‘Miniature is big’: How Virtual Incision designed the small but mighty MIRA surgical robot — and then shrank it again for space

The Virtual Incision MIRA Surgical System’s design was small to start with — and then came an opportunity to test aboard the International Space Station.

Virtual Incision’s MIRA (Miniaturized In Vivo Robotic Assistant) Surgical System [Photo courtesy of Virtual Incision]

In conversations with Medical Design & Outsourcing, surgical robotics developers often say they try to use as many off-the-shelf components as possible.

That wasn’t possible for the MIRA (Miniaturized In Vivo Robotic Assistant) Surgical System, Virtual Incision co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Shane Farritor said.

“Everything in our device is quite custom … from scratch, bespoke,” he said in an interview. “… Our robot’s different than everyone else, because it’s miniature, and we think miniature is big.”

Virtual Incision’s MIRA won FDA de novo class…

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How Virtual Incision and Maxon designed a miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery system

[Photo courtesy of Virtual Incision]

Advancements in robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) systems have led to a small robot that allows surgeons to obtain full multi-quadrant access without the need for docking and re-docking a large, cumbersome external platform.

Carsten Horn, Maxon

Design advances in robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) systems continue to enable operations through small incisions. This is done by providing the surgeon the ability to control robotic arms and cameras with precision. The goal of RAS is to help surgeons perform procedures reproducibly in a minimally invasive manner with advantages such as reduced pain and shorter hospital stays.

As demand for RAS continues to grow, health care facilities are seeking ways to accelerate the expansion of their programs. The goal of Virtual Incision is to offer a way for facilities to add systems and improve their efficiency without disrupting their …

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