operative surgeon to virtually, cost-effectively and on an as-needed basis, communicate with a remote surgeon. SOCRATES enables the remote surgeon to help direct a surgical procedure thereby augmenting the operative surgeon’s prior training experience.
The SOCRATES system enhances the utility of the HERMES Control Center with the AESOP-HR system by providing shared-remote control capability of the endoscope. The SOCRATES system provides the remote surgeon with an interface to the AESOP-HR system, enabling the remote surgeon to share control of the endoscope with the operative surgeon. AESOP’s precision and stability ensure the remote surgeon’s views are tremor-free and accurately positioned. It is common for surgeons to remotely collaborate; however, without the SOCRATES system, a remote surgeon is typically only able to view video of a procedure and provide feedback through video overlay and verbal commands. The SOCRATES system enhances this collaboration by making it more interactive by allowing remote physical control of the endoscope in the operating room. In October 2001, the Company received FDA clearance for the SOCRATES Telementoring System for use as a point-to-point communication system.
Computer Motion competes with Boston Scientific Corporation, C.R. Bard, Inc., Edwards Life Sciences, Guidant Corporation, Heartport, Inc., St. Jude and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., Medtronic Inc., and United States Surgical Corporation. The Company also competes with Armstrong Healthcare Ltd., EndoVia Medical, Inc. and Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Founded by Yulun Wang, Ph.D.
Develops, manufactures and markets proprietary robotic and computerized surgical systems
ERNST & YOUNG LLP
US SIC Code
130-B, Cremona Drive
City province or state postal code
93117, GOLETA, CA
Phone: +1 805 968 9600
Fax: +1 805 685 9277
Country address: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Website url: www.computermotion.com