Intuitive Surgical Patent Grants

Synthetic representation of a surgical instrument

Granted: October 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9788909
A synthetic representation of a tool for display on a user interface of a robotic system. The synthetic representation may be used to show force on the tool, an actual position of the tool, or to show the location of the tool when out of a field of view. A three-dimensional pointer is also provided for a viewer in the surgeon console of a telesurgical system.

Synthetic representation of a surgical robot

Granted: October 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9789608
A synthetic representation of a robot tool for display on a user interface of a robotic system. The synthetic representation may be used to show the position of a view volume of an image capture device with respect to the robot. The synthetic representation may also be used to find a tool that is outside of the field of view, to display range of motion limits for a tool, to remotely communicate information about the robot, and to detect collisions.

Image capture unit and method with an extended depth of field

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9782056
In a minimally invasive surgical system, an image capture unit includes a prism assembly and sensor assembly. The prism assembly includes a beam splitter, while the sensor assembly includes coplanar image capture sensors. Each of the coplanar image capture sensors has a common front end optical structure, e.g., the optical structure distal to the image capture unit is the same for each of the sensors. A controller enhances images acquired by the coplanar image capture sensors. The…

Handleless clamping device

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9782174
The present invention relates to surgical clamps and clamp devices that provide a handle-free surgical field. The clamp jaws may be opened or closed by a rotationally or translationally moveable drive element that may be actuated from a position proximal or distal to the jaws. The surgical clamps may also be deployed using a clamp applier which slidably engages the clamp along a wire to releasably attach itself to the clamp.

Inter-operative switching of tools in a robotic surgical system

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9782230
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…

Methods and apparatus to determine strain on an optical core based on tracked change in phase

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9784569
An accurate measurement method and apparatus using an optical fiber are disclosed. A total change in optical length in an optical core in the optical fiber is determined that reflects an accumulation of all of the changes in optical length for multiple segment lengths of the optical core up to a point on the optical fiber. The total change in optical length in the optical core is provided for calculation of an average strain over a length of the optical core based on the detected total…

Minimally invasive surgical training using robotics and telecollaboration

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9786203
A medical system that allows a mentor to teach a pupil how to use a robotically controlled medical instrument. The system may include a first handle that can be controlled by a mentor to move the medical instrument. The system may further have a second handle that can be moved by a pupil to control the same instrument. Deviations between movement of the handles by the mentor and the pupil can be provided as force feedback to the pupil and mentor handles. The force feedback pushes the…

Augmented visualization for a surgical robot using a captured visible image combined with a fluorescence image and a captured visible image

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9775499
An endoscope with an optical channel is held and positioned by a robotic surgical system. A capture unit captures (1) a visible first image at a first time and (2) a visible second image combined with a fluorescence image from the light at a second time. An image processing system receives (1) the visible first image and (2) the visible second image combined with the fluorescence image and generates at least one fluorescence image. A display system outputs an output image including an…

Methods and apparatus for measurement of modal characteristics of multimode fiber using Rayleigh scatter

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9778137
One or more modal characteristics are determined for a waveguide that supports more than two modes. In an example implementation, optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) is used to couple light into the waveguide and detect Rayleigh scatter reflections associated with a segment of the waveguide. An original set of Rayleigh scatter data associated with the detected Rayleigh scatter reflections is generated. In addition, a scaled set of Rayleigh scatter data associated with the…

Three-dimensional target devices, assemblies and methods for calibrating an endoscopic camera

Granted: September 26, 2017
Patent Number: 9770157
The present disclosure relates to calibration target devices, assemblies and methods for use with imaging systems, such as a stereoscopic endoscope. A calibration assembly includes: a target surface extends in three dimensions with calibration markers and a body with an interface that engages an endoscope so the markers are within the field of view. A first calibration marker extends along a first plane of the target surface and a second marker extends along a second plane of the target…

Overlapped chirped fiber bragg grating sensing fiber and methods and apparatus for parameter measurement using same

Granted: September 26, 2017
Patent Number: 9772176
An optical sensor includes an optical fiber inscribed with a repeated refraction pattern such that light scattered from a location on the optical fiber is scattered at multiple frequencies in a range of frequencies. The inscribed patterns overlap at every measurement point along at least a portion of the length of the sensor. An optical sensing system including control circuitry coupled to the optical fiber detects measurement scatter data from the optical fiber over the range of…

Motor interface for parallel drive shafts within an independently rotating member

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9763740
Mechanisms, assemblies, systems, tools, and methods incorporating the use of an offset drive shaft within an independently rotating member are provided. An example mechanism includes a base and a main shaft mounted to rotate relative to the base, a first drive shaft mounted inside the main shaft, and a first drive feature engaged with the first drive shaft. The main shaft includes a proximal end, a distal end, and a main shaft rotational axis defined therebetween. The first drive shaft…

High accuracy, high precision, low drift, and concurrent wavelength measurement of a sweeping tunable laser

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9766131
A tunable laser wavelength measurement system includes an interferometric wavelength tracking system that uses a combination of interferometric and wavelength reference measurements to directly measure the laser output wavelength, The measurement exhibits the following desirable error signal characteristics: directional information, continuity, low latency, absolute information, high accuracy, high precision, and little or no drift, A tunable laser wavelength control system additionally…

Surgical instrument with stowing knife blade

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9757125
A surgical instrument with a stowing knife blade includes an elongated shaft, an end effector coupled to the shaft and including two opposed jaws, a housing included in one of the jaws, a first member mounted in the housing and movable distally, a knife pivotally coupled with the first member, and a second member. The knife is configured to cut when advanced distally. The first and second members are moved distally at the same rate during a cutting motion of the knife and the second…

Surgical system entry guide

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9757149
An entry guide tube and cannula assembly, a surgical system including the assembly, and a method of surgical instrument insertion are provided. In one embodiment, the assembly includes a cannula having a proximal portion that operably couples to an accessory clamp of a manipulator arm, and a distal tubular member coupled to the proximal portion, the tubular member having an opening for passage of at least one instrument shaft. The assembly also includes an entry guide tube rotatably…

Manipulator arm-to-patient collision avoidance using a null-space

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9757203
Devices, systems, and methods for avoiding collisions between a manipulator arm and an outer patient surface by moving the manipulator within a null-space. In response to a determination that distance between an avoidance geometry and obstacle surface, corresponding to a manipulator-to-patient distance is less than desired, the system calculates movement of one or more joints or links of the manipulator within a null-space of the Jacobian to increase this distance. The joints are driven…

Surgical instrument actuation input mechanisms, and related devices, systems, and methods

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9750578
An actuation input mechanism for a teleoperated surgical instrument may include an interface structure and a shaft connected to the interface structure. The interface structure may be engageable with a drive structure of an actuation interface assembly of a teleoperated surgical system to be driven by the drive structure. The shaft may be rotatable in response to the interface structure being driven. The interface structure may comprise a depression shaped and sized to receive a…

Tension control in actuation of multi-joint medical instrument

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9743990
A medical instrument system includes a plurality of joints, a plurality of actuators, and a plurality of transmission systems. The transmission systems have proximal ends respectively coupled to the actuators. Each of the transmission systems have a distal end attached to an associated one of the joints to allow the transmission of a force for articulation of the medical instrument system. The system also includes a sensor coupled to measure a configuration of the medical instrument; and…

System for controlling an instrument using shape sensors

Granted: August 22, 2017
Patent Number: 9737198
The present invention relates, generally, to controlling a steerable instrument having an elongate body. More particularly, the present invention relates to a system and method for sensing the shape of a steerable instrument and controlling the steerable instrument in response to a control signal from a user input device and a shape signal corresponding to the sensed shape of at least a portion of the steerable instrument. The present invention also relates to a system for sensing the…

Robotic linkage

Granted: August 22, 2017
Patent Number: 9737199
A method may include articulating a first link and a second link relative to each other about a pair of outer hinge portions on a first end of a first link and in mating engagement with a pair of inner hinge portions on a second end of a second link. Each outer hinge portion comprises an outer ear extending in a first axial direction away from the first end of the first link, and an inner bearing surface substantially oriented in the first axial direction, and each inner hinge portion…