Intuitive Surgical: Robotic Vision and Control

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Medical Robotics Improve Patient Outcomes and Satisfaction

Intuitive Surgical standardizes on Xilinx FPGA-based design blocks to innovate 3D vision and precise control for robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery. The company's da Vinci® Surgical System puts the surgeon in a comfortable, seated position, with an adjustable-zoom 3D view of the operating field. Controls translate large motions into very tiny, controlled movements of surgical instruments attached to robotic arms. The extreme precision speeds many complex procedures and improves patient experiences.

"A flexible, customizable design block made us think about everything in new ways... This has made us incredibly agile and effective in terms of producing and testing products and servicing systems in the field."

– Sal Brogna, VP of Engineering, Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, California

Executive Summary
Market Challenges
  • Market uncertainties (economy; healthcare reform)
  • New, more complex procedures mean longer recovery times and higher risks
  • High fixed costs of operating rooms, and capacity constraints that limit revenues
  • Eye fatigue and procedure times that limit the number of patients that can be served
Design Challenges for Robotic MIS Systems
  • Bandwidth to capture, process, and display video in real time
  • Miniaturization of key modules (size and power consumption requirements)
  • System architect resources (efficient use of design expertise)
  • Long product approval process (FDA)
  • Adoption of Xilinx FPGAs in key components of the da Vinci Surgery System
Business Results
  • Increased video processing bandwidth, for enhanced visualization and reduced eye strain
  • Dual-console configurations for collaborative surgery, simulations, and teaching
  • Reduced procedure times, for improved outcomes and higher surgeon/OR productivity
  • Modular platform design, for faster time to market, reliability, and serviceability
  • Increased designer productivity