Intuitive Surgical Patent Grants

Method and system for moving an articulated instrument back towards an entry guide while automatically reconfiguring the articulated instrument for retraction into the entry guide

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9629520
A medical robotic system includes articulated instruments extending out of a distal end of an entry guide. Prior to pivoting the entry guide to re-orient it and the instruments, the instruments are moved in tandem back towards the entry guide. Haptic cues and velocity limits are provided to assist the operator in the retraction of the instruments. After retraction, the entry guide may then be pivoted without concern that the instruments will harm patient anatomy. The movement of the…

Sealing multiple surgical instruments

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9629681
In accordance with aspects of the present invention, an instrument guide is provided. An instrument guide according to some embodiments of the present invention includes a channel portion, the channel portion including a plurality of channels through which surgical instruments can be inserted; a lower part mechanically fixed to the channel portion, the lower part including doors to seal each of the channels; an upper part, the upper part mechanically attached to the lower part and…

Medical robotic system providing sensory feedback indicating a difference between a commanded state and a preferred pose of an articulated instrument

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9622826
A medical robotic system includes an entry guide with articulated instruments extending out of its distal end. A controller is configured to command manipulation of one of the articulated instruments towards a state commanded by operator manipulation of an input device while commanding sensory feedback to the operator indicating a difference between the commanded state and a preferred pose of the articulated instrument, so that the sensory feedback serves to encourage the operator to…

Method and apparatus to provide updated patient images during robotic surgery

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9622831
In a method and an apparatus to provide updated images during a robotically-implemented surgical procedure, 3D data are obtained of a volume of a patient, which includes anatomy involved in the procedure. The anatomy is segmented from a reconstructed image of the volume. During the procedure, the surgeon applies forces on the anatomy, causing a geometric change of the anatomy. Force sensors in the surgical robot detect these forces, which are supplied to a processor that controls display…

Tool grip calibration for robotic surgery

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9623563
Telerobotic, telesurgical, and surgical robotic devices, systems, and methods selectively calibrate end effector jaws by bringing the jaw elements into engagement with each other. Commanded torque signals may bring the end effector elements into engagement while monitoring the resulting position of a drive system, optionally using a second derivative of the torque/position relationship so as to identify an end effector engagement position. Calibration can allow the end effector…

Surgical patient side cart with steering interface

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9623902
A patient side cart for a teleoperated surgical system includes at least one manipulator portion for holding a surgical instrument and a steering interface. The steering interface may include at least one sensor positioned to sense turning, fore, and aft forces exerted by a user to move the cart. The steering interface may further include a coupling mechanism to removably couple the steering interface with the patient side cart. The at least one sensor may be placed in signal…

Surgical patient side cart with suspension system

Granted: April 11, 2017
Patent Number: 9615883
A patient side cart for a teleoperated surgical system comprises a base, a manipulator portion extending from the base and configured to hold one or more surgical instruments, four wheels mounted to the base to permit movement of the cart, and a suspension system. The suspension system may be configured to transition the cart between a first state in which the cart behaves as a three-wheeled cart and a second state in which the cart behaves as a four-wheeled cart.

Surgical instrument with motor

Granted: April 11, 2017
Patent Number: 9615888
A surgical instrument including a shaft having proximal and distal ends, an end effector, a transmission mechanism and a limit switch, and a method of operating the end effector is provided. The end effector is disposed at the distal end of the shaft and has an end effector component configured to move between a first position and a second position. The transmission mechanism includes a motor and a drive system coupled with the end effector component to move the end effector component…

Systems and methods for tracking a path using the null-space

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9610689
Devices, systems, and methods for providing a desired movement of one or more joints of a manipulator arm having a plurality of joints with redundant degrees of freedom while effecting commanded movement of a distal end effector of the manipulator. Methods include defining a constraint, such as a network of paths, within a joint space defined by the one or more joints and determining a movement of the plurality of joints within a null-space to track the constraints with the one or more…

Methods and apparatus segmented calibration of a sensing optical fiber

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9606021
Optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) circuitry to perform tasks on an optical fiber to generate calibration or correction data for calibrating or correcting a reference OFDR data set. A segmented technique is used which permits precise and accurate determination of the correction data for even initial and long fiber lengths. Correction information for each segment is stitched together to generate the correction data for the fiber.

Positions for multiple surgical mounting platform rotation clutch buttons

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9597153
Robotic and/or surgical devices, systems, and methods include kinematic linkage structures and associated control systems configured to facilitate preparation of the system for use. One or more kinematic linkage sub-systems may include joints that are actively driven, passive, or a mix of both. A set-up mode employs an intuitive user interface in which one or more joints are initially held static by a brake or joint drive system. The user may articulate the joint(s) by manually pushing…

Systems and methods for robotic medical system integration with external imaging

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9592095
A medical robotic system and method of operating such comprises taking intraoperative external image data of a patient anatomy, and using that image data to generate a modeling adjustment for a control system of the medical robotic system (e.g., updating anatomic model and/or refining instrument registration), and/or adjust a procedure control aspect (e.g., regulating substance or therapy delivery, improving targeting, and/or tracking performance).

Flexible wrist for surgical tool

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9585641
The present invention is directed to a tool having a wrist mechanism that provides pitch and yaw rotation in such a way that the tool has no singularity in roll, pitch, and yaw. In one embodiment, a minimally invasive surgical instrument includes an elongate shaft haying a working end, a proximal end, and a shaft axis between the working end and the proximal end; and an end effector. A wrist member has a flexible tube including an axis extending through an interior surrounded by a wall.…

Phantom degrees of freedom in joint estimation and control

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9585726
Methods, apparatus, and systems for operating a surgical system. In accordance with a method, a position of a surgical instrument is measured, the surgical instrument being included in a mechanical assembly having a plurality of joints and a first number of degrees of freedom, the position of the surgical instrument being measured for each of a second number of degrees of freedom of the surgical instrument. The method further includes estimating a position of each of the joints, where…

User selection of robotic system operating modes using mode distinguishing operator actions

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9586323
A robotic system has a plurality of user selectable operating modes. To select one of the operating modes, a user performs a distinguishing action which uniquely identifies a desired operating mode among the plurality of user selectable operating modes. A method implemented by a processor in the robotic system identifies the distinguishing action and places the robotic system in the user selected operating mode.

Hook and pivot electro-mechanical interface for robotic medical arms

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9586327
A robotic medical system that includes a quick-connect/disconnect feature to facilitate the connecting and disconnecting of a robotic medical arm to and from a set-up arm is disclosed. The robotic medical system includes a robotic medical arm including an interface having a downward-oriented hook located at an upper portion thereof, and an electrical connector located at a lower portion thereof. The system further includes a set-up arm including an interface having an upward-oriented…

Ratcheting for master alignment of a teleoperated minimally invasive surgical instrument

Granted: February 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9579164
A minimally-invasive surgical system includes a slave surgical instrument having a slave surgical instrument tip and a master grip. The slave surgical instrument tip has an alignment in a common frame of reference and the master grip, which is coupled to the slave surgical instrument, has an alignment in the common frame of reference. An alignment error, in the common frame of reference, is a difference in alignment between the alignment of the slave surgical instrument tip and the…

Connector for medical device

Granted: February 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9583896
A connector system employs an electromechanical connector to connect to a complementary electromechanical connector on an electronic device in a medical system. A shroud surrounds the electromechanical connector and is conductive and shaped to provide a thermal contact to the electronic device. A shielded cable can be electrically coupled to the electromechanical connector and extending through an opening in the shroud, and an electromagnetic shield attaches to the shroud and surrounds…

Medical system with multiple operating modes for steering a medical instrument through linked body passages

Granted: February 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9572481
A controller operates in different operating modes to control movement of a distal tip of a medical instrument when inserting and retracting the medical instrument through linked body passages. When inserting the medical instrument, the controller normally operates in an automatic navigation mode unless manually overridden to operate in a manual mode. When retracting the medical instrument, the controller normally operates in a zero-force mode to allow the distal tip to freely move so…

Actuated cannula seal

Granted: February 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9572626
Embodiments of an actuated cannula seal are disclosed In some embodiments, a cannula seal includes a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion, the sealing portion capable of engaging with an instrument shaft, the sealing portion capable of being actuated by an actuator so that the sealing portion is continually in motion relative to the instrument shaft. The actuation of the sealing portion can be accomplished by rotation or…