Robot developer Riverfield will be is developing the Saroa Surgical System, a surgical assist robot, using VxWorks from Wind River. Riverfield is a robotics research and development company with a strong focus on medical devices. The Saroa Surgical System is a surgical assist robot that reproduces the sense-of-force tactile sensation using pneumatic pressure when driving its robotic forceps.
The precision control technology of the pneumatic system realizes a sense of force that is essential for precise surgical procedures, such as gripping, grasping, and pulling. This allows the doctor operating the robot to feel as though he or she is operating directly with his or her own hands. This can improve the precision of delicate maneuvers during surgery.
Pneumatic systems provide the advantage of being cost-effective, as they can provide force feedback without requiring a force sensor. However, they are typically complex, with many components, and they are difficult to control. Riverfield says it selected VxWorks as its real-time OS because it combines fast response performance, high reliability, and high safety, all of which are critical requirements for surgery. With VxWorks, Riverfield can conduct real-time processing with consistent sub-microsecond response time. This allows control of pneumatic forces and other applications that are required at high speed and with high precision.