Current capabilities and development potential in surgical robotics

Mathias Hoeckelmann, Imre J. Rudas, Paolo Fiorini, Frank Kirchner, Tamas Haidegger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)


Commercial surgical robots have been in clinical use since the mid-1990s, supporting surgeons in various tasks. In the past decades, many systems emerged as research platforms, and a few entered the global market. This paper summarizes the currently available surgical systems and research directions in the broader field of surgical robotics. The widely deployed teleoperated manipulators aim to enhance human cognitive and physical skills and provide smart tools for surgeons, while image-guided robotics focus on surpassing human limitations by introducing automated targeting and treatment delivery methods. Both concepts are discussed based on prototypes and commercial systems. Through concrete examples the possible future development paths of surgical robots are illustrated. While research efforts are taking different approaches to improve the capacity of such systems, the aim of this survey is to assess their maturity from the commercialization point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
Publication statusPublished - May 21 2015



  • Cognitive surgical robotics
  • Minimally invasive surgery telesurgery
  • Surgical robotics
  • Teleoperation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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