Via Journal of Gynecologic Oncology
The term “robot” was first introduced to the public in 1921 when the Czech writer Karel Capek described the notion in his play Rossum’s Universal Robots. The term “robot” originated from “robota”, which means literally “work” or “forced labor” in the Czech language. For decades, robots have achieved substantial development from simple machines performing repetitive tasks to a highly sophisticated machine, capable of performing specific tasks requiring precision.
In the surgical field, automated endoscopic system for optimal positioning (AESOP) was launched as the first laparoscopic camera holder by Computer Motion Inc. (Computer Motion, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA, USA). Although AESOP has been used in over 10,000 laparoscopic surgeries, it was only designed to offer greater vision control to the surgeon and to eliminate the need for an assistant who manipulated the endoscope.
In 1992, ROBODOC (Integrated Surgical Supplies, Inc., Sacramento, CA, USA), the first commercially available robotic system, was introduced in orthopedic surgery, and numerous cases of total hip replacement surgery were successfully performed with this robot system. The ROBODOC utilized a robotic arm designed to make precise cuts in the femur bone for the insertion of surgical implants, based on the three-dimensional computerized tomography image. However, it is difficult to call these surgeries assisted by ROBODOC and AESOP as true robotic surgery because of the limited role in performing surgical procedures with these robotic systems.
In 1998, Computer Motion which already had manufactured the AESOP developed the ZEUS surgical robot with a 2-dimensional imaging system similar to that of standard laparoscopy. Using the ZEUS robotic system, the first tele-robotic surgery was conducted by a surgeon in New York on a patient in France and was reported by Marescaux et al. On the other hand, the da Vinci surgical system was introduced by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Intuitive Surgical, Mountain View, CA, USA), and a more advanced da Vinci surgical system with four robotic arms obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2001. It is now being used in various surgical procedures throughout the world.
The first tele-surgery using the da Vinci robotic system was conducted between the University of Cincinnati and Intuitive Surgical in California in 2006. The ongoing competition between the ZEUS and the da Vinci surgical systems ended when Computer Motion Inc. was merged into Intuitive Surgical Inc. in 2003.
In Korea, the Korean FDA approved the da Vinci system in July 13th, 2005 and the first robot assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy was conducted by Kim et al. on January 31st in 2006. The da Vinci system is currently being used at the departments of gynecology, general surgery, urology and thoracic surgery in Korea. For 3 years, more than 2,000 cases of robotic surgeries in various fields have been performed at our institution.
Source: 2009 Korean Society of Gynecologic Oncology and Colposcopy