“A feature of the slave robot is, it’s powered entirely by air. Nearly all conventional robots are electrically powered, but by driving this robot pneumatically, we’ve made it possible to gently absorb the force when the robot touches something. The force on the tip of the robot is estimated from the air pressure data, and that information is sent to the surgeon’s master robot. So, it can be fed back to the surgeon’s hand. Alternatively, a large force can be produced by a very lightweight, compact unit. An advantage of this system is, the robot overall can be made extremely compact.”
Often funding sources – the groups taking the risk – are not the beneficiaries of the rewards of the venture. Intuitive Surgical is an example.
NSF, DARPA and NASA funded a project to solve a very real problem: providing medical attention to Americans in remote places such as space, war or scientific expeditions. The initial concept was to be a telepresence project but with no known solution. That was the high-risk research project funded by the three agencies.
VGo Communications wins infringement lawsuit brought on by InTouch Health and also initiates a patent reexamination of four other InTouch patents.
InTouch Health, a company that has been providing remote presence services to the medical community for the past decade contacted VGo and suggested that they agree to a licensing agreement of InTouch patents. A suit followed and, in a Los Angeles Federal District courtroom yesterday, a jury found that VGo Communications did not infringe.