Intuitive Surgical Patent Grants

Methods and apparatus for surgical planning

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9532838
Methods and apparatus for enhancing surgical planning provide enhanced planning of entry port placement and/or robot position for laparoscopic, robotic, and other minimally invasive surgery. Various embodiments may be used in robotic surgery systems to identify advantageous entry ports for multiple robotic surgical tools into a patient to access a surgical site. Generally, data such as imaging data is processed and used to create a model of a surgical site, which can then be used to…

Autofocus and/or autoscaling in telesurgery

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9532841
Robotic, telerobotic, and/or telesurgical devices, systems, and methods take advantage of robotic structures and data to calculate changes in the focus of an image capture device in response to movement of the image capture device, a robotic end effector, or the like. As the size of an image of an object shown in the display device varies with changes in a separation distance between that object and the image capture device used to capture the image, a scale factor between a movement…

Surgical accessory clamp and system

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9532849
A robotic surgical system for performing a procedure within a sterile field comprises a manipulator arm and a surgical accessory clamp for coupling a surgical accessory to a distal end portion of the manipulator arm. The accessory clamp includes a base for coupling with the distal end portion of the manipulator arm, two clamp jaws with each of the clamp jaws directly and rotatably coupled to the base by respective pivot pins, and a lever operable to move the two clamp jaws between an…

Flow reduction hood systems

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9526401
Flow reduction hood systems are described which facilitate the visualization of tissue regions through a clear fluid. Such a system may include an imaging hood having one or more layers covering the distal opening and defines one or more apertures which control the infusion and controlled retention of the clearing fluid into the hood. In this manner, the amount of clearing fluid may be limited and the clarity of the imaging of the underlying tissue through the fluid within the hood may…

Surgical systems with robotic surgical tool having pluggable end-effectors

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9526560
In one embodiment of the invention, a replaceable electrosurgical end effector cartridge is provided to couple to a mechanical wrist of a surgical instrument for a robotic surgical system. The replaceable electrosurgical end effector cartridge includes two pluggable end effectors and a pair of spring latches. The two end effectors are moveable end effectors having a jaw portion, an off-center portion, and a base portion in one embodiment. The replaceable electrosurgical end effector…

Robotic surgery system including position sensors using fiber Bragg gratings

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9526583
A surgical instrument is provided, including: at least one articulatable arm having a distal end, a proximal end, and at least one joint region disposed between the distal and proximal ends; an optical fiber bend sensor provided in the at least one joint region of the at least one articulatable arm; a detection system coupled to the optical fiber bend sensor, said detection system comprising a light source and a light detector for detecting light reflected by or transmitted through the…

Fiducial marker design and detection for locating surgical instrument in images

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9526587
The present disclosure relates to systems, methods, and tools for tool tracking using image-derived data from one or more tool-located reference features. A method includes: capturing a first image of a tool that includes multiple features that define a first marker, where at least one of the features of the first marker includes an identification feature; determining a position for the first marker by processing the first image; determining an identification for the first marker by…

Clamping instrument

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9522003
Embodiments of a clamping instrument are disclosed. In some embodiments, a clamping device with calibrated parameters and a calibration process for the clamping device is presented. A method of calibrating a clamping instrument can include acquiring a data set of clamping torque as a function of tip deflection data for the clamping instrument; determining a torque limit from the data set; and storing the torque limit in the clamping instrument.

Fixture for shape-sensing optical fiber in a kinematic chain

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9523821
Localized strain is effectively eliminated in a shape sensing optical fiber where the fiber exits a link in a kinematic chain. In one aspect, the fiber is positioned in a channel within a fiber fixture portion of the link, and a surface of a lip of the channel is curved. The curved surface of the lip begins tangent to a wall of the channel and has a maximum radius of curvature that is less than the minimum bend radius that the fiber will experience during shape sensing. In another…

Medical robotic system providing computer generated auxiliary views of a camera instrument for controlling the position and orienting of its tip

Granted: December 13, 2016
Patent Number: 9516996
A medical robotic system includes an entry guide with surgical tools and a camera extending out of its distal end. To supplement the view provided by an image captured by the camera, an auxiliary view including articulatable arms of the surgical tools and/or camera is generated from sensed or otherwise determined information about their positions and orientations and displayed on a display screen from the perspective of a specified viewing point. Intuitive control is provided to an…

Method and system for steerable medical device path definition and following during insertion and retraction

Granted: December 13, 2016
Patent Number: 9517000
Waypoints for a steerable medical device are stored as the steerable medical device is moved within a patient. The stored waypoints are an ordered sequence of locations. The ordered sequence of locations defines a safe path within the patient for moving an articulatable portion of the steerable medical device. The articulatable portion of the steerable medical device is constrained to follow the safe path as the articulatable portion moves within the patient. For example, the…

Systems and methods for commanded reconfiguration of a surgical manipulator using the null-space

Granted: December 13, 2016
Patent Number: 9517106
Devices, systems, and methods for reconfiguring a surgical manipulator by moving the manipulator within a null-space of a kinematic Jacobian of the manipulator arm. In one aspect, in response to receiving a reconfiguration command, the system drives a first set of joints and calculates velocities of the plurality of joints to be within a null-space. The joints are driven according to the reconfiguration command and the calculated movement so as to maintain a desired state of the end…

Link systems and articulation mechanisms for remote manipulation of surgical or diagnostic tools

Granted: December 13, 2016
Patent Number: 9517326
An articulating mechanism for remote manipulation of a surgical or diagnostic tool comprises an elongate shaft having a longitudinal axis and a plurality of axially aligned links located at the distal end of the shaft. The articulating mechanism also includes an actuating element connected to and configured to cause movement of the axially aligned links and a locking mechanism located proximal of the axially aligned links. The locking mechanism including a collar mechanism through which…

Methods and apparatus for efficient purging

Granted: December 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9510732
Methods and apparatus for efficient purging from an imaging hood are described which facilitate the visualization of tissue regions through a clear fluid. Such a system may include an imaging hood having one or more layers covering the distal opening and defines one or more apertures which control the infusion and controlled retention of the clearing fluid into the hood. In this manner, the amount of clearing fluid may be limited and the clarity of the imaging of the underlying tissue…

Side looking minimally invasive surgery instrument assembly

Granted: December 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9510734
Two surgical instruments are inserted through a guide tube. The surgical instruments exit at an intermediate position of the guide tube and are oriented to be substantially parallel to the guide tube's longitudinal axis as they exit. A stereoscopic image capture component is on the guide tube between the intermediate position and the guide tube's distal end. The image capture component's field of view is generally perpendicular to the guide tube's longitudinal axis. The surgical…

System and methods for managing multiple null-space objectives and SLI behaviors

Granted: December 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9510911
Devices, systems, and methods for providing commanded movement of an end effector of a manipulator concurrent with a desired movement of one or more joints of the manipulator according to one or more consolidated null-space objectives. The null-space objectives may include a joint state combination, relative joint states, range of joint states, joint state profile, kinetic energy, clutching movements, collision avoidance movements, singularity avoidance movements, pose or pitch…

Articulated surgical instrument for performing minimally invasive surgery with enhanced dexterity and sensitivity

Granted: December 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9510915
An articulated surgical instrument for enhancing the performance of minimally invasive surgical procedures. The instrument has a high degree of dexterity, low friction, low inertia and good force reflection. A unique cable and pulley drive system operates to reduce friction and enhance force reflection. A unique wrist mechanism operates to enhance surgical dexterity compared to standard laparoscopic instruments. The system is optimized to reduce the number of actuators required and thus…

Surgical instrument control

Granted: November 29, 2016
Patent Number: 9504517
A computer-controlled surgical system may include a surgical instrument having a working end, the working end having a moveable mechanical component, and movement of the mechanical component performing a clamping and cutting function by the working end. The surgical system may further include a computer control system operably coupled to the surgical instrument and to first and second input devices. In response to a first command received from the first input device, the computer control…

Inter-operative switching of tools in a robotic surgical system

Granted: November 29, 2016
Patent Number: 9504527
Methods, apparatus, and systems for controlling a telesurgical system are disclosed. In accordance with a method, a first tool connected to a first manipulator of the system, and a second tool connected to a second manipulator of the system, are controlled. A swap of the tools such that the first tool is connected to the second manipulator and the second tool is connected to the first manipulator is then detected. The first tool connected to the second manipulator and the second tool…

Surgical staple cartridge with enhanced knife clearance

Granted: November 22, 2016
Patent Number: 9498215
A surgical instrument having an elongated shaft having a shaft distal end and a shaft proximal end. An end effector is coupled to the shaft distal end and includes opposed jaws. A housing is included in one of the jaws, the housing having a housing proximal end, a housing distal end, an upper surface, a distal garage having lateral surfaces that extend above the upper surface, and a plurality of staple openings extending through the upper surface. A knife member is supported within the…