US Pat. No. 9,089,351

SHEATH FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical apparatus, comprising:
a shaft having a proximal end, a distal end, and a lumen extending between the proximal end and the distal end, wherein a
portion of the shaft including the distal end is configured to be inserted into an environment at a surgical insufflation
gas pressure;

an end effector coupled to the distal end of the shaft;
an internal seal disposed within the lumen at a position along the portion of the shaft, wherein the internal seal fluidically
separates a first portion of the lumen distal to the internal seal from a second portion of the lumen proximal to the internal
seal, wherein the second portion of the lumen is at a pressure lower than the surgical insufflation gas pressure in an inserted
position of the portion of the shaft into the environment; and

a sheath disposed around an external surface of at least the portion of the shaft;
wherein the sheath comprises a material that is permeable to gas; and
wherein, in the inserted position of the portion of the shaft into the environment, the internal seal and the sheath are configured
to equalize a pressure in the first portion of the lumen to approximately the surgical insufflation gas pressure.

US Pat. No. 9,295,524

REDUNDANT AXIS AND DEGREE OF FREEDOM FOR HARDWARE-CONSTRAINED REMOTE CENTER ROBOTIC MANIPULATOR

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A remote center manipulator for constraining a position of a surgical instrument during minimally invasive robotic surgery,
the surgical instrument including an elongate shaft, the shaft having a distal working end configured for insertion into a
body cavity of a patient through a remote center of manipulation, the remote center manipulator comprising:
a base link configured to be held in a fixed position relative to the patient;
an instrument holder configured to couple with the surgical instrument; and
a linkage coupling the instrument holder to the base link, first and second links of the linkage being coupled to limit motion
of the second link relative to the first link to rotation about a first axis intersecting the remote center of manipulation,
the linkage further including three rotationally coupled rotary joints configured to generate constrained parallelogram motion
of the linkage by which motion of the instrument holder is limited to rotation about a second axis intersecting the remote
center of manipulation, the second axis not being coincident to the first axis, and third and fourth links of the linkage
being coupled to limit motion of the fourth link relative to the third link to rotation about a third axis intersecting the
remote center of manipulation, the third axis not being coincident to either of the first and the second axes.

US Pat. No. 9,241,766

ALTERNATE INSTRUMENT REMOVAL

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

9. A surgical instrument for use with a robotic manipulator of a minimally invasive surgical system, the robotic manipulator
having a holding fixture, the surgical instrument comprising:
an elongate shaft extending along an axis between a distal end and a proximal end;
a chassis disposed at the proximal end of the shaft, the chassis including:
a frame holding the shaft,
an interface fitting demountably coupled with the frame and the holding fixture via sliding engagement along the axis between
the frame and the interface fitting, the interface fitting having a mounting feature receivable by the holding fixture of
the robotic manipulator so as to mount the instrument thereon, the frame and the interface fitting together comprising complementary-shaped
interfacing features that include a slot extending along the axis, and

a securing feature releasably preventing relative axial sliding between the interface fitting and the frame; and
an end effector disposed at the distal end of the shaft, the end effector articulatable relative to the shaft so as to manipulate
tissue within a minimally invasive surgical site,

the securing feature configured for releasing in response to binding of the surgical instrument within the surgical site,
the binding inhibiting removal of the end effector and the shaft from the surgical site and disengagement of the mounting
feature of the interface fitting from the holding fixture, releasing of the securing feature allowing relative sliding between
the interface fitting and the frame so as to promote demounting the frame, the shaft, and the end effector of the surgical
instrument from the interface fitting of the surgical instrument and the holding fixture of the robotic manipulator by moving
the interface fitting relative to the frame along the axis,

wherein, upon releasing of the securing feature, the interface fitting can be demounted before the frame is demounted from
the holding fixture.

US Pat. No. 9,066,739

ROBOTIC SURGERY SYSTEM INCLUDING POSITION SENSORS USING FIBER BRAGG GRATINGS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A calibration method for a surgical instrument mounted on a robotic manipulator comprising:
positioning the surgical instrument using a control system in a minimally invasive surgical system, wherein the surgical instrument
comprises:

an elongate arm having a joint region, and
an optical fiber bend sensor positioned in a sensor region that is at least in part within the joint region, wherein the optical
fiber bend sensor translates axially relative to the joint region in response to bending of the joint region, and wherein
a length of the sensor region exceeds a length of the joint region;

determining a measured location of the surgical instrument based on information from the optical fiber bend sensor;
determining an expected location of the surgical instrument based on the positioning; and
generating a kinematic error map of the elongate arm using the measured location and the expected location.

US Pat. No. 9,186,221

BACKEND MECHANISM FOR FOUR-CABLE WRIST

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical instrument comprising:
a first mechanism attached to a first cable and a second cable and operable to pull in one of the first and second cables
while simultaneously feeding out another of the first and second cables;

a second mechanism attached to a third cable and a fourth cable and operable to pull in one of the third and fourth cables
while simultaneously feeding out another of the third and fourth cables;

a rocker arm comprising a first pivot about which a portion of the first mechanism rotates and a second pivot about which
a portion of the second mechanism rotates; and

a chassis on which the rocker arm is mounted for rotation about an axis, wherein a rotation of the rocker arm about the axis
in a first direction pulls in at least one of the first and second cables and feeds out at least one of the third and fourth
cables.

US Pat. No. 10,054,420

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MOTION COMPENSATION IN INTERFEROMETRIC SENSING SYSTEMS USING A NON-LINEAR COMPENSATING SIGNAL

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An optical interrogation system for measuring a parameter of a sensing light guide subjected to a time-varying disturbance, the optical interrogation system comprising:an optical interferometric interrogator;
optical detection circuitry coupled to the optical interferometric interrogator, the optical detection circuitry for detecting interferometric measurement signals for a length of the sensing light guide, where the sensing light guide includes a series of segments with corresponding segment locations along the length of the sensing light guide; and
data processing circuitry configured to perform operations comprising:
receiving the interferometric measurement signals from the optical detection circuitry,
generating a measurement data set based on the interferometric measurement signals, the measurement data set including a plurality of data segments corresponding to the series of segments;
transforming one or more data segments of the plurality of data segments into a spectral domain to produce one or more transformed data segments;
extracting a phase signal from the one or more transformed data segments;
determining a non-linear compensating signal from the phase signal by removing a linear fit from the phase signal; and
using the non-linear compensating signal to compensate at least some portion of the measurement data set for the time-varying disturbance.

US Pat. No. 9,277,205

SINGLE-CHIP SENSOR MULTI-FUNCTION IMAGING

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A system comprising:
an image capture unit including a single-chip image capture sensor with a color filter array,
wherein the single-chip image capture sensor is configured to capture a frame of pixel data comprising a first set of pixel
data and a second set of pixel data,

wherein the first set of pixel data comprises a first combined scene including a fluorescence scene component, and
wherein the second set of pixel data comprises a second combined scene including a combination of a visible color component
scene and the fluorescence scene component;

a scene processing module configured to:
receive the first set of pixel data and the second set of pixel data;
extract a display visible scene component from the first and second combined scenes,
wherein the display visible scene component comprises a first linear weighted combination of a first plurality of image pixel
data obtained from the first set of pixel data and a second plurality of image pixel data obtained from the second set of
pixel data, and

wherein the first linear weighted combination is based on a first scale factor;
extract a display fluorescence scene component from the first and second combined scenes,
wherein the display fluorescence scene component comprises a second linear weighted combination of the first plurality of
image pixel data and the second plurality of image pixel data,

wherein the second linear weighted combination is based on a second scale factor; and
generate a plurality of weighted combinations of the display fluorescence scene component and the display visible scene component;
and

a display unit connected to the scene processing module to receive the plurality of weighted combinations, and configured
to generate from the plurality of weighted combinations a displayed scene including a highlighted scene component and a reduced
color scene component,

wherein the highlighted scene component represents the fluorescence scene component.

US Pat. No. 9,221,179

ARTICULATING MECHANISM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An articulating mechanism comprising:
a joint having a central longitudinal axis extending therethrough, the joint including a first linking member having a convex
component and a second linking member having a mating concave component sized to receive at least a portion of the convex
component,

wherein the convex component includes a frusto-spherical portion;
wherein the concave component includes a spherical surface defining a cavity within the concave component and includes a frustoconical
base surface extending around the central longitudinal axis and protruding from the spherical surface into the cavity, the
base surface being non-perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis to limit angular rotation between the convex component
and the mating concave component,

wherein each of the convex and concave components includes a plurality of channels, the channels in the concave component
having an opening located on the spherical surface;

a set of tension members, wherein individual tension members from the set of tension members extend through each of the plurality
of channels to transmit motion between the mating convex and mating concave components;

wherein the plurality of channels of the convex component divide the frusto-spherical portion into a plurality of separate
segments, each segment defining a frusto-spherical surface portion; and

wherein each of the plurality of channels of the convex component is respectively outwardly tapered from a mid-section of
the channel to a first end and a second end of the channel.

US Pat. No. 9,155,587

VISUAL ELECTRODE ABLATION SYSTEMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A tissue ablation apparatus, comprising:
a hood projecting from a deployment catheter and defining a field when the hood is expanded from an insertion configuration
to a deployed configuration which defines a single aperture through which fluid is permeable, the aperture having a diameter
that is less than an outer diameter of the hood;

an energy source spaced from the aperture such that energy from the energy source passes through a purging fluid introduced
into the field and into a tissue surface when adjacent to the aperture;

an imaging element positioned within or along the hood and adapted to image the tissue surface adjacent to the hood when the
field is purged of blood via the purging fluid, the imaging element being positioned to provide for visualization of the tissue
surface through the purging fluid while the energy source conducts the energy through the purging fluid; and

a transparent, distal membrane through which the aperture is defined, the distal membrane comprising markings located distally
of and visible with the imaging element for visual measurement of the tissue surface adjacent to the hood;

wherein introduction of the purging fluid displaces blood from the field such that the tissue surface is temporarily isolated
from a surrounding blood-filled environment by the hood whereby a lesion is formed by the energy passed into the tissue surface.

US Pat. No. 9,375,288

ADAPTABLE INTEGRATED ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEM FOR ELECTROSURGICAL TOOLS IN ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A teleoperated surgical system, comprising:
a teleoperated surgical instrument;
a user input device configured to transmit an activation command to cause a surgical activation process loop of the surgical
system, the surgical activation process loop causing a surgical activation of the teleoperated surgical instrument; and

a controller operably coupled to the user input device and to the teleoperated surgical instrument, the controller being configured
to delay initiation of the surgical activation process loop of the surgical system for at least a predetermined duration after
receiving the activation command from the user input device.

US Pat. No. 9,308,937

SURGICAL PATIENT SIDE CART WITH STEERING INTERFACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A patient side cart for a teleoperated surgical system, comprising:
at least one manipulator portion for holding a surgical instrument; and
a steering interface, the steering interface comprising:
at least one grasping portion configured to be grasped so as to move the patient side cart;
at least one sensor disposed at a location of the at least one grasping portion, the at least one sensor positioned to sense
turning, fore, and aft forces exerted by a user on the at least one grasping portion to move the cart; and

a coupling mechanism for removably coupling the steering interface with the patient side cart, the at least one sensor being
configured to be placed in signal communication with a drive control system of the patient side cart in a coupled state of
the steering interface with the patient side cart.

US Pat. No. 9,296,104

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TRACKING A PATH USING THE NULL-SPACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

13. A system comprising:
a manipulator arm configured for robotically moving a distal end effector relative to a proximal base, the manipulator arm
having a plurality of joints between the distal end effector and the proximal portion coupled to the base, the plurality of
joints together providing sufficient degrees of freedom to allow a range of joint states for an individual state of the distal
end effector;

an input for receiving a manipulation command to move the end effector with a desired end effector movement; and
a processor coupling the input device to the manipulator arm, the processor configured to perform operations including:
calculating an end effector displacing movement of the plurality of joints in response to the manipulation command by calculating
joint velocities within a null-perpendicular-space of a Jacobian;

defining a position-based constraint of one or more joints of the plurality of joints within a joint space of the plurality
of joints, the position-based constraint including one or more paths corresponding to a desired movement of the one or more
joints within the joint space of the plurality of joints;

calculating a tracking movement of the plurality of joints so that a position of the one or more joints tracks at least one
of the one or more paths, wherein calculating the tracking movement comprises calculating joint velocities of the one or more
joints within a null-space of the Jacobian in a direction towards the at least one of the one or more paths, the null-space
being orthogonal to the null-perpendicular space; and

transmitting a command to the manipulator arm to drive the plurality of joints according to the calculated movements so as
to effect the desired end effector displacing movement concurrently with the desired movement of the one or more joints.

US Pat. No. 9,265,567

VESSEL SEALING INSTRUMENT WITH STEPPED JAW

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method comprising:
applying a sealing pressure to a vessel by squeezing the vessel between a first jaw and a second jaw, wherein the first jaw
has a face with a raised portion and a recessed portion, and the sealing pressure is only applied over an area of the raised
portion; and

running an electrical current between the first jaw and the second jaw through the vessel to seal the vessel.

US Pat. No. 9,304,018

BODY SHAPE, POSITION, AND POSTURE RECOGNITION SUIT WITH MULTI-CORE OPTICAL SHAPE SENSING FIBER

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. Measurement apparatus comprising:
a body suit for a body that includes an appendage having a pivotable joint, the body suit comprising a sleeve to cover the
appendage, wherein a first portion of the sleeve is configured to cover the pivotable joint,

one or more multi-core optical fiber sensors within or on the sleeve in a routing pattern that is substantially aligned with
a longitudinal axis of the sleeve except within the first portion where the routing pattern within the first portion is substantially
transverse to the longitudinal axis of the sleeve; and

an optical shape sensing system coupled to the one or more multi-core optical fiber sensors and configured to send light into
the one or more multi-core optical fiber sensors and determine a position of each of the multiple appendages based on reflected
optical signal measurements detected from one or more multi-core optical fiber sensors.

US Pat. No. 9,486,288

CABLE TENSIONING IN A ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A cable tensioning apparatus of a robotic surgical manipulator, the cable tensioning apparatus comprising:
a base;
an arm system;
a pulley system rotatably coupled to the arm system; and
a swivel joint coupling the arm system and the base such that movement of the arm system about the swivel joint changes a
position of the pulley system to control a tension of a cable movable along the pulley system;

wherein the arm system includes a first arm and a second arm coupled to the swivel joint, wherein the first and second arms
are independently movable about the swivel joint.

US Pat. No. 9,375,284

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR FACILITATING ACCESS TO EDGES OF CARTESIAN-COORDINATE SPACE USING THE NULL SPACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic method comprising:
providing a manipulator arm including a movable distal surgical end effector, a proximal portion coupled to a base, and a
plurality of joints between the end effector and the base, the plurality of joints having sufficient degrees of freedom to
allow a range of differing joint states for a given end effector state;

defining a position-based constraint of one or more joints within a joint space of the plurality of joints for which increased
range of movement is desired;

receiving a manipulation command to move the end effector with a desired end effector movement;
calculating an end effector displacing movement of the one or more joints to effect the desired end effector movement, wherein
calculating the end effector displacing movement of the joints comprises calculating joint velocities within a null-perpendicular-space
of a Jacobian; and

calculating a facilitating movement of a set of joint(s) of the plurality along the position-based constraint, the facilitating
movement increasing the available range of movement of the end effector, wherein calculating the facilitating movement comprises
calculating joint velocities of the one or more joints within a null-space of the Jacobian, the null-space being orthogonal
to the null-perpendicular space; and

driving the joints according to the calculated movements so as to effect the desired end effector movement while providing
the increased range of movement of the end effector.

US Pat. No. 9,375,844

GEOMETRICALLY APPROPRIATE TOOL SELECTION ASSISTANCE FOR DETERMINED WORK SITE DIMENSIONS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a display;
an image capture device disposed to capture images of a work site; and
a processor programmed to: determine positions of one or more user specified points in the work site relative to an image
capturing perspective of the image capture device; translate the determined positions of the one or more user specified points
so as to be relative to a target reference frame which is noncoincident with the image capturing perspective of the image
capture device; cause information of the translated positions of the one or more user specified points to be graphically displayed
on the display so as to provide work site measurements relative to the target reference frame; and display information of
a plurality of tools of varying geometries along with the information of the translated positions of the one or more user
specified points on the display, wherein the work site is accessible by each of the plurality of tools by the tool being inserted
through an entry port located at an origin of the target reference frame.

US Pat. No. 9,226,648

OFF-AXIS VISUALIZATION SYSTEMS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A system for visualizing a tissue region of interest, comprising:
a deployment catheter defining at least one lumen therethrough;
a hood projecting distally from the deployment catheter and defining an open area therein, wherein the open area is in fluid
communication with the at least one lumen;

an imaging element for visualizing tissue adjacent to the open area; and
a flexible section which forms a channel extending at least partially proximally from an exterior of the hood, the flexible
section being separably expandable with respect to the hood such that the flexible section is capable of having both a collapsed
profile and an expanded profile when the hood is in a fully expanded configuration for receiving the imaging element upon
deployment of the hood, wherein the imaging element is moved from a first location which is axially in-line with a longitudinal
axis of the catheter to a second location within the channel which is laterally off-axis relative to the longitudinal axis
of the catheter.

US Pat. No. 9,220,402

VISUALIZATION AND TREATMENT VIA PERCUTANEOUS METHODS AND DEVICES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for percutaneously accessing a region of tissue within a body, comprising:
introducing a flexible deployment catheter through a percutaneous incision of the body and into a body lumen, the catheter
having a distal end;

positioning an imaging hood projecting distally from the deployment catheter into proximity to a region of tissue to be imaged
within the body lumen;

releasing the hood from within a sheath such that the hood reconfigures from a constrained state within the sheath to an expanded
unconstrained state external to the sheath, wherein releasing the hood comprises self-expanding the hood when in the unconstrained
state external to the sheath and wherein in the expanded unconstrained state, the imaging hood has a minimum diameter at a
proximal opening interfaced with the distal end of the catheter and has maximum diameter at a distal opening, the imaging
hood defining an open area between the proximal and distal openings;

expanding an expandable seal around the sheath proximal to a distal end of the sheath;
placing the distal opening against the region of tissue to be imaged;
urging a translucent fluid into the hood via the deployment catheter such that an opaque fluid is displaced from within the
hood and through the distal opening to an environment external to the hood; and

visualizing the region of tissue through the translucent fluid via an imaging element positioned within the open area defined
by the imaging hood in the expanded unconstrained state.

US Pat. No. 9,178,611

FIBER OPTIC NETWORK INTERROGATION TOOL FOR COMBINED SWEPT-HETERODYNE OPTICAL SPECTRUM ANALYSIS AND OPTICAL FREQUENCY-DOMAIN REFLECTOMETRY

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A device for optical network loss measurements and light source characterization, comprising:
a single optical interrogation system including an interrogating laser source, an optical interferometric interrogator network,
and optical detection circuitry; and

an operational mode controller arranged to permit selective configuration of the single optical interrogation system to perform
optical frequency-domain reflectometry (OFDR) in a first operational mode and to perform swept-heterodyne optical spectrum
analysis (SHOSA) in a second operational mode.

US Pat. No. 9,095,253

ARTICULATING MECHANISM WITH FLEX HINGED LINKS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical device comprising:
a proximal flexible segment including a pair of proximal links connected by a proximal flexible hinge, each of the proximal
links including a plurality of cable channels spaced apart by a first diameter;

a distal flexible segment including a pair of distal links connected by a distal flexible hinge, each of the distal links
including a plurality of cable channels spaced apart by a second diameter, wherein the second diameter is different from the
first diameter;

a first plurality of cables connecting between and terminating at the proximal and distal flexible segments with each cable
of the first plurality of cables extending through one of the cable channels in at least one of the proximal links and through
one of the cable channels in at least one of the distal links, such that movement of the proximal flexible segment causes
a scaled movement of the connected distal flexible segment; and

a second plurality of cables with each cable of the second plurality of cables extending through, without termination, at
least one link of the pair of proximal links or the pair of distal links.

US Pat. No. 9,415,510

SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR POSITIONING A MANIPULATOR ARM BY CLUTCHING WITHIN A NULL-PERPENDICULAR SPACE CONCURRENT WITH NULL-SPACE MOVEMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic method comprising:
providing a manipulator arm including a movable distal end effector, a proximal portion coupled to a base, and a plurality
of joints between the end effector and the base, the plurality of joints having sufficient degrees of freedom to allow a range
of differing joint states for a given end effector state in a surgical work space;

floating a first set of joints of the plurality of joints within a null-perpendicular space of a Jacobian, the first set of
joints associated with a position of the end effector within the work space, wherein the null-perpendicular space is a joint
velocity space in which movement of the first set of joints results in movement of the end effector;

sensing a manual backdriving movement of the end effector to a desired position within the work space;
calculating an auxiliary movement of a second set of joints of the plurality of joints to effect a desired movement of a proximal
portion of the manipulator arm, wherein calculating the auxiliary movement comprises calculating joint velocities of the second
set of joints within a null-space of the Jacobian, the null-space being orthogonal to the null-perpendicular space; and

driving the second set of joints according to the calculated auxiliary movement concurrent with floating of the first set
of joints.

US Pat. No. 9,399,300

GUIDE SYSTEMS INCLUDING A GUIDE WALL FOR LAMINATED SPRING ASSEMBLIES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A counterbalance apparatus comprising:
a housing;
at least one drum rotatably coupled to the housing by a shaft;
at least one spring member including multiple laminations forming a layered material around the at least one drum, the multiple
laminations of the at least one spring member to wind or unwind around the at least one drum to counterbalance a weight; and

a guide wall to exert a force along a section of the at least one spring member so as to prevent unwanted separation of the
multiple laminations in the at least one spring member.

US Pat. No. 9,387,045

GRIP FORCE NORMALIZATION FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for controlling grip force of an end effector of a surgical instrument, the method comprising:
receiving a first input signal indicative of a commanded position of first and second gripping elements of the surgical instrument
end effector;

outputting an actuation signal to apply a changing grip actuation force to actuate the first and second gripping elements
to exert a grip force, wherein the actuation signal is based at least in part on the first input signal, an actual position
of the first and second gripping elements, and a mechanical advantage of the surgical instrument end effector corresponding
to the actual position of the first and second gripping elements, the mechanical advantage of the surgical instrument varying
with the actual position of the first and second gripping elements; and

in response to the actuation signal, actuating the first and second gripping elements to exert the grip force.

US Pat. No. 9,272,416

PHANTOM DEGREES OF FREEDOM FOR MANIPULATING THE MOVEMENT OF MECHANICAL BODIES

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for controlling the movement of a mechanical body, the method comprising:
receiving desired movement information identifying a desired motion of a mechanical body, the mechanical body having a first
number of degrees of freedom;

generating, with at least one computer, a plurality of instructions by applying the received desired movement information
to a kinematic model, the kinematic model having a second number of degrees of freedom greater than the first number of degrees
of freedom, the application of the desired movement information to the kinematic model including a forward-kinematic simulation
of each of the second number of degrees of freedom for at least one time step in accordance with the desired motion, and each
of the plurality of instructions being configured to control a corresponding one of the second number of degrees of freedom;

generating a subset of the of the plurality of instructions by discarding values for a specified degree of freedom from a
result of the forward-kinematic simulation, the specified degree of freedom corresponding to one of the second number of degrees
of freedom in the kinematic model and further corresponding to a missing degree of freedom in the mechanical body; and

controlling the first number of degrees of freedom of the mechanical body with the subset of the plurality of instructions.

US Pat. No. 9,138,129

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MOVING A PLURALITY OF ARTICULATED INSTRUMENTS IN TANDEM BACK TOWARDS AN ENTRY GUIDE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

13. A robotic system comprising:
at least one input device;
an entry guide;
a plurality of articulated instruments extending out of a distal end of the entry guide;
a plurality of instrument manipulators for manipulating corresponding ones of the plurality of articulated instruments; and
a processor programmed to: command the plurality of instrument manipulators to manipulate the plurality of articulated instruments
so as to assume retraction configurations in response to one or more commands received from the at least one input device
to move the plurality of articulated instruments in tandem back towards the entry guide by a distance greater than a retraction-on
distance from a reference position.

US Pat. No. 9,393,000

JOINTED LINK STRUCTURES EXHIBITING PREFERENTIAL BENDING, AND RELATED METHODS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A medical device comprising:
a first pair of articulably coupled links coupled by a first biasing element, the first pair of coupled links having a first
bending resistance;

a second pair of articulably coupled links having a second bending resistance, wherein the first bending resistance is greater
than the second bending resistance; and

a tension member coupled to the first pair of links and the second pair of links, wherein altering tension in the tension
member exerts a force tending to articulate the first pair of links and the second pair of links,

wherein the first and second pairs of links have a straightened configuration aligned along a central axis, each of the first
pair of links having a convex protrusion in rolling contact with the other convex protrusion such that in the straightened
configuration, the convex protrusions of the first pair of links are aligned with each other along an axis parallel to the
central axis, each convex protrusion having a length and a width and wherein the length is not equal to the width.

US Pat. No. 9,096,033

SURGICAL SYSTEM INSTRUMENT STERILE ADAPTER

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

14. A surgical system drape for a robotic surgical system, the robotic surgical system including a first manipulator and a
plurality of second manipulators coupled to the first manipulator, the first manipulator being configured to move the plurality
of second manipulators as a single unit, each one of the plurality of second manipulators being configured to drive a corresponding
instrument, the surgical system drape comprising:
a first drape portion configured to receive the first manipulator;
a second drape portion including a plurality of drape sleeves, wherein each of the plurality of drape sleeves is configured
to receive a corresponding one of the plurality of second manipulators;

a rotatable seal coupling the second drape portion to the first drape portion; and
a plurality of sterile adapters, wherein each of the plurality of sterile adapters is disposed at a distal end of a corresponding
drape sleeve of the plurality of drape sleeves, wherein each of the plurality of sterile adapters includes a housing and a
plurality of actuator interfaces mounted in the housing, and wherein each housing is configured to receive a distal face of
a corresponding one of the plurality of second manipulators.

US Pat. No. 9,101,348

SURGICAL PATIENT SIDE CART WITH DRIVE SYSTEM AND METHOD OF MOVING A PATIENT SIDE CART

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A patient side cart for a teleoperated surgical system, comprising:
at least one manipulator arm portion for holding a surgical instrument;
a steering interface configured to detect a force applied by a user to the steering interface indicating a desired movement
for the teleoperated surgical system, and

a drive system, the drive system comprising:
at least one driven wheel;
a control module for receiving as input a signal from the steering interface corresponding to the force applied by the user
to the steering interface, the control module being configured to output a desired movement signal corresponding to the signal
received from the steering interface; and

a model section comprising a model of movement behavior of the patient side cart, the model section outputting a movement
command output to drive the driven wheel.

US Pat. No. 9,101,379

TENSION CONTROL IN ACTUATION OF MULTI-JOINT MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical instrument system including:
a plurality of joints;
a plurality of actuators;
a plurality of transmission systems having proximal ends respectively coupled to the actuators, each of the transmission systems
having a distal end attached to an associated one of the joints to allow the transmission of a force for articulation of the
medical instrument system;

a sensor coupled to measure configuration of the medical instrument; and
a control system coupled to
receive configuration data, including a current configuration of a selected one of the joints and a desired configuration
of the selected joint,

determine a first difference between the current configuration of the selected joint and the desired configuration of the
selected joint, and

determine a second difference between a current velocity at the selected joint and a desired velocity at the selected joint,
wherein the control system determines a set of tensions using the configuration data, the first difference, and the second
difference but not the positions of the actuators and wherein the control system generates control signals for the actuators
that cause the actuators to apply the set of tensions and to hold the tensions for a pre-determined time interval.

US Pat. No. 9,370,868

ARTICULATING ENDOSCOPES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An endoscope comprising:
a proximal articulating mechanism;
a distal articulating mechanism;
multiple pairs of links, each pair including a proximal link located in the proximal articulating mechanism and a distal link
located in the distal articulating mechanism, each proximal link being maintained in a spaced apart relationship relative
to the distal link of the pair, each link including a plurality of radially spaced channels;

a locking mechanism to fix the pairs of links in a particular configuration; and
multiple sets of cables, each set connecting the links of a discrete pair by extending through and occupying at least two
of the plurality of radially spaced channels and terminating at the links of the discrete pair such that movement of the proximal
link of the pair causes corresponding relative movement of the distal link of the pair,

wherein at least some of the links comprise a ball and socket configuration and the locking mechanism comprises a locking
cable,

wherein each of the plurality of radially spaced channels is configured to receive a single cable and each of the discrete
pairs of links includes a different number of occupied channels and a different number of unoccupied channels,

wherein each of the proximal links located in the proximal articulating mechanism is movable in multiple degrees of freedom
about a proximal link pivot disposed between adjacent proximal links, and

wherein each of the distal links located in the distal articulating mechanism is movable in multiple degrees of freedom about
a distal link pivot disposed between adjacent distal links.

US Pat. No. 9,345,544

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AVOIDING COLLISIONS BETWEEN MANIPULATOR ARMS USING A NULL-SPACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic method for a robotic system that includes a first manipulator arm and a second manipulator arm, each manipulator
arm including a movable distal portion, a proximal portion coupled to an associated base, and a plurality of joints between
the distal portion and the base, the plurality of joints having a joint space with sufficient degrees of freedom to allow
a range of differing joint states of the plurality of joints for a given state of the distal portion of each manipulator arm,
and the method comprising:
determining a first reference geometry of the first manipulator arm and a second reference geometry of the second manipulator
arm, the first and second reference geometries being movable with the associated manipulator arms within a workspace and having
ranges of motion that overlap within the workspace;

determining a relative state between the first reference geometry and the second reference geometry in the workspace and a
desired avoidance vector;

calculating an avoidance movement of one or more joints of the pluralities of joints of the first and second manipulator arms
so as to maintain a separation between the first and second reference geometries in the workspace, the avoidance movement
being based on the desired avoidance vector so that the avoidance movement is contained within a null-space of a Jacobian
associated with the respective manipulator arm; and

driving the one or more joints of the pluralities of joints of the first and second manipulator arms according to the calculated
avoidance movement.

US Pat. No. 9,283,050

CURVED CANNULA SURGICAL SYSTEM CONTROL

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical system comprising:
a master manipulator;
a slave manipulator controllable in response to input at the master manipulator;
a curved cannula coupled to the slave manipulator, and movable about a center of motion of the curved cannula;
an instrument comprising:
a passively flexible shaft,
a wrist mechanism disposed at a distal end of the passively flexible shaft, and
a surgical end effector coupled to the wrist mechanism,
wherein the passively flexible shaft is advanceable past a distal end of the curved cannula,
wherein a straight line instrument insertion and withdrawal axis is defined by a straight line that extends from a longitudinal
axis of the curved cannula at the distal end of the curved cannula; and

a control system in communication with the master manipulator and the slave manipulator,
wherein the control system is configured to determine a motion for the curved cannula based on kinematic control parameters
that define the passively flexible shaft as being positioned along the straight line insertion and withdrawal axis, and

wherein the control system is configured to command the slave manipulator to move the distal end of the curved cannula around
the cannula center of motion based on the determined motion of the curved cannula.

US Pat. No. 9,216,062

SEALS AND SEALING METHODS FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HAVING AN ARTICULATED END EFFECTOR ACTUATED BY A DRIVE SHAFT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A seal for a minimally-invasive surgical instrument having a shaft with an actuation component extending through the shaft,
the seal comprising:
a main body configured to interface with the instrument shaft of the instrument along a shaft axis of the shaft, wherein the
main body comprises:

a first aperture configured to receive the actuation component axially through the first aperture, the first aperture being
larger than the actuation component when extending through the first aperture so as to accommodate lateral displacement of
the actuation component relative to the shaft axis during actuation of the instrument with the actuation component, and

a first slot in the main body oriented laterally relative to the shaft axis such that the first aperture extends through the
slot, the first slot defining opposing axially facing internal surfaces; and

a first sealing body configured to receive the actuation component so as to contact the actuation component about a laterally
extending perimeter of the actuation component so as to provide a sealing interface between the first sealing body and the
actuation component;

wherein the first slot is configured to receive and allow lateral sliding of the first sealing body therein such that the
first sealing body sealingly interfaces with the opposing axially internal surfaces of the slot during the lateral displacement
of the actuation component, and wherein the first slot is aligned with the first aperture so as to sealingly receive the actuation
component inserted through the first aperture such that the first sealing body inhibits axial transmission of at least one
of an insufflate gas or a bodily fluid within the instrument shaft during a minimally invasive procedure.

US Pat. No. 9,339,341

DIRECT PULL SURGICAL GRIPPER

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical end effector comprising:
a clevis;
a first jaw;
a first pivot that couples the first jaw to the clevis;
a second jaw;
a second pivot that couples the second jaw to the clevis;
a first wire coupled to the first jaw to transmit a controller motion to the first jaw and to the second jaw;
a second wire coupled to the second jaw to transmit the controller motion to the second jaw and to the first jaw;
a first guide way in the first jaw, the first guide way being a first curved path that extends from the second jaw to the
clevis, changes direction by roughly ninety degrees, and includes a continuous first surface that extends from the second
jaw to the clevis along the inside of the first curved path, the second wire extending in the first guide way along the first
surface to the second jaw; and

a second guide way in the second jaw, the second guide way being a second curved path that extends from the first jaw to the
clevis, changes direction by roughly ninety degrees, and includes a continuous second surface that extends from the first
jaw to the clevis along the inside of the second curved path, the first wire extending in the first guide way along the second
surface to the first jaw.

US Pat. No. 9,285,246

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR ABSOLUTE THREE-DIMENSIONAL MEASUREMENTS USING A TWIST-INSENSITIVE SHAPE SENSOR

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a reference fixture including a joint with at least one degree of freedom, the reference fixture adapted to be fixed in a
world reference frame, wherein the reference fixture includes a hollow rod extending through the joint;

a flexible and torsionally stiff tether having a proximal end, a distal end, and defining a first lumen extending therethrough,
wherein the proximal end of the tether is coupled to the hollow rod so that the tether and the hollow rod rotate together,
and wherein the distal end of the tether is coupled to a surgical instrument and limits movement of the surgical instrument
relative to the reference fixture;

the surgical instrument having a component that defines a second lumen, wherein the second lumen is not coaxially aligned
with the first lumen; and

a shape-sensing optic fiber continuously extending through the hollow rod, through the first lumen of the tether, and through
a portion of the second lumen defined by the component of the surgical instrument, wherein the shape-sensing optic fiber comprises
an optic fiber core surrounded by a cladding layer, the tether rotatable with the hollow rod relative to the shape-sensing
optic fiber.

US Pat. No. 9,101,380

ROBOTIC SURGERY SYSTEM INCLUDING POSITION SENSORS USING FIBER BRAGG GRATINGS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a robotic manipulator; and
a surgical instrument mounted on the robotic manipulator, the surgical instrument comprising:
an elongate arm comprising:
a first body segment comprising a distal end,
a second body segment comprising a proximal end,
a joint region coupled to the distal end of the first body segment and coupled to the proximal end of the second body segment,
wherein the joint region extends between the distal end of the first body segment and the proximal end of the second body
segment, and

a channel through the elongate arm, wherein the channel includes an axis; and an optical fiber positioned in the channel and
including an optical fiber bend sensor at the joint region of the elongate arm, wherein the optical fiber bend sensor translates,
in the channel, along the axis of the channel relative to the joint region in response to bending of the joint region.

US Pat. No. 9,055,906

IN-VIVO VISUALIZATION SYSTEMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for assessing a tissue region of interest within a blood-filled environment, comprising:
advancing a deployment catheter within a body towards the tissue region of interest, the deployment catheter having a reconfigurable
barrier or membrane attached to a distal end of the catheter, wherein the barrier or membrane is reconfigurable from a low-profile
delivery configuration to an expanded deployment configuration which defines an open area;

introducing a purging fluid through the catheter and into the open area when the barrier or membrane is positioned in proximity
to the tissue region of interest, where the open area is in fluid communication with an environment external to the barrier
or membrane;

visualizing the tissue region of interest through the purging fluid restrained temporarily within the open area;
projecting a computer generated model representative of the barrier or membrane onto a model representative of the tissue
region of interest where the model of the barrier or membrane includes at least one directional indicator;

flashing the at least one directional indicator in response to at least one sensor being contacted on a handle assembly attached
to a proximal end of the catheter where the at least one sensor is coordinated with the at least one directional indicator.

US Pat. No. 9,050,120

APPARATUS AND METHOD OF USER INTERFACE WITH ALTERNATE TOOL MODE FOR ROBOTIC SURGICAL TOOLS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A user interface system for a robotic surgical instrument having a number of degrees of freedom of movement, the user interface
system comprising:
a double click sensing process to detect a predetermined number of actions of a control input mechanism within a predetermined
period of time;

a hard stop sensing process to detect a predetermined percentage of a hard stop in the movement of the control input mechanism,
the hard stop being a closed position of the control input mechanism; and

a state machine operationally in communication with the double click sensing process and the hard stop sensing process, the
state machine to switchably reduce the number of degrees of freedom of movement in the robotic surgical instrument in response
to two closure cycles of the control input mechanism within the predetermined period of time and movement of the control input
mechanism exceeding the predetermined percentage of the hard stop.

US Pat. No. 9,456,839

SCISSOR BIAS FOR DIRECT PULL SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical end effector comprising:
a clevis;
a first jaw having a first pivot portion and a first working portion;
a first pivot that rotatably couples the first pivot portion to the clevis such that the first jaw rotates about a first axis
that is fixed relative to the clevis;

a second jaw having a second pivot portion and a second working portion; and
a second pivot that rotatably couples the second pivot portion to the clevis such that the second jaw rotates about a second
axis that is fixed relative to the clevis, the second axis being parallel to and spaced apart from the first axis, the second
jaw coupled to the clevis such that the first pivot portion is entirely on a first side of a bisecting plane that is perpendicular
to the first and second axes of rotation, the second pivot portion is entirely on a second side of the bisecting plane opposite
the first side, the first working portion is entirely on the second side of the bisecting plane, and the second working portion
is entirely on the first side of the bisecting plane.

US Pat. No. 9,232,984

REAL-TIME GENERATION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL ULTRASOUND IMAGE USING A TWO-DIMENSIONAL ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCER IN A ROBOTIC SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic system comprising:
a display;
an ultrasound transducer;
a robotic arm mechanically coupled to the ultrasound transducer; and
a processor executing a pre-programmed sequence of computer instructions that causes the robotic arm to move the ultrasound
transducer so as to sweep the work site during performance of a medical procedure on the patient to obtain a plurality of
spaced two-dimensional ultrasound images to provide sufficient information for construction of a three-dimensional model of
at least a portion of the work site.

US Pat. No. 9,622,831

METHOD AND APPARATUS TO PROVIDE UPDATED PATIENT IMAGES DURING ROBOTIC SURGERY

Siemens Healthcare GmbH, ...

1. A method for providing current images of a surgical site during a robotically-implemented surgical procedure, comprising:
operating a medical imaging device to acquire 3D data representing a volume of a patient situated on a patient table, said
volume comprising anatomy that will be manipulated, during a surgical procedure, by a manually-operated surgical robot;

providing said 3D data to a processor and, in said processor, reconstructing a 3D image of said volume from said 3D data;
via said processor, segmenting a 3D volumetric image of said anatomy from said 3D image of said volume;
in said processor, automatically determining at least one material property of said anatomy;
in said processor, bringing a coordinate system of said surgical robot into registration with a coordinate system of said
medical imaging device;

beginning said surgical procedure and, in said surgical procedure, manually operating said surgical robot to apply at least
one force to said anatomy that produces a geometrical change of said anatomy;

providing an electronic signal representing said force to said processor and, in said processor, automatically updating the
segmented volumetric image of said anatomy, based on said force and said at least one material property of said anatomy, to
produce an updated segmented volumetric image of said anatomy that visually shows said change in the geometry of said anatomy;
and

at a display screen in communication with said processor, displaying said updated segmented volumetric image of said anatomy
in real-time during said surgical procedure.

US Pat. No. 9,387,048

CATHETER SENSOR SYSTEMS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A medical system comprising:
a catheter having a first section and a second section, the second section adjacent to the first section, wherein the first
section defines a first longitudinal catheter axis and the second section defines a second longitudinal catheter axis;

an electromagnetic sensor system in the first section including:
a first electromagnetic sensor in a first lumen portion extending along a longitudinal sensor axis in parallel with the first
longitudinal catheter axis at a proximal end of the first section, and

a second electromagnetic sensor in a second lumen portion extending along the longitudinal sensor axis in parallel with the
first longitudinal catheter axis at a distal end of the first section, the distal end of the first section being adjacent
to the second section,

wherein the first section between the proximal and distal ends flexibly couples the first and second electromagnetic sensors
so that the first electromagnetic sensor is movable with respect to the second electromagnetic sensor, wherein the first electromagnetic
sensor includes a first signal wire coupled to a first coil extending within the first lumen portion along the longitudinal
sensor axis and the second electromagnetic sensor includes a second signal wire coupled to a second coil extending within
the second lumen portion along the longitudinal sensor axis; and

a fiber shape sensor system that extends through the first section between and along the first electromagnetic sensor and
the second electromagnetic sensor, the fiber shape sensor extending through the second section, the fiber shape sensor system
being configured for measurement of a pose of the second section relative to the distal end of the first section and measurement
of a relative orientation between the first electromagnetic sensor and the second electromagnetic sensor.

US Pat. No. 9,364,954

ROBOTIC LINKAGE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic link, comprising:
a first end, a second end, and a wall extending between the first end and the second end, wherein the wall comprises an outer
wall surface and an inner wall surface;

a pair of outer hinge portions on the first end, each outer hinge portion comprising
an outer ear extending in a first axial direction away from the first end, and
an inner bearing surface substantially oriented in the first axial direction and positioned between the inner wall surface
and the outer ear; and

a pair of inner hinge portions on the second end, each inner hinge portion comprising
an inner ear extending in a second axial direction away from the second end, and
an outer bearing surface substantially oriented in the second axial direction and positioned between the outer wall surface
and the inner ear;

wherein the link is configured to mate with links of a corresponding structure such that the outer bearing surfaces are configured
to support corresponding outer ears, and the inner bearing surfaces are configured to support corresponding inner ears.

US Pat. No. 9,320,568

STERILE SURGICAL DRAPE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical drape comprising:
a first drape section including:
an exterior surface adjacent to a sterile field for performing a surgical procedure;
an interior surface forming a cavity for receiving a non-sterile portion of a robotic surgical system;
a first vent through the interior and exterior surfaces in communication with the sterile field; and
a second vent through the interior and exterior surfaces in communication with the sterile field and spaced apart from the
first vent, wherein the exterior and interior surfaces include a window for positioning adjacent to a monitor screen, the
window having a static charge; and

a second drape section connected to the first drape section and including an instrument sterile adaptor for engaging a surgical
tool and another non-sterile portion of the robotic surgical system, the sterile adaptor configured to transfer signals between
the surgical tool and the other non-sterile portion of the robotic surgical system.

US Pat. No. 9,317,651

TOOL GRIP CALIBRATION FOR ROBOTIC SURGERY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for calibrating a robotic end effector, the end effector comprising first and second end effector members, the
method comprising:
applying a torque to at least one of the end effector members to move the first end effector member closer to the second end
effector member to mutually engage the first and second end effector members;

jointly monitoring the applied torque and the position of the first end effector member relative to the second end effector
member;

determining a position corresponding to mutual engagement of the first and second end effector members; and
storing said position corresponding to mutual engagement in a memory; the method further comprising:
adjusting the position of a first grip relative to a second grip in a grip controller;
adjusting the position of the first end effector member relative to the second end effector member in response to the adjusting
the position of the first grip relative to the second grip by applying a torque to at least one of the first and second end
effector members; applying an offset between the adjusted position of the grip controller versus the adjusted position of
the end effector, the offset derived from the stored position corresponding to mutual engagement.

US Pat. No. 9,101,397

REAL-TIME GENERATION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL ULTRASOUND IMAGE USING A TWO-DIMENSIONAL ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCER IN A ROBOTIC SYSTEM

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical system comprising:
an endoscope capturing real-time images of a surgical site;
a viewer displaying the real-time images;
a surgical instrument having an end effector; and
a processor programmed to cause a computer generated image of the end effector to be displayed adjacent the displayed real-time
images on the viewer so that a position of the displayed computer generated image of the end effector on the viewer relative
to a position of an object seen in the displayed real-time images on the viewer indicates the position of the end effector
relative to the surgical site.

US Pat. No. 9,271,633

STEREO CAMERA FOR HERMETICALLY SEALED ENDOSCOPE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A stereo endoscope comprising:
a stereo image sensor including a left pixel array and a right pixel array, each of the left pixel array and the right pixel
array are sensitive to a set of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation;

a left optical component to focus the electromagnetic radiation onto the left pixel array; and
a right optical component to focus the electromagnetic radiation onto the right pixel array;
wherein the left pixel array and the right pixel array are offset from a center optical axis of the stereo endoscope to provide
stereo image convergence by having

an optical axis of the left optical component not being coaxial with a center axis of the left pixel array, and
an optical axis of the right optical component not being coaxial with a center axis of the right pixel array.

US Pat. No. 9,220,398

SYSTEM FOR MANAGING BOWDEN CABLES IN ARTICULATING INSTRUMENTS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A system for managing the transmission of force to articulate an elongate medical device, the system comprising:
an elongate body comprising a plurality of articulatable segments;
a plurality of coil pipes, wherein each coil pipe is fixed at a proximal end of each coil pipe relative to an actuator, and
at a distal end of each coil pipe relative to a proximal portion of a differing one of said plurality of articulatable segments;
and

a plurality of tensioning members each housed in one of said plurality of coil pipes, wherein a proximal end of each of said
plurality of tensioning members is coupled to said actuator, wherein a distal end of each of said plurality of tensioning
members extends out the distal end of one of said plurality of coil pipes, and wherein the articulatable segments are actuated
by the plurality of tensioning members, with the distal ends of at least two of the plurality of tensioning members being
connected to differing articulatable segments of the plurality of articulatable segments to respectively actuate the differing
articulatable segments in response to tensioning of the tensioning members,

wherein said plurality of coil pipes extend along each of the differing articulatable segments in a spiral pattern; and
wherein the articulatable segments comprise:
a proximal vertebra control ring located in a proximal portion of the articulatable segments, a distal vertebra control ring
located in a distal portion of the articulatable segments, and at least one intermediate vertebra control ring disposed between
the proximal and distal vertebra control rings,

wherein each of the proximal and distal vertebra control rings includes a plurality of bypass passages respectively arranged
to receive and route the coil pipes in the spiral pattern, and

wherein the at least one intermediate vertebra control ring has a single, centrally disposed passage, the coil pipes passing
through the centrally disposed passage as the coil pipes extend in the spiral pattern from the proximal vertebra control ring
to the distal vertebra control ring.

US Pat. No. 9,421,016

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR ENDOSCOPIC COLECTOMY

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of endoscopically approximating tissue within a hollow body organ, comprising:
positioning an elongated body adjacent to a portion of tissue to be excised from the hollow body organ;
releasably gripping a first region of tissue circumferentially about a first tissue approximation component and a second region
of tissue circumferentially about a second tissue approximation component, such that the portion of tissue to be excised is
positioned between the first and the second tissue approximation components;

actuating a cutting mechanism of the elongated body to cut a wall of the tissue to be excised, wherein the tissue is cut in
a direction transverse to a longitudinal direction of the hollow body organ;

approximating the first and the second tissue approximation components such that the first and the second regions of tissue
are adjacent to one another; and

fastening the first and second regions of tissue to one another.

US Pat. No. 9,504,517

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT CONTROL

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A computer-controlled surgical system, comprising:
a surgical instrument having a working end comprising a translating mechanism, the working end being configured to perform
a clamping and cutting function in response to translating movement of the translating mechanism; and

a computer control system operably coupled to the surgical instrument and to first and second input devices,
wherein the computer control system is configured to control movement of the translating mechanism within a first range of
motion in response to a first command received from the first input device, and

wherein the computer control system is configured to control movement of the translating mechanism within a second range of
motion in response to a second command received from the second input device, the second range of motion being different from
the first range of motion.

US Pat. No. 9,055,962

OPTIC FIBER CONNECTION FOR A FORCE SENSING INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical instrument, comprising:
a housing linkable with a manipulator arm of a robotic surgical system;
a shaft operably coupled to the housing;
a force transducer on a distal end of the shaft;
a plurality of fiber optic strain gauges on the force transducer, one or more of the plurality of fiber optic strain gauges
being formed in corresponding ones of individual optical fibers;

a single fiber optic splitter coupled to all of the individual optical fibers;
a fiber optic connector mounted in the housing;
a single optic fiber operably coupling the fiber optic splitter to the fiber optic connector;
a wrist joint operably coupled to a distal end of the force transducer; and
an end effector operably coupled to the wrist joint.

US Pat. No. 9,226,761

END EFFECTOR WITH REDUNDANT CLOSING MECHANISMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A minimally invasive surgical method comprising:
introducing a jaw of a tool to an internal surgical site within a patient through a minimally invasive aperture or natural
orifice, the jaw being configured to open and close on a distal side of a jaw pivot point;

manipulating tissue at the internal surgical site with a grasping force by articulating the jaw with a first actuation mechanism,
the first actuation mechanism extending along a shaft from outside the patient to the jaw; and

treating a target tissue at the internal surgical site using a clamping force by applying a force to the jaw of the tool at
a proximal side of the jaw pivot point with a second actuation mechanism, the second actuation mechanism extending along the
shaft from outside the patient to the jaw, the clamping force being greater than the grasping force.

US Pat. No. 9,333,042

MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM WITH COUPLED CONTROL MODES

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method comprising:
commanding, by a base controller, manipulation of a base to optimize an operable workspace of a first instrument, the first
instrument being coupled to the base so the first instrument moves as the base moves; and

commanding, by a first instrument controller, manipulation of the first instrument according to commanded movement of the
first instrument while automatically compensating for movement of the base.

US Pat. No. 9,068,628

ROBOTIC ARMS WITH STRAP DRIVE TRAINS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic arm comprising:
a linkage assembly including a plurality of links pivotally coupled in series together at one or more joints to slidingly
support a tool along an insertion axis, the plurality of links including a first pulley and a second pulley;

at least one strap coupled between the first pulley and the second pulley to drive the linkage assembly; and
a strap tensioning system coupled to the at least one strap, the strap tensioning system to tension the at least one strap;
wherein the strap tensioning system includes
the first pulley having a first pocket;
the second pulley having a second pocket; and
the at least one strap including
a tab coupled to a first end of the at least one strap, the tab to hook into the first pocket of the first pulley to couple
the first end of the at least one strap thereto, and

a tensioning block coupled to a second end of the at least one strap, the tensioning block to hook into the second pocket
of the second pulley to couple the second end of the at least one strap thereto;

wherein the first pulley further has a first recess in a portion of its circumference joining the first pocket to receive
the first end of the at least one strap, a first stop at a front of the first pocket to couple to a front side of the tab,
a first side restraining protrusion extending from the first stop to retain the tab in the first pocket, and a first lip at
the back of the first pocket to further retain the tab in the first pocket; and

wherein the second pulley further has a second recess in a portion of its circumference joining the second pocket to receive
the second end of the at least one strap, a second stop at a front of the second pocket to couple to a front side of the tensioning
block, a second side restraining protrusion extending from the second stop to retain the tensioning block in the second pocket,
and a second lip at the back of the second pocket to further retain the tensioning block in the second pocket.

US Pat. No. 9,381,067

IN VIVO ACCESSORIES FOR MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for adapting a surgical instrument in vivo for performing a medical procedure, the method comprising:
inserting an accessory introducer into a patient body, wherein a plurality of surgical accessories is coupled to the accessory
introducer so that the plurality of surgical accessories is inserted into the patient body when the accessory introducer is
inserted into the patient body;

grasping one of the plurality of surgical accessories with a grasping tool which has been inserted into the patient body;
and

manipulating the grasping tool to attach the grasped surgical accessory to a tip of a surgical instrument which has been inserted
into the patient.

US Pat. No. 9,358,031

WRISTED ROBOTIC TOOL WITH REPLACEABLE END-EFFECTOR CARTRIDGES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic surgical tool comprising:
a pair of end effectors rotatingly coupled together at a pivot point, a first end effector of the pair of end effectors being
moveable about the pivot point to open and close relative to a second end effector of the pair of end effectors;

a cam mechanism, including a drive pin within at least one linear cam slot, the cam mechanism coupled to an end of at least
the first end effector to pivot the first end effector about the pivot point, the cam mechanism to translate a linear motion
of the drive pin into the pivotal motion of the first end effector;

an actuation mechanism to couple to the cam mechanism to control the pivotal motion of the first end effector about the pivot
point;

a shaft having a distal end to extend the pair of end effectors into a surgical site; and
an interface base coupled to a proximal end of the shaft, the interface base to couple to a robotic slave, the interface base
including a first spool to control at least the first end effector.

US Pat. No. 9,480,533

TELESCOPING INSERTION AXIS OF A ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A link assembly comprising:
a base link operably coupled to a distal end of a manipulator arm;
an idler link movably coupled to the base link along a lengthwise axis of the link assembly, the idler link having first and
second opposite surfaces;

a carriage link movably coupled to the idler link along the lengthwise axis, wherein the carriage link includes an instrument
interface;

a first linear bearing mounted to the first surface of the idler link;
a second linear bearing mounted to the second surface of the idler link; and
a first pressure plate mounted to the idler link, the first pressure plate clamping the first and second linear bearings to
the first and second opposite surfaces of the idler link, respectively.

US Pat. No. 9,332,893

DELIVERY OF BIOLOGICAL COMPOUNDS TO ISCHEMIC AND/OR INFARCTED TISSUE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of identifying a tissue region of interest for treatment, comprising:
expanding a non-inflatable fluid barrier, defining an open area which is in fluid communication with an environment external
to the fluid barrier and projecting distally from a deployment catheter, against the tissue region of interest;

urging a transparent fluid into the open area such that an opaque fluid is displaced therefrom;
visualizing the tissue region of interest through the transparent fluid; and
assessing at least one parameter of the tissue region.

US Pat. No. 9,358,074

MULTI-PORT SURGICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic surgery system comprising:
an orienting platform;
a support linkage movably supporting the orienting platform;
a plurality of manipulators, each of the manipulators including an instrument holder; each of the manipulators being configured
to support an associated surgical instrument mounted to the instrument holder, insert the associated surgical instrument along
an insertion axis into a patient through an associated remote center of manipulation (RC), rotate the instrument holder around
a first manipulator axis that intersects the associated RC, and rotate the instrument holder around a second manipulator axis
that intersects the associated RC, each of the first and second manipulator axes being transverse to the insertion axis, the
second manipulator axis being transverse to the first manipulator axis; and

a plurality of set-up linkages, each of the set-up linkages coupling one of the manipulators to the orienting platform and
operable to reposition the associated manipulator relative to the orienting platform and fixedly support the associated manipulator
in a selected position relative to the orienting platform, each of the set-up linkages including a proximal link coupled to
the orienting platform and a distal link coupled to the associated manipulator, at least one of the set-up linkages including
a reorientation mechanism that when actuated moves the distal link relative to the proximal link through a motion that maintains
the associated RC in a fixed position relative to the proximal link.

US Pat. No. 9,339,342

INSTRUMENT INTERFACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A system comprising:
a medical instrument that includes a rotatable element having a first feature, wherein rotation of the rotatable element actuates
the medical instrument; and

a drive system having an interface configured to releasably engage the medical instrument, wherein the interface includes
a drive element with a second feature, and the first and second features are shaped such that for any rotation angle of the
rotatable element relative to the drive element, the first and the second features engage each other without inducing rotation
that actuates the medical instrument.

US Pat. No. 9,265,584

RATCHETING FOR MASTER ALIGNMENT OF A TELEOPERATED MINIMALLY-INVASIVE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical system comprising:
a slave surgical instrument having a slave surgical instrument tip;
a master grip; and
ratcheting system coupled to the master grip and to the slave surgical instrument,
the ratcheting system including information characterizing a first alignment error that is a difference between a first alignment
of the master grip and a first alignment of the slave instrument tip,

the ratcheting system being configured to determine a new alignment error that is a difference between a second alignment
of the master grip and the first alignment of the slave surgical instrument tip, and

the ratcheting system being configured to use the new alignment error to control motion of the surgical instrument tip only
if the new alignment error is smaller than the first alignment error.

US Pat. No. 9,254,076

FEATURE DIFFERENTIATION IMAGE CAPTURE UNIT AND METHOD IN A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a first image capture sensor comprising a first image capture sensor surface;
a second image capture sensor comprising a second image capture sensor surface, wherein the first image capture sensor surface
is in a first plane, the second image capture sensor surface is in a second plane, and the first and second planes are substantially
parallel and are separated by a known distance;

a prism assembly, positioned to receive light, comprising:
a distal face through which the received light enters the prism assembly;
a beam splitter configured to reflect a first portion of the received light on a basis of a polarization state of the received
light, and to transmit a second portion of the received light on the basis of the polarization state of the received light;
and

a surface configured to reflect, in a first direction, the first portion of the received light onto the first image capture
sensor, wherein the surface is separated from the beam splitter; and

a reflective unit positioned to receive the second portion of the received light, the reflective unit being configured to
direct, in the first direction, the second portion of the received light to the second image capture sensor,

wherein a first optical path length from the distal face to the first image capture sensor surface is about equal to a second
optical path length from the distal face to the second image capture sensor surface.

US Pat. No. 9,429,696

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR REDUCING MEASUREMENT ERROR IN OPTICAL FIBER SHAPE SENSORS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A shape sensing apparatus comprising:
an instrument including an elongated shaft with a neutral axis;
a first shape sensor including an elongated optical fiber extending within the elongated shaft at a first radial distance
from the neutral axis, wherein the first shape sensor includes a first plurality of optical cores, each of which includes
a fiber Bragg grating;

a shape sensor compensation device extending within the elongated shaft, the shape sensor compensation device including a
second shape sensor, wherein the second shape sensor includes a second plurality of optical cores, each of which includes
a fiber Bragg grating and wherein the second shape sensor extends within the elongated shaft at a second radial distance from
the neutral axis and wherein an angular displacement between the first and second shape sensor about the neutral axis is approximately
180° and the first and second radial distances are approximately equal; and

a tracking system adapted to receive shape data from the first shape sensor and compensating data from the shape sensor compensation
device for calculating a bend measurement for the instrument at the neutral axis.

US Pat. No. 9,320,416

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT CONTROL AND ACTUATION

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

2. A method comprising:
manipulating a surgical instrument assembly with a telemanipulation actuator assembly in a telemanipulation control system
instrument control mode if the surgical instrument assembly is sensed, by a controller, as being mounted on the telemanipulation
actuator assembly; and

manipulating an imaging system with the telemanipulation actuator assembly in a telemanipulation control system camera control
mode if the imaging system is sensed, by the controller, as being mounted on the telemanipulation actuator assembly;

the camera control mode being different from the instrument control mode;
the surgical instrument assembly and the imaging system each being configured to be interchangeably mounted on the telemanipulation
actuator assembly;

the telemanipulation actuator assembly comprising one or more motors;
the surgical instrument assembly including a first transmission mechanism, a first body tube, and an end effector, a body
of the first transmission mechanism being couplable to and decouplable from the telemanipulation actuator assembly, the first
body tube having a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end of the first body tube being coupled to the body of the
first transmission mechanism, and the end effector being coupled to the distal end of the first body tube;

the imaging system including a second transmission mechanism, a second body tube, and a camera, a body of the second transmission
mechanism being couplable to and decouplable from the telemanipulation actuator assembly, the second body tube having a proximal
end and a distal end, the proximal end of the second body tube being coupled to the body of the second transmission mechanism,
and the camera being coupled to the distal end of the second body tube;

the first transmission mechanism and the second transmission mechanism each comprising a wedge shape;
the wedge shape of the first transmission mechanism and the wedge shape of the second transmission mechanism each comprising
a vertex edge;

the vertex edge of the wedge shape of the first transmission mechanism being oriented along and adjacent an extended centerline
of a guide tube when the surgical instrument assembly is mounted on the telemanipulation actuator assembly; and

the vertex edge of the wedge shape of the second transmission mechanism being oriented along and adjacent the extended centerline
of the guide tube when the imaging system is mounted on the telemanipulation actuator assembly.

US Pat. No. 9,283,049

CONTROL SYSTEM CONFIGURED TO COMPENSATE FOR NON-IDEAL ACTUATOR-TO-JOINT LINKAGE CHARACTERISTICS IN A MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. In a medical robotic system, a control system for controlling an end effector of a medical device, the control system comprising:
an end effector controller configured to generate a first distal joint command using an end effector command indicative of
operator manipulation of an input device and a state of the end effector;

a first distal controller configured to generate a first actuator command using the first distal joint command and a state
of a first distal joint coupled to the end effector for effecting a first degree of freedom movement of the end effector;
and

a first proximal controller configured to close a first feedback loop around a state of a first actuator to ensure tracking
of the state of the first actuator, by generating a first actuator feedback using the first actuator command and the state
of the first actuator and providing the first actuator feedback to the first actuator so that the first actuator causes corresponding
movement of the first distal joint and the end effector through a first cable transmission;

wherein the end effector controller is configured to generate a first feed-forward command to compensate for residual error
in the first actuator feedback due to non-ideal characteristics of the first cable transmission and to provide the first feed-forward
command to a summing node; and

wherein the summing node is configured to sum the first actuator feedback and the first feed-forward command and to output
the summed first actuator feedback and first feed-forward command to the first actuator.

US Pat. No. 9,266,239

CONSTRAINT BASED CONTROL IN A MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGICAL APPARATUS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical system comprising:
an endoscope positioned to view a work site;
a telestrator screen for displaying an image of the work site captured by the endoscope;
a telestrator pen;
a surgical instrument disposed at the work site for performing a procedure;
a robotic arm adapted to hold and move the surgical instrument;
a master handle; and
a controller programmed with instructions to interpret a first telestration indicated by movement of the telestrator pen over
the image of the work site being displayed on the telestrator screen as defining a first space within the work site, and to
command the robotic arm to move the surgical instrument according to movement of the master handle and one or more constraint
parameters that effect the commanded movement of the robotic arm differently as the surgical instrument moves into or moves
within the first space than as the surgical instrument moves out of or moves outside of the first space.

US Pat. No. 9,345,387

PREVENTING INSTRUMENT/TISSUE COLLISIONS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A minimally invasive surgical system comprising:
a first surgical device comprising a distal end;
an actuator control system coupled to the first surgical device to move the distal end to a plurality of positions within
a body cavity as the first surgical device is advanced within the body cavity;

a memory coupled to the actuator control system,
wherein the actuator control system stores, in the memory, data that defines the plurality of positions; and
a second surgical device coupled to the actuator control system,
wherein the actuator control system advances the second surgical device by using the stored data that defines the plurality
of positions.

US Pat. No. 9,258,549

SINGLE-CHIP SENSOR MULTI-FUNCTION IMAGING

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A system comprising:
an image capture unit including a single-chip image capture sensor with a color filter array,
wherein the single-chip image capture sensor is configured to capture a frame of pixel data comprising a first set of pixel
data and a second set of pixel data,

wherein the first set of pixel data comprises a first combined scene including a fluorescence scene component, and
wherein the second set of pixel data comprises a second combined scene including a combination of a visible color component
scene and the fluorescence scene component;

a scene processing module configured to:
receive the first set of pixel data comprising the first combined scene and the second set of pixel data comprising the second
combined scene,

extract a display fluorescence scene component from the first combined scene,
extract a display visible scene component from the second combined scene, and
generate a plurality of weighted combinations of the display fluorescence scene component and the display visible scene component;
and

a display unit connected to the scene processing module to receive the plurality of weighted combinations, and configured
to generate from the plurality of weighted combinations a displayed scene including a highlighted scene component corresponding
to the fluorescence scene component and a reduced color scene component.

US Pat. No. 9,078,686

ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM WITH PATIENT SUPPORT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

12. A method for supporting a patient and a robotic surgical manipulator in a robotic surgery system, the method comprising:
coupling a first end of a pillar to a base such that the pillar extends vertically upwardly to an opposing second end;
coupling an attachment structure to the second end of the pillar;
coupling a patient table to the attachment structure; and
coupling a first end of a robot support arm to the attachment structure, the robot support arm extending upwardly from the
first end to a second end.

US Pat. No. 9,314,153

ROBOTIC ENDOSCOPIC RETRACTOR FOR USE IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A minimally invasive surgical instrument, comprising:
an elongate shaft; and
a retractor assembly coupled to a distal end of the elongate shaft and adapted to be deployed inside a body organ of a patient,
the retractor assembly including:

first and second blades connected at proximal ends by a pivot assembly such that the blades are angularly displaceable about
a pivotal connection of the pivot assembly, and

an expansion structure supported by the blades,
wherein the retractor assembly is movable between a closed configuration in which the blades have a first angular displacement
and the expansion structure is collapsed and an open configuration in which the blades have a second angular displacement
bounding an angular displacement region and the expansion structure is expanded to bound an expansion region, wherein the
expansion region bounded by the expanded expansion structure is greater than the angular displacement region bounded by the
blades.

US Pat. No. 9,808,140

STEERABLE SEGMENTED ENDOSCOPE AND METHOD OF INSERTION

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for determining the three dimensional shape of an instrument during or after insertion of said instrument into
a body cavity, wherein said instrument comprises an elongate body comprising a selectively steerable distal tip, and a plurality
of pivotably coupled and automatically controlled segments proximal to said selectively steerable distal tip, wherein adjacent
segments of the plurality of segments are pivotable about two intersecting, independent axes, said method comprising:
advancing said instrument into said body cavity;
providing axial position data to a controller, wherein said axial position data is relative to a datum;
providing angular position data to said controller from a respective segment controller associated with each of said plurality
of automatically controlled segments, the angular position data comprising relative angular positions of the adjacent segments
of the plurality of segments; and

generating in electronic memory of said controller a three-dimensional model of a shape of said instrument using the provided
axial position data and the angular position data.

US Pat. No. 9,155,452

COMPLEX SHAPE STEERABLE TISSUE VISUALIZATION AND MANIPULATION CATHETER

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of accessing difficult-to-reach target tissue in a region of a body having continuous interfering blood flow,
the method comprising:
advancing a deployment catheter shaft having an articulatable assembly near or at a distal portion of the catheter shaft into
the region of the body, the articulatable assembly having a proximal steerable section and a distal steerable section fixedly
connected, wherein the distal steerable section is positioned distal to the proximal steerable section;

bending the proximal steerable section such that a hood attached to a distal end of the distal steerable section is articulated
in a first plane relative to a longitudinal axis of the catheter shaft, wherein the hood projects distally from the distal
end of the distal steerable section and defines an open area therein in fluid communication with an environment distal of
a distal opening defined by the hood and further has at least one membrane extending over the distal opening such that the
at least one membrane partially covers the open area;

bending the distal steerable section in one or more additional planes relative to a longitudinal axis of the proximal steerable
section such that the hood is positioned in proximity to the target tissue;

bending the hood with respect to the distal steerable section through use of steerable members integrated with the hood;
infusing a fluid through the catheter shaft and into the open area such that the infused fluid displaces blood from within
the open area to an environment external to the hood through at least one aperture defined along the hood; and

visualizing the target tissue within the open area through the infused fluid.

US Pat. No. 9,144,467

METHOD AND MEANS FOR TRANSFERRING CONTROLLER MOTION FROM A ROBOTIC MANIPULATOR TO AN ATTACHED INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method of transmitting controller motion from a robotic manipulator to a surgical instrument, the method comprising rotating
a plate included in the robotic manipulator, the plate having a driving surface that bears against a gimbal assembly included
in the surgical instrument, the plate being supported on a spherical bearing surface of a pin that extends outwardly from
the driving surface, the spherical bearing surface having a center that coincides with an intersection of two rotational axes
of the gimbal assembly, the plate being rotated about the center of the spherical bearing surface.

US Pat. No. 9,687,311

GRIP FORCE NORMALIZATION FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for controlling grip force of an end effector of a surgical instrument, the method comprising:
receiving a first input signal indicative of a commanded position of a gripping element of the surgical instrument end effector;
outputting an actuation signal to apply a changing grip actuation force to actuate the gripping element to cause the end effector
to exert a grip force, wherein the actuation signal is based at least in part on the first input signal, an actual position
of the gripping element, and a variable mechanical advantage of the surgical instrument end effector, the mechanical advantage
varying with the actual position of the gripping element; and

in response to the actuation signal, actuating the gripping element to cause the end effector to exert the grip force.

US Pat. No. 9,474,569

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH END EFFECTOR COMPRISING JAW MECHANISM AND TRANSLATING COMPONENT, AND RELATED METHODS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical instrument comprising:
a shaft having a proximal end and a distal end, a longitudinal axis being defined between the proximal and distal ends;
a wrist having a proximal end and a distal end, the proximal end of the wrist being coupled to the distal end of the shaft,
the wrist being movable in pitch and yaw degrees of freedom, wherein the pitch degree of freedom is defined orthogonal to
the longitudinal axis, and wherein the yaw degree of freedom is defined orthogonal to the longitudinal axis and to the pitch
degree of freedom;

a surgical end effector coupled to the wrist, the surgical end effector comprising a jaw mechanism and a translating component,
the translating component being movable lengthwise relative to the jaw mechanism;

a jaw mechanism drive element extending through the wrist and coupled to the jaw mechanism; and
a translating component drive element extending through the wrist and coupled to the translating component of the surgical
end effector, the translating component being configured to move lengthwise relative to the jaw mechanism in response to the
translating component drive element translating along the longitudinal axis.

US Pat. No. 9,108,318

SWITCHING CONTROL OF AN INSTRUMENT TO AN INPUT DEVICE UPON THE INSTRUMENT ENTERING A DISPLAY AREA VIEWABLE BY AN OPERATOR OF THE INPUT DEVICE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic system comprising:
a camera;
an instrument manipulator;
an instrument that is mechanically coupled to the instrument manipulator;
an input device; and
a processor that is programmed to operatively couple the instrument manipulator to the input device upon determining that
the instrument has entered an area of a field of view of the camera.

US Pat. No. 9,085,083

TOOL GRIP CALIBRATION FOR ROBOTIC SURGERY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus comprising:
input grip handles;
a biasing element for increasing resistance to gripping of the input grip handles beginning at a nominal closed position;
a processor;
a memory storing instructions for causing the processor to:
identify mounting of an end effector on a manipulator controlled by the processor, the end effector comprising end effector
elements;

drive one or more motors of the manipulator with a commanded torque to move the end effector elements relative to each other
in response to gripping of the input grip handles;

monitor a joint position of the end effector elements relative to the commanded torque;
determine a joint position of mutual engagement of the end effector elements based on change in the commanded torque; and
set the nominal closed position of the input grip handles as corresponding to the joint position of mutual engagement of the
end effector elements.

US Pat. No. 10,028,793

AUTOMATIC PUSH-OUT TO AVOID RANGE OF MOTION LIMITS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of controlling a robotic surgical system having a surgical manipulator coupled with a support structure by a set-up linkage, the set-up linkage including a joint having a range of motion, the set-up linkage being configured to facilitate an alignment of the surgical manipulator with a desired position and orientation relative to the support structure, the set-up linkage further including a drive or brake system operatively coupled to the set-up linkage and configured to limit inadvertent movement of the set-up linkage relative to the support structure when actuated, the method comprising:identifying a first software defined range of motion limit spaced a distance apart from a first physical range of motion limit of the joint and defining a first range of motion limit envelope between the first software defined range of motion limit and the first physical range of motion limit;
receiving a user input for halting a driving or braking by the drive or brake system to allow for manual positioning of the manipulator relative to the support structure through movement of the joint of the set-up linkage;
halting a driving or braking by the drive or brake system in response to receiving the user input;
detecting a position of the joint within the range of motion; and
receiving a user input for reapplying the driving or braking by the drive or brake system and, in response, delaying reapplication of the driving or braking by the drive or brake system of the set-up linkage for at least a duration of time when the position of the joint is detected to be within the first range of motion limit envelope.

US Pat. No. 9,468,364

INTRAVASCULAR CATHETER WITH HOOD AND IMAGE PROCESSING SYSTEMS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of imaging a tissue region which is under motion, comprising:
visualizing the tissue region within a body via an intravascular imaging catheter by viewing the tissue region through an
open hood in contact with the tissue region and where the hood is purged of blood with a fluid, the visualizing resulting
in a plurality of visual images of the tissue region;

recording electrical activity of the tissue region while visualizing the tissue region, the recording performed with a computer;
receiving a selection of a recurring portion of an event which repeats at least periodically in the electrical activity, the
receiving performed with the computer;

selecting a visual image from the plurality of visual images of the tissue region captured by the intravascular imaging catheter
during an instance of the recurring portion of the event, the visual image corresponding to the recurring portion of the event,
the selecting performed with the computer;

capturing one or more additional visual images gated by the event over a period of time;
registering the selected visual image with one or more ablation parameters associated with an ablation process performed on
the tissue region, the registering performed with the computer; and

displaying the selected visual image with the one or more registered ablation parameters, the displaying performed with the
computer.

US Pat. No. 9,446,517

FAULT REACTION, FAULT ISOLATION, AND GRACEFUL DEGRADATION IN A ROBOTIC SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

9. A robotic system comprising:
a plurality of robotic arms;
a plurality of arm processors, wherein each of the plurality of arm processors is operatively coupled to a corresponding one
of the plurality of robotic arms; and

a system supervisor processor;
wherein each robotic arm has a plurality of motors for actuating degrees of freedom movement of the robotic arm; wherein each
robotic arm has one or more nodes for controlling corresponding motors of the robotic arm; wherein each node and arm processor
is configured to detect an occurrence of a fault affecting the node or arm processor, to place the node or arm processor into
a safe state upon detecting the occurrence of the fault, to propagate a fault notification through a failed arm that includes
the node or is operatively coupled to the arm processor, to diagnose the fault, and to send an error message including information
of the fault to the system supervisor processor; and wherein each node of the plurality of robotic arms and each arm processor
operatively coupled to the plurality of robotic arms is configured to place the node or arm processor into a safe state upon
receiving a fault notification from another source; and

wherein the system supervisor processor is configured to receive the error message from the failed node or the arm processor,
to determine whether the detected fault is to be treated as a system fault or a local fault by using information in the error
message, and to transmit a fault notification to the arm processors of non-failed arms of plurality of robotic arms only if
the detected fault is to be treated as a system fault.

US Pat. No. 9,291,793

APPARATUS FOR COMPACT COUNTER BALANCE ARMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus for supporting a medical robotic manipulator, the apparatus comprising:
a linkage having a first end coupled to a support structure, the first end of the linkage to rotate about a vertical axis,
the linkage to support a medical robotic manipulator applied to a second end of the linkage opposite the first end;

a balancing mechanism coupled to the linkage around a pivotal joint, the balancing mechanism including a compression spring,
a cable, and a plurality of pulleys, wherein at least one pulley of the plurality of pulleys is concentric with the pivotal
joint, the balancing mechanism to counter balance the medical robotic manipulator; and

wherein as the second end of the linkage is moved up and down, the position of the medical robotic manipulator is varied vertically
and horizontally with a varying moment arm length but without varying a weight of the medical robotic manipulator, the balancing
mechanism varies a cable path length to modify the compression of the compression spring and the tension in the cable to adjust
a counter balance force applied to the linkage while a sum of wrap angles of the cable around the plurality of pulleys is
substantially constant.

US Pat. No. 9,504,527

INTER-OPERATIVE SWITCHING OF TOOLS IN A ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for controlling a telesurgical system, the method comprising:
controlling, by a controller of the telesurgical system, a first tool connected to a first manipulator of the telesurgical
system, the first tool being connected to the first manipulator using a plurality of first connector elements;

implementing, by a hardware mapping unit, a first mapping between the plurality of first connector elements and a plurality
of interface elements of the controller, the first mapping being used by the controller to control the first tool while it
is connected to the first manipulator;

controlling, by the controller, a second tool connected to a second manipulator of the telesurgical system, the second tool
being connected to the second manipulator using a plurality of second connector elements;

implementing, by the hardware mapping unit, a second mapping between the plurality of second connector elements and the plurality
of interface elements of the controller, the second mapping being used by the controller to control the second tool while
it is connected to the second manipulator;

detecting, by the controller, a swap of the first and second tools such that the first tool is connected to the second manipulator
using the plurality of first connector elements and the second tool is connected to the first manipulator using the plurality
of second connector elements;

implementing, by the hardware mapping unit, a third mapping between the plurality of first connector elements and the plurality
of interface elements of the controller, the third mapping being different from the first and second mappings;

implementing, by the hardware mapping unit, a fourth mapping between the plurality of second connector elements and the plurality
of interface elements of the controller, the fourth mapping being different from the first and second mappings;

controlling, by the controller, the first tool connected to the second manipulator using the fourth mapping; and
controlling, by the controller, the second tool connected to the first manipulator using the third mapping.

US Pat. No. 9,295,525

PHANTOM DEGREES OF FREEDOM FOR MANIPULATING THE MOVEMENT OF SURGICAL SYSTEMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical system comprising:
a surgeon's console including an input device for receiving an input from the surgeon;
at least one manipulator structure operable to receive a first surgical instrument and a second surgical instrument, the first
surgical instrument having a first number of degrees of freedom, the second surgical instrument having a second number of
degrees of freedom, and the first number of degrees of freedom being different from the second number of degrees of freedom;
and

a controller for controlling at least one instrument coupled to the at least one manipulator structure,
wherein the controller is operable to control the first surgical instrument and the second surgical instrument by using a
first kinematic model of the first instrument and a second kinematic model of the second instrument, at least one of the first
kinematic model or the second kinematic model including a phantom degree of freedom that models a range of joint configurations
that are not included in the corresponding first instrument or second instrument.

US Pat. No. 9,215,967

SIDE LOOKING MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical instrument assembly comprising:
a guide tube comprising a proximal end, a distal end, and an intermediate position between the proximal and distal ends, wherein
a longitudinal axis extends between the proximal and distal ends;

a surgical instrument permanently nonremovably mounted on the guide tube at the intermediate position, the surgical instrument
comprising a parallel motion mechanism, a link, a wrist joint coupled to the link, and an end component coupled to the wrist
joint, the parallel motion mechanism comprising:

a first joint permanently nonremovably mounted on the guide tube,
a rigid elongate body segment connected to the first joint, and
a second joint connected to the body segment and coupled to the link,
wherein the first and second joints are coupled by cables so that moving the parallel motion mechanism heaves and sways the
end component without changing pitch and yaw of the end component, and

wherein the link is coupled to the parallel motion mechanism and is positioned between the parallel motion mechanism and the
wrist joint; and

a stereoscopic image capture component positioned at a fixed location on the guide tube between the intermediate position
and the distal end, wherein a field of view of the image capture component is generally perpendicular to the longitudinal
axis of the guide tube near the image capture component.

US Pat. No. 9,200,971

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR OPTICAL STRAIN SENSING

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for measuring one or more mechanical parameters of an object subjected to a force or condition, where at least
a curved portion of a multicore optical fiber is attached to the object, the multicore optical fiber having a center core
and plural off-center cores, the method comprising:
using a distributed, optically-based sensing technique to obtain information at each of multiple points along the curved portion
from multiple ones of the cores of the multicore optical fiber;

determining a curvature associated with the multicore optical fiber that is attached to the object using the information obtained
from multiple ones of the cores of the multicore optical fiber;

using a distributed, optically-based, strain sensing technique to obtain strain information for the center core without having
to obtain strain information for the off-center cores;

determining the one or more mechanical parameters of the object based on the strain information obtained for the center core
and the curvature information obtained from the multiple ones of the cores; and

generating an output corresponding to a representation of the determined one or more mechanical parameters.

US Pat. No. 9,173,643

PITCH-ROLL-YAW SURGICAL TOOL

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A minimally invasive surgical instrument comprising:
an elongate shaft having a working end and a shaft axis;
a wrist member having a proximal portion connected with the working end of the elongate shaft, the wrist member being rotatable
relative to the working end of the elongate shaft about a pitch axis perpendicular to the shaft axis;

an end effector coupled to a distal portion of the wrist member, the end effector being rotatable relative to the wrist member
about a wrist axis extending between the proximal portion and the distal portion of the wrist member;

a base coupled to the distal portion of the wrist member, the base supporting the end effector, the base further comprising
first and second tangent surfaces each rotatable about the wrist axis;

a pitch pulley, a first pulley, and a second pulley, said pulleys coaxially positioned on the pitch axis;
a pitch elongate element engaging the pitch pulley, the pitch elongate element running through the elongate shaft, wherein
pulling the pitch elongate element rotates the wrist member about the pitch axis;

a first elongate element engaging the first tangent surface and the first pulley, and a second elongate element engaging the
second tangent surface and the second pulley, the first and second elongate elements running through the tool shaft, wherein
pulling the first and second elongate elements rotates the end effector relative to the wrist member about the wrist axis;
and

the end effector being further movable relative to the wrist member about a yaw axis perpendicular to the wrist axis.

US Pat. No. 9,155,449

INSTRUMENT SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF USE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A system comprising:
a flexible instrument; and
a flexible instrument delivery sheath including:
a proximal section of interconnected proximal links, at least one proximal link being movable in multiple dimensions relative
to an adjacent proximal link about a proximal link pivot disposed between adjacent proximal links, each of the proximal links
including a plurality of proximal cable channels having a first channel pattern radius from a central axis of the proximal
link;

a distal section of interconnected distal links, each of the distal links including a plurality of distal cable channels having
a second channel pattern radius from a central axis of the distal link, wherein the second channel pattern radius is different
than the first channel pattern radius, and wherein each distal link is paired with a proximal link with each distal link being
maintained in a spaced apart relationship relative to the paired proximal link;

an elongate shaft section extending between the proximal section and distal section;
multiple sets of cables, with each set connecting a discrete pair of proximal and distal links, such that movement of one
link of the discrete pair causes movement of the other link of the pair;

a working channel extending through the distal section, the working channel sized to receive the flexible instrument; and
a flexible tube extending within the working channel and dimensioned to slip fit relative to a plurality of the distal links
such that the flexible tube is freely moveable relative to at least a most distal link of the distal links, the flexible tube
being secured to a most proximal link of the distal links, the flexible tube sized to receive the flexible instrument.

US Pat. No. 9,138,132

STEERABLE ENDOSCOPE AND IMPROVED METHOD OF INSERTION

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A system for controlling movement of a steerable instrument along a path, comprising:
a flexible and steerable instrument;
an electronic memory comprising a stored three-dimensional model, wherein the three-dimensional model is generated based on
signals from the instrument as it traverses along the path; and

an electronic motion controller logically coupled to the electronic memory, wherein the electronic motion controller is configured
to automatically control the instrument to traverse the path based on the three-dimensional model.

US Pat. No. 10,070,772

PRECISION CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR TISSUE VISUALIZATION AND MANIPULATION ASSEMBLIES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A computer-assisted treatment system comprising:a delivery catheter defining at least one lumen therethrough;
a computer-controlled guidance assembly including one or more actuation members;
a processor coupled to and in electrical communication with the computer-controlled guidance assembly;
a deployment catheter which is positionable through the at least one lumen of the delivery catheter and through which the one or more actuation members extend;
a self-expanding fluid impermeable barrier coupled to a distal end of the deployment catheter by a pivot assembly attached to the one or more actuation members, wherein the self-expanding fluid impermeable barrier is constrained to movement by the one or more actuation members about at least one axis of the pivot assembly;
a section of the deployment catheter positioned proximal of the self-expanding fluid impermeable barrier, the section having multiple cut-outs;
an imager carried by the deployment catheter for generating an image of a tissue surface through an open area defined by the self-expanding fluid impermeable barrier in an expanded state, the imager positioned within the open area such that movement of the self-expanding fluid impermeable barrier about the pivot assembly causes a corresponding movement of the imager about the pivot assembly; and
a display couplable to the imaging assembly so as to display the tissue surface image.

US Pat. No. 9,532,838

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR SURGICAL PLANNING

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

12. An apparatus comprising:
a plurality of robotic arms individually manipulatable in a plurality of degrees of freedom and individually adapted to hold
a surgical device for performing a surgical procedure;

a processor configured prior to performing the surgical procedure to execute instructions for:
identifying a plurality of candidate arrangements for the plurality of robotic arms prior to performing the surgical procedure,
each candidate arrangement defining the positions of a plurality of entry points for inserting the plurality of robotic arms
into a patient;

for each of the plurality of candidate arrangements, and prior to performing the surgical procedure, computing at least one
parameter selected from the group consisting of: a tool-to-target attack angle, a dexterity parameter, a tool-to-endoscope
angle, port-to-port separation distance; and

prior to performing the surgical procedure, selecting a preferred candidate arrangement from the plurality of candidate arrangements
based on the preferred candidate arrangement corresponding to the at least one parameter being optimized; the processor further
configured to execute instructions for:

registering the selected candidate arrangement to the patient during the surgical procedure; and
receiving instructions from an operator of the apparatus to manipulate the plurality of robotic arms according to the selected
candidate arrangement.

US Pat. No. 9,339,344

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT MANIPULATOR ASPECTS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A remote center manipulator for constraining a position of a surgical instrument during minimally invasive robotic surgery,
the surgical instrument including an elongate shaft having a distal working end configured for insertion into a body cavity
of a patient through a remote center of manipulation, the remote center manipulator comprising:
a mounting base;
an instrument holder configured to couple with the surgical instrument; and
a linkage coupling the instrument holder to the mounting base, first and second links of the linkage being coupled to limit
motion of the second link relative to the first link to rotation about a yaw axis that intersects the remote center of manipulation,
the linkage including three rotationally coupled joints configured to generate constrained parallelogram motion of the linkage
by which motion of the instrument holder is limited to rotation about a pitch axis that intersects the remote center of manipulation,
the pitch axis being angularly offset from the yaw axis by a non-zero angle other than 90 degrees.

US Pat. No. 9,301,807

SURGICAL SYSTEM COUNTERBALANCE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A counterbalancing link of a surgical system, the link comprising:
a housing;
a compression spring disposed along a lengthwise axis of the housing, the compression spring having a first end and a second
end;

a base at a first end of the housing, the base coupled to the first end of the compression spring, and the base including
one or more first adjustment features configured to adjust an orientation of the first end of the compression spring;

a plug at a second end of the housing, the plug coupled to the second end of the compression spring, and the plug including
a second adjustment feature configured to adjust an orientation of the plug and of the second end of the compression spring;
and

a cable having a first end configured to couple to a load and a second end coupled to the plug, and the compression spring
being configured to counterbalance at least a part of the load.

US Pat. No. 9,532,841

AUTOFOCUS AND/OR AUTOSCALING IN TELESURGERY

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic system comprising:
an image capture device;
an actuator configured to adjust a magnification setting of the image capture device;
a robotic linkage movably supporting the image capture device;
at least one sensor for generating a sensor signal indicating movement of the robotic linkage;
a processor configured to determine, based on the sensor signal, a change in distance between the image capture device and
an initial focus point of the image capture device, the processor further configured to adjust the magnification setting of
the image capture device by controlling said actuator according to a predetermined relationship between the magnification
setting of the image capture device and the change in distance;

the predetermined relationship being derived from parametric empirical measurements of the image capture device.

US Pat. No. 9,452,020

USER INITIATED BREAK-AWAY CLUTCHING OF A SURGICAL MOUNTING PLATFORM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A medical device comprising:
a linkage having a joint;
a drive unit coupled to the linkage; and
a processor coupled with the drive unit, the processor being configured to:
operate the medical device in a first state in which, in response to a first manual effort against the linkage below an articulation
threshold, the processor transmits a first signal to the drive unit, the first signal causing the drive unit to inhibit manual
articulation from a first pose of the linkage;

operate the medical device in a second state in which, in response to a second manual effort against the linkage exceeding
the articulation threshold, the processor transmits a second signal to the drive unit, the second signal causing the drive
unit to facilitate a manual articulation from the first pose of the linkage toward a second pose of the linkage; and

operate the medical device in a third state in which, in response to a determining that the linkage is at the second pose
of the linkage, the processor transmits a third signal to the drive unit, the third signal causing the drive unit to inhibit
manual articulation of the second pose of the linkage.

US Pat. No. 9,314,926

COMPACT NEEDLE MANIPULATOR FOR TARGETED INTERVENTIONS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An instrument manipulator, comprising:
a track;
a translational carriage coupled to ride along the track, the translational carriage being propelled along the track by a
linear motor;

a shoulder yaw joint coupled to the translational carriage, the shoulder yaw joint being actuated by a shoulder yaw motor;
a shoulder pitch joint coupled to the shoulder yaw joint, the shoulder pitch joint including an arm, a wrist mount coupled
to the arm, struts coupled between the wrist mount and the shoulder yaw joint to form a 3D parallelogram, and a shoulder pitch
motor coupled to actuate the shoulder pitch joint, the struts, the arm, and the wrist mount;

a yaw-pitch-roll wrist coupled to the wrist mount, the yaw-pitch-roll wrist including a yaw joint actuated by one or more
wrist yaw motors and a differentially driven pitch-roll joint actuated by differentially driven pitch-roll motors; and

an instrument mount coupled to the yaw-pitch-roll wrist, the instrument mount having one or more instrument motors providing
an instrument drive.

US Pat. No. 9,271,798

MULTI-USER MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM FOR COLLABORATION OR TRAINING IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGICAL PROCEDURES

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A multi-user medical robotic system for collaboration in minimally invasive surgical procedures, comprising:
first and second master input devices;
first and second slave robotic mechanisms;
a switch mechanism operable by a first operator for selectively associating the first and the second slave robotic mechanisms
with the first and the second master input devices so that the first operator manipulating the first master input device and
a second operator manipulating the second master input device may perform a minimally invasive surgical procedure at a surgical
site in collaboration with each other; and

first and second headsets respectively worn by the first and the second operators so that they may communicate with each while
performing the minimally invasive surgical procedure in collaboration with each other.

US Pat. No. 9,161,771

MEDICAL INSTRUMENT WITH SNAKE WRIST STRUCTURE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical instrument comprising:
a first joint disk including a first rim having a first tooth slot and a first toothed gear, the first tooth slot being opposite
the first toothed gear along the first rim; and

a first strut having a first slot bearing and a first hole bearing connected by a first connection link with the first slot
bearing in the first tooth slot,

the first tooth slot being shaped to contain the first slot bearing and at least a portion of a second toothed gear.

US Pat. No. 9,125,679

ROBOTIC SURGERY SYSTEM INCLUDING POSITION SENSORS USING FIBER BRAGG GRATINGS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a surgical instrument mountable to a robotic manipulator, the surgical instrument comprising:
an elongate arm comprising:
an actively controlled bendable region including at least one joint region and an end effector,
a passively bendable region including a distal end coupled to the actively controlled bendable region,
an actuation mechanism extending through the passively bendable region and coupled to the at least one joint region to control
the actively controlled bendable region, and

a channel extending through the elongate arm; and
an optical fiber positioned in the channel, wherein the optical fiber includes an optical fiber bend sensor in at least one
of the passively bendable region or the actively controlled bendable region.

US Pat. No. 9,107,683

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CANCELLATION OF JOINT MOTION USING THE NULL-SPACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A tele-surgical method comprising:
providing a manipulator arm including a movable distal surgical end effector, a proximal portion coupled to a base, and a
plurality of joints between the distal portion and the base, the plurality of joints having sufficient degrees of freedom
to allow a range of differing joint states for a given distal portion state;

receiving a manipulation command to move the end effector with a desired end effector movement;
calculating an end effector displacing movement of the plurality of joints to effect the desired end effector movement, wherein
calculating the end effector displacing movement of the joints comprises calculating joint velocities within a null-perpendicular-space
of a Jacobian matrix for the joints, wherein the calculated joint velocities include a calculated velocity of a designated
non-moving subset of joints, and wherein the non-moving subset of joints comprises one or more of the plurality of joints;

calculating a cancellation movement of the plurality of joints to cancel the calculated velocity of the non-moving subset
of joints, wherein calculating the cancellation movement comprises calculating joint velocities of the plurality of joints
within a null-space of the Jacobian, the null-space being orthogonal to the null-perpendicular space; and

driving the joints according to the calculated movements so as to effect the desired end effector movement and inhibit movement
of the non-moving subset of the joints.

US Pat. No. 9,687,302

SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS HAVING IMPROVED WEAR RESISTANCE, AND METHODS OF MAKING THE SAME

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical apparatus, comprising:
a cannula including a curved longitudinal axis along at least a portion of the length of the cannula; and
a surgical instrument having an elongated shaft and an end effector, the elongated shaft having a distal end and a proximal
end, the end effector being coupled to the distal end of the elongated shaft;

wherein the end effector is configured in a way that results in a portion of the end effector contacting an inner surface
of the cannula during insertion of the surgical instrument through the curved cannula; and

wherein the material used for the portion of the end effector and the material used for the inner surface of the curved cannula
provide a threshold galling stress between the portion of the end effector and the inner surface of the curved cannula of
at least 10,000 pounds per square inch.

US Pat. No. 9,357,901

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR DISPLAYING THREE-DIMENSIONAL ORIENTATION OF A STEERABLE DISTAL TIP OF AN ENDOSCOPE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A system for graphically visualizing an approximate overall bend of a steerable distal portion of an elongate instrument
relative to an x-y-z reference frame, comprising:
an instrument having an elongate body, said elongate body comprising a proximal portion and a steerable distal portion extending
longitudinally along a z-axis of the reference frame when in an approximately straight position;

at least one tensioning member attached to said steerable distal portion, wherein actuation of said at least one tensioning
member results in an approximate y-bend and an approximate x-bend of said steerable distal portion, and wherein said approximate
y-bend and approximate x-bend define the approximate overall bend of said steerable distal portion;

a graphical user interface representing an x-y plane of the reference frame; and
an icon displayed on the graphical user interface, the icon representing a magnitude and a direction of the approximate overall
bend of the steerable distal portion

wherein:
an origin is defined on the graphical user interface, the origin corresponding to an intersection of the x-y plane and the
z-axis;

a distance between the icon and the origin corresponds to the magnitude of the approximate overall bend; and
an orientation of the icon with reference to the origin corresponds to the direction of the approximate overall bend.

US Pat. No. 9,345,546

TOOL MEMORY-BASED SOFTWARE UPGRADES FOR ROBOTIC SURGERY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic system comprising:
at least one robotic arm having a tool holder and a signal interface;
a processor coupled to the at least one robotic arm; and
a memory coupled to the processor;
wherein the processor is configured to:
download tool type identifier to the memory from a first robotic tool coupled to one of said at least one robotic arm;
determine from the tool type identifier whether tool kinematic data corresponding to the first robotic tool is available in
the memory;

if said corresponding tool kinematic data is determined to be not available, download said tool kinematic data corresponding
to the first robotic tool to the memory; and

drive a second robotic tool coupled to one of said at least one robotic arm using the tool kinematic data downloaded to the
memory from the first robotic tool, wherein the first robotic tool and the second robotic tool share the same tool type identifier.

US Pat. No. 9,561,045

TOOL WITH ROTATION LOCK

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A device comprising:
a proximal portion and a distal portion;
a shaft interposed between the proximal portion and the distal portion;
a handle at the proximal portion;
an articulation mechanism for manipulating angular orientation of the distal portion, the articulation mechanism comprising
proximal links on the proximal portion and distal links on the distal portion, each proximal link corresponding to one of
the distal links to form pairs of links, wherein a bushing separates the first link of the proximal links from a second link
of the proximal links and wherein movement of the proximal link of each pair causes corresponding relative movement of the
distal link of the pair; and

a shaft rotation lock defining a central axis extending therethrough in which a spindle is disposed, the spindle being fixed
along the axis with respect to the handle and terminating in a first link of the proximal links, the spindle having an engaging
slot configured to receive a proximal portion of the bushing therein, and wherein the shaft rotation lock is movable between
a first state in which the articulation mechanism and distal portion are not rotatable with respect to the handle about the
central axis and a second state in which the articulation mechanism and the distal portion are rotatable with respect to the
handle about the central axis, the shaft rotation lock comprising a rotation member that is engaged with the articulation
mechanism in the first and second states.

US Pat. No. 9,469,034

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SWITCHING MODES OF A ROBOTIC SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for switching modes of a robotic system, the method comprising:
receiving an indication that a mode change has been initiated;
providing a haptic detent on an input device after a delay following the receiving of the indication that the mode change
has been initiated, the haptic detent exhibiting an abrupt reduction in a force being applied against the input device immediately
before and after the delay; and

changing an operating mode of a robotic system after the input device has been manipulated past the haptic detent.

US Pat. No. 9,241,767

METHOD FOR HANDLING AN OPERATOR COMMAND EXCEEDING A MEDICAL DEVICE STATE LIMITATION IN A MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method implemented by a processor for handling an operator command received from a master input device to command a slave
manipulator, the method comprising:
using the processor to automatically determine whether the slave manipulator is being commanded by the operator command to
a commanded state of the slave manipulator that is greater than or equal to a threshold value which is less than a limit of
the slave manipulator; and

if the slave manipulator is determined by the processor as being commanded to the commanded state that is greater than or
equal to the threshold value which is less than the limit of the slave manipulator, then using the processor to automatically:

cause control of the slave manipulator by the master input device to be disengaged,
cause the slave manipulator to remain at a current state of the slave manipulator,
cause the master input device to remain at a current state of the master input device, and
alter a parameter that affects a functional relationship between the current state of the master input device and the commanded
state of the slave manipulator so that the current state of the master input device commands a different commanded state that
is not greater than or equal to the threshold value which is less than the limit of the slave manipulator, and

after altering the commanded state to the different commanded state, cause the control of the slave manipulator by the master
input device to be re-engaged so that the different commanded state is applied to the slave manipulator.

US Pat. No. 9,204,923

MEDICAL INSTRUMENT ELECTRONICALLY ENERGIZED USING DRIVE CABLES

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

15. A medical instrument comprising:
a clevis rotatably mounted on a first pin, the clevis including a second pin;
first and second pulleys rotatably mounted on the first pin;
first and second jaws rotatably mounted on the second pin;
first and second cables attached to the first jaw, wherein the first and second cables respectively ride on the first and
second pulleys when the clevis is in a first position; and

third and fourth cables attached to the second jaw, wherein the third and fourth cables respectively ride on the first and
second pulleys when the clevis is in the first position;

wherein when the clevis is in the first position, the first cable rides on a side of the first pulley opposite from a side
of the first pulley on which the third cable rides, and the second cable rides on a side of the second pulley opposite from
a side of the second pulley on which the fourth cable rides.

US Pat. No. 9,173,547

RETROGRADE INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method comprising:
extending a portion of a surgical instrument through a guide tube, the portion of the surgical instrument comprising a body,
a U-turn mechanism, and an end effector, the U-turn mechanism including a first end and a second end, the U-turn mechanism
having a permanent fixed U-shape, the ends of the U-shape being the first and second ends of the U-turn mechanism, the body
of the surgical instrument being coupled to the first end of the U-turn mechanism, and the end effector being coupled to the
second end of the U-turn mechanism; and

transmitting an actuating force on a filar, the filar extending through the U-turn mechanism to the end effector, the U-turn
mechanism further comprising a first face, a second face, and cable guide tubes, the first face being adjacent the first end
of the U-turn mechanism, the second face being adjacent the second end of the U-turn mechanism, each of the cable guide tubes
having a first end and a second end, the first end of the cable guide tube being coupled to the first face, and the second
end of the cable guide tube being coupled to the second face, the filar extending through one of the cable guide tubes, and
the U-turn mechanism being dedicated to transmitting the actuating force through a retrograde angle to the end effector of
the surgical instrument.

US Pat. No. 10,053,580

METHOD OF SYNTHESIZING NEAR IR, CLOSED CHAIN SULFO-CYANINE DYES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of preparing a compound of Formula VI:
or salts thereof,the method comprising:forming a reaction mixture comprising a base, a solvent, a compound of Formula V:
anda compound of Formula III:

under an inert atmosphere and without exposure to visible light, to prepare the compound of Formula VI,whereinR1 and R1a are each independently C1-6 alkylene-SO3H;
R2, R2a, and R3 are each independently selected from the group consisting of H, C1-6 alkyl, and C1-6 alkylene-SO3H;
R3a is C1-6 alkylene-COOH;
each R4 and R4a is independently selected from the group consisting of H, C1-6 alkyl, —SO3H, and C1-6 alkylene-SO3H; and
each subscript n is an integer from 0 to 4.

US Pat. No. 9,808,597

SHAPE-TRANSFERRING CANNULA SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of rigidizing a plurality of serial links, wherein the plurality of serial links extends as a cantilever from
a supported proximal link to a distal link, the method comprising:
holding the distal link of the plurality of serial links in a substantially fixed position when the serial links are in a
non-rigidized state, wherein the plurality of serial links are coupled together to articulate relative to one another in the
non-rigidized state; and

rigidizing the serial links by moving all the serial links proximal of the distal link toward the substantially fixed position
distal link.

US Pat. No. 9,730,611

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONFIGURING COMPONENTS IN A MINIMALLY INVASIVE INSTRUMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

18. A method comprising:
providing a flexible catheter defining a central lumen having a first longitudinal axis and being formed from a first material,
the flexible catheter comprising a first sensor component, a second sensor component, and a first support structure formed
from a second material that is more rigid than the first material mounted on a proximal portion of the flexible catheter such
that a proximal surface of the support structure is coupled to a distal surface of the proximal portion of the flexible catheter,
the first support structure comprising a first alignment feature and a second alignment feature, wherein the first alignment
feature is offset from and extends parallel to a central longitudinal axis of the support structure and wherein the first
sensor component is in a fixed degree of freedom constraint relative to the second sensor component at the first support structure;

acquiring data from the first sensor component and the second sensor component; and
determining a pose of at least a portion of the flexible catheter based on the fixed degree of freedom constraint, and the
data from the first sensor component and the second sensor component.

US Pat. No. 9,597,153

POSITIONS FOR MULTIPLE SURGICAL MOUNTING PLATFORM ROTATION CLUTCH BUTTONS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A teleoperated surgical system comprising:
a support structure supporting a mounting platform, the support structure including a support linkage including a base and
a drive or brake system operatively coupled to the support linkage so as to limit inadvertent manual rotation of the mounting
platform relative to the support structure base;

a first manipulator and a second manipulator extending from and supported by the mounting platform, the first manipulator
and the second manipulator coupled to the mounting platform via a first set-up linkage and a second set-up linkage, respectively;

a first actuatable input and a second actuatable input, each configured for user actuation of the drive or brake system of
the support structure to selectively halt a servoing or a braking by the drive or brake system that limits the inadvertent
manual rotation of the mounting platform relative to the support structure base to allow for manual rotation of the mounting
platform by a user, the first actuatable input and second actuatable input positioned on the first set-up linkage and second
set-up linkage, respectively.

US Pat. No. 9,492,235

MANIPULATOR ARM-TO-PATIENT COLLISION AVOIDANCE USING A NULL-SPACE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. In a robotic system comprising a base and a manipulator arm, the manipulator arm comprising a proximal portion coupled
to the base, a movable distal portion, and a plurality of joints between the base and the distal portion, and the plurality
of joints together having sufficient degrees of freedom to allow a range of different joint states of the plurality of joints
for a given state of the distal portion, a method comprising:
calculating a distal portion displacing movement of the plurality of joints to effect a desired distal portion movement for
a desired state of the distal portion within a surgical work site in response to a manipulation command received from a user
input, the calculating of the distal portion displacing movement including calculating joint movement within a null-perpendicular-space
of a Jacobian, and the null-perpendicular-space being orthogonal to a null-space of the Jacobian;

calculating an avoidance movement of the plurality of joints within the null-space of the Jacobian to provide a desired clearance
between the manipulator arm and a patient tissue surface; and

driving the plurality of joints according to the distal portion displacing movement and the avoidance movement to provide
the desired clearance between the manipulator arm and a patient tissue surface and to maintain the desired state of the distal
portion.

US Pat. No. 9,408,668

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH CONTROL FOR DETECTED FAULT CONDITION

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical system comprising:
a surgical instrument comprising:
a shaft having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion,
an end effector coupled to the distal end portion of the shaft, the end effector comprising an end effector component and
opposing jaw members having a length extending in a distal direction from the shaft, wherein the end effector component is
configured to translate relative to the opposing jaw members and along a lengthwise direction of the opposing jaw members
between a first position and a second position; and

a controller in signal communication with the surgical instrument, wherein the controller is configured to:
receive a first signal indicating that the end effector component is positioned between the first position and the second
position,

receive a second signal indicating that the end effector component is in one of the first position or the second position,
and

when the second signal is not received within a predetermined delayed response time period after the controller receives the
first signal, transmit a control signal to automatically control operation of the end effector component.

US Pat. No. 9,339,347

OPTIC FIBER CONNECTION FOR A FORCE SENSING INSTRUMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A system comprising:
a surgical instrument comprising
a housing;
a shaft operably coupled to the housing;
a plurality of fiber optic strain gauges coupled to the shaft;
an optic splitter operably coupled to the plurality of fiber optic stain gauges; and
a fiber optic connector operably coupled to the optic splitter, the fiber optic connector being mounted in the housing.

US Pat. No. 9,119,652

MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM WITH SLIDING MODE CONTROL

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method implemented in a joint controller that uses sliding mode control for controlling movement of a joint in a medical
system in response to user manipulation of a master input device, the method comprising:
computing a distance to a sliding mode surface using the following equation:
?=?·(QC?QL)+(VC?VL)2,

wherein ? represents the distance, ? is a parameter value, (QC?QL) is a position error, and (VC?VL) is a velocity error, which
are associated with commanded movement of the joint by the master input device;

computing a sliding mode control action based at least in part on the distance; and
causing the joint to be moved at least partially in response to the sliding mode control action.

US Pat. No. 9,841,269

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR COMPENSATING FOR A TIME-VARYING DISTURBANCE IN INTERFEROMETRIC SENSING SYSTEMS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An optical interrogation system for measuring a parameter of a sensing light guide subjected to a time-varying disturbance,
comprising:
an optical interferometric interrogator;
optical detection circuitry, coupled to the optical interferometric interrogator, for detecting optical interferometric measurement
signals for a length of the sensing light guide, where the sensing light guide includes a series of segments at corresponding
locations along the length of the sensing light guide; and

data processing circuitry configured to:
receive interferometric measurement signals from the optical detection circuitry;
generate an interferometric measurement data set including interferometric measurement segment data corresponding to the series
of segments along the length of the sensing light guide;

transform the interferometric measurement segment data at the corresponding locations of the series of segments along the
sensing light guide into a spectral domain;

compare the transformed interferometric measurement segment data to baseline interferometric measurement data to identify
a corresponding time varying signal by: producing combined segments by combining multiple transformed data segments with corresponding
reference spectral data segments, determining a phase response based on the combined segments, and determining the time varying
signal based on the phase response, wherein the baseline interferometric measurement data is determined without the sensing
light guide being subjected to the time-varying disturbance;

determine a compensating signal from the time varying signal; and
use the compensating signal to compensate at least some portion of the interferometric measurement data set for the time varying
disturbance to enhance the measurement of the parameter.

US Pat. No. 9,500,548

ARM WITH A COMBINED SHAPE AND FORCE SENSOR

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An apparatus comprising:
an arm including a flexible portion;
an actuation mechanism that acts to bend and straighten the flexible portion of the arm;
a sensor apparatus that generates bend information about at least one bend in the flexible portion; and
an electronic data processor, wherein the electronic data processor generates (i) external force information about at least
one of a magnitude or a direction of an external force applied to the arm, or (ii) both the external force information and
internal force information about a bending force applied to the arm by the actuation mechanism from (a) the generated bend
information and (b) information representing at least one mechanical property of the flexible portion, and wherein the electronic
data processor outputs at least one of the generated external or internal force information.

US Pat. No. 9,339,343

USER INTERFACE METHODS FOR ALTERNATE TOOL MODES FOR ROBOTIC SURGICAL TOOLS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for a robotic surgical system including a master control console and one or more robotic surgical tools, the method
comprising:
sensing for a first mode selection signal of the master control console to enter a lock sensing mode;
in the lock sensing mode, sensing for a first hard stop in a first squeezing together of a pair of master grips of a touch
sensitive handle, to enter a lock mode for a robotic surgical tool;

in the lock mode, sensing for a second hard stop in a second squeezing together of the pair of master grips of the touch sensitive
handle, to exit the lock mode for the robotic surgical tool; and

in the lock sensing mode, sensing for a second mode selection signal of the master control console to exit the lock sensing
mode.

US Pat. No. 9,241,769

ROBOTIC SURGERY SYSTEM INCLUDING POSITION SENSORS USING FIBER BRAGG GRATINGS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method comprising:
determining, in a coordinate system referenced to a patient, a location of a camera carried on a minimally invasive surgical
instrument based on information from an optical fiber sensor in an optical fiber in the minimally invasive surgical instrument,
wherein the camera has a first point of view based on a position and an orientation of the camera; and

displaying, relative to the coordinate system referenced to the patient, a first image of the patient from the camera and
a second image of the patient from a source different from the camera, wherein the first image is from the first point of
view and the second image is from the first point of view and wherein the first image and second image are displayed concurrently
on a common display device.

US Pat. No. 9,198,729

ACTUATION CABLE HAVING MULTIPLE FRICTION CHARACTERISTICS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical device comprising:
a sheath;
a first flexible tendon extending through the sheath, wherein a first friction exists between the sheath and the first flexible
tendon; and

a second flexible tendon engaged with a drive mechanism such that a second friction exists between the second flexible tendon
and a surface of the drive mechanism, wherein the second friction is greater than the first friction, and wherein a first
end of the second flexible tendon is operatively coupled to a first end of the first flexible tendon along a common lengthwise
axis defined through the first and second flexible tendons.

US Pat. No. 9,192,448

CLEANING OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT FORCE SENSOR

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of cleaning a force sensing surgical instrument, the method comprising:
flowing a cleaning liquid through a flush manifold at a distal portion of an instrument shaft;
directing the liquid along passages coupled to the flush manifold toward a distal portion of a force transducer;
collecting the liquid from the passages at a plenum; and
redirecting the liquid back toward a proximal portion of the shaft along a plurality of linkages to clean the plurality of
linkages.

US Pat. No. 9,192,287

TISSUE VISUALIZATION DEVICE AND METHOD VARIATIONS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A tissue treatment system, comprising:
a catheter having a flexible length and at least one lumen therethrough;
a hood projecting distally from the catheter and having a first low-profile configuration and a second expanded configuration
defining an open area therein, the hood including a contact portion extending circumferentially about a distal end of the
hood, wherein the contact portion is configured to contact a tissue region to be visualized and fluidly isolate the open area;
and

a plurality of biasing suspension elements placed circumferentially around an external side of the contact portion, the plurality
of biasing suspension elements each including a first portion attached to the contact portion and a second portion proximal
of the first portion separated and curved away from the contact portion and a third portion proximal of the second portion
attached to the contact portion such that the biasing suspension elements are configured to compress tissue between the first
portion and the third portion.

US Pat. No. 9,084,623

CONTROLLER ASSISTED RECONFIGURATION OF AN ARTICULATED INSTRUMENT DURING MOVEMENT INTO AND OUT OF AN ENTRY GUIDE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical robotic system comprising:
an entry guide;
an articulated instrument having a distal tip extending out of the entry guide; and
a processor;
the medical robotic system being programmed such that:
when the medical robotic system is operating in a retraction mode and in response to a user-commanded translational movement
of the articulated instrument in a retraction direction into the entry guide, the processor automatically commands one or
more rotational joints of the articulated instrument to be rotated from a deployed state, in which the articulated instrument
is not fully retractable into the entry guide, to an entry state of the one or more rotational joints, in which the articulated
instrument is fully retractable into the entry guide; and

when the medical robotic system is operating in a surgical mode and in response to a user-commanded input to surgically manipulate
the articulated instrument, the processor commands one or more of the rotational joints of the articulated instrument to position
the distal tip of the articulated instrument to perform a surgical operation.

US Pat. No. 9,078,684

METHODS FOR TWO-PIECE END-EFFECTORS OF ROBOTIC SURGICAL TOOLS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method of assembly of a robotic surgical instrument, the method comprising:
keying a first working element concentric with a first drive element to form a first end effector;
positioning a first washer into an opening of a clevis
positioning the first end effector in the opening of the clevis;
inserting a pivot pin into a first pin hole in the clevis, through pivot holes in the first washer, the first drive element
and the first working element, and into a second pin hole in the clevis to pivotally couple the first drive element and the
first working element together along a pivotal axis; and

coupling a first drive cable to the first end effector without swaging any material of the first end effector to avoid stress
corrosion.

US Pat. No. 10,070,931

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MAINTAINING A TOOL POSE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A computer-assisted medical device, the device comprising:an articulated arm comprising one or more first joints and one or more second joints;
a tool distal to the one or more first joints and the one or more second joints; and
a control unit coupled to the one or more first joints and the one or more second joints;
wherein, during movement of the one or more first joints, the control unit:
determines a reference coordinate frame for the tool;
determines a reference transform of an initial position and orientation of the tool in the reference coordinate frame prior to the movement of the one or more first joints;
determines an actual transform of a current position and orientation of the tool in the reference coordinate frame while the one or more first joints are being moved;
determines differences between the reference transform and the actual transform; and
maintains a position and orientation of the tool at the initial position and orientation in the reference coordinate frame by driving the one or more second joints based on the differences.

US Pat. No. 9,393,017

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR DETECTING STAPLE CARTRIDGE MISFIRE OR FAILURE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method of controlling a surgical stapler system, the method comprising:
monitoring a drive parameter of an actuator operatively coupled to transmit an actuation force to jaws of a surgical stapler
end effector, the jaws being configured to move toward one another over a clamping range of motion to perform a clamping procedure,
wherein the monitoring occurs while the actuator is transmitting the actuation force to move the jaws over at least part of
the clamping range of motion;

comparing the monitored drive parameter to a preset threshold value; and
controlling a continued transmission of the actuation force based on the comparison.

US Pat. No. 9,101,735

CATHETER CONTROL SYSTEMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A catheter control handle, comprising:
a housing having an elongate catheter extending therefrom;
a spherical ball pivot supported within the housing;
a steering ring which is shaped to circumferentially encircle a portion of the housing, the steering ring being supported
via one or more support members extending radially from the spherical ball pivot;

one or more pullwires attached to the steering ring whereby manipulation of the steering ring in a first direction urges a
distal steerable section of the catheter to articulate in a corresponding first direction;

one or more compression coils, wherein each of the compression coils surrounds a corresponding pullwire, couples to a proximal
end of the catheter, and extends to a transition manifold located distal to the spherical ball pivot; and

wherein the housing comprises a proximal handle portion extending therefrom, the proximal handle portion comprising a proximal
section control to bend a proximal steerable section located proximal to the distal steerable section;

wherein the proximal section control is further configured to bend the proximal steerable section in a single plane by rotating
the proximal section control around a longitudinal axis of the handle portion.

US Pat. No. 9,089,256

MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM PROVIDING AN AUXILIARY VIEW INCLUDING RANGE OF MOTION LIMITATIONS FOR ARTICULATABLE INSTRUMENTS EXTENDING OUT OF A DISTAL END OF AN ENTRY GUIDE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for providing a computer-generated view of at least a first articulatable instrument extending out of a distal
end of an entry guide, the first articulatable instrument having a most proximal joint and a most distal joint, the most distal
joint disposed beyond the distal end of the entry guide, the method comprising:
receiving information of states of the entry guide and the first articulatable instrument;
generating the computer-generated view to include a graphical representation of the most distal joint of the first articulatable
instrument and a graphical representation of a spatial boundary for the first articulatable instrument, the spatial boundary
being a function of a position of the most distal joint relative to the distal end of the entry guide, and the graphical representations
being positioned in the computer-generated view by using the received information and by using forward kinematics of the entry
guide and the first articulatable instrument; and

displaying the computer-generated view on a display screen.

US Pat. No. 9,503,713

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR STEREO GAZE TRACKING

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for stereo gaze tracking, the method comprising:
tracking, with a tracking system having a single-eye tracker, a gaze point of a first eye of a user on a first one of right
and left two-dimensional display screens of a stereo viewer, wherein the right and left two-dimensional display screens respectively
display information of right and left stereo images of a scene captured by a stereoscopic camera, wherein the right and left
two-dimensional display screens are visible to the user through right and left eyepieces, respectively; and

estimating, by a processor, a gaze point of a second eye of the user on a second one of the right and left two-dimensional
display screens by processing information, received from the tracking system, describing the tracked gaze point of the first
eye only and information of the right and left stereo images of the scene.

US Pat. No. 9,498,888

ARTICULATING INSTRUMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A hand-actuated apparatus for remote manipulation of an object comprising:
a) a proximal end having a user hand interface portion with at least a first finger slide and a second finger slide, each
finger slide being configured to removably secure one or more digits of a human hand for movement, whereby flexion of said
digits when secured to the finger slides is translated into independent translational movement of the finger slides, wherein
each of the finger slides includes:

a non-deformable elongated track structure,
a holder for removably securing the one or more digits of the human hand, the holder being slidable along the elongated track
structure to accommodate finger flexion and extension,

a slider member configured to move along a track in the track structure,
a pulley lever rotatable about a proximal end thereof, the proximal end being secured to the track structure,
a transmission rod extending between and coupled to the slider member and the distal end of the pulley lever, and
a base joint coupled to the track structure and configured to allow the first finger slide to pivot relative to the second
finger slide; and

b) a distal end having an effector portion having at least two effectors, each effector corresponding to one of the finger
slides, wherein translational movements of each holder relative to the corresponding track structure are translated into independent
bending movements of the corresponding effector, and wherein pivoting movements of the base joint of each finger slide cause
corresponding pivoting movements of the corresponding effector.

US Pat. No. 9,452,019

INSTRUMENT CARRIAGE ASSEMBLY FOR SURGICAL SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic assembly configured to support, insert, retract, and actuate a surgical instrument mounted to the robotic assembly,
the robotic assembly comprising:
an instrument holder base member;
a motor housing moveably mounted to the instrument holder base member;
a carriage drive mechanism operable to selectively translate the motor housing relative to the instrument holder base member
along an insertion axis of the surgical instrument;

a plurality of drive motors, each of the drive motors being mounted to the motor housing; and
a plurality of output drive couplings, each of the output drive couplings being drivingly coupled with a corresponding one
of the drive motors, each of the output drive couplings being configured to drivingly couple with a corresponding input drive
coupling of the surgical instrument;

wherein a first drive motor of the plurality of drive motors is elongated between a first end, and a second end, the first
drive motor includes a first magnetic flux shield at the first end and a second magnetic flux shield at the second end, and
the first magnetic flux shield is spatially separated from the second magnetic flux shield so that a portion of the first
drive motor unshielded from magnetic flux exists between the first magnetic flux shield and the second magnetic flux shield.

US Pat. No. 9,445,058

METHOD FOR VIDEO PROCESSING USING A BUFFER

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for processing video, comprising:
storing, at a video data buffer, an input video frame data, wherein the input video frame data comprises image frames recorded
at an image frame capture rate; and

outputting stored video frame data from the video data buffer at an output video frame rate by varying the output video frame
rate relative to a nominal output video frame rate, the varying being based on at least the amount of video frame data stored
at the video data buffer, the nominal output video frame rate being set to be substantially equal to the image frame capture
rate, wherein,

if the amount of video frame data stored at the video data buffer is lower than a threshold, then the outputting of the stored
video frame data comprises outputting the stored video frame data at an output video frame rate that is lower than the nominal
output video frame rate by a first predetermined rate difference, and

if the amount of video frame data stored at the video data buffer is higher than the threshold, then the outputting of the
stored video frame data comprises outputting the stored video frame data at an output video frame rate that is higher than
the nominal output video frame rate by a second predetermined rate difference.

US Pat. No. 9,402,689

CONTROL SYSTEM FOR REDUCING INTERNALLY GENERATED FRICTIONAL AND INERTIAL RESISTANCE TO MANUAL POSITIONING OF A SURGICAL MANIPULATOR

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for reducing internally generated frictional and inertial resistance when manually positioning a slave manipulator,
the method comprising:
controlling movement of the slave manipulator in response to input received from a master manipulator, by using a master/slave
control system when the master/slave control system is engaged; and

performing a following combination of actions when the master/slave control system is disengaged:
receiving sampled displacement measurements corresponding to movement of a joint of the slave manipulator;
generating a signal to compensate for at least one of: internally generated non-linear viscous friction, internally generated
Coulomb friction, and internally generated inertial resistance, by using the received sampled displacement measurements; and

driving a motor that actuates the joint by using the signal.

US Pat. No. 9,254,078

IMAGE CAPTURE UNIT IN A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a first image capture sensor comprising a first sensor surface;
a second image capture sensor comprising a second sensor surface,
wherein the first sensor surface is in a first plane,
wherein the second sensor surface is in a second plane, and
wherein the first and second planes are substantially parallel and are separated by a known distance;
a prism assembly positioned to receive light, the prism assembly including a beam splitter and a second surface, the beam
splitter comprising a first surface configured to reflect a first portion of the received light to the second surface and
configured to pass a second portion of the received light, and the second surface being configured to reflect, in a first
direction, the first portion of the received light to the first sensor surface; and

a reflective unit positioned to receive the second portion of the received light and to direct, in the first direction, the
second portion of the received light to the second image capture sensor.

US Pat. No. 9,134,150

TARGETS, FIXTURES, AND WORKFLOWS FOR CALIBRATING AN ENDOSCOPIC CAMERA

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An endoscope calibration fixture, the fixture comprising:
a first portion adapted to receive an endoscope; and
a second portion adapted to receive a calibration target;
wherein the first and second portions are rotatably coupled to each other, wherein the endoscope is positioned to capture
an image of the calibration target when the endoscope is received by the first portion and the calibration target is received
by the second portion, and wherein the image of the calibration target rotates in an image plane of the endoscope as one of
the first and second portions rotates relative to the other one.

US Pat. No. 9,060,678

MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGICAL SYSTEM

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical apparatus comprising:
a robotic manipulator arm comprising a distal end;
a platform mounted at the distal end of the robotic manipulator arm;
a first actuator assembly mounted on the platform, the first actuator assembly comprising a plurality of telemanipulation
actuators, the plurality of telemanipulation actuators comprising one or more motors;

a guide tube comprising a distal end;
a surgical instrument comprising a transmission mechanism and a distal portion, part of the surgical instrument being inserted
through the guide tube so that the distal portion of the surgical instrument is beyond the distal end of the guide tube, the
surgical instrument being removably mounted on the first actuator assembly, the transmission mechanism being configured to
mate with the plurality of telemanipulation actuators and to transmit actuation forces from the plurality of telemanipulation
actuators to the distal portion of the surgical instrument to move the distal portion of the surgical instrument with at least
five of six Cartesian degrees of freedom independently of movement of the guide tube;

a stereoscopic imaging system comprising an image capture component, wherein the stereoscopic imaging system extends through
the guide tube so that the image capture component is beyond the distal end of the guide tube; and

a second actuator assembly mounted on the platform, the second actuator assembly comprising a second plurality of telemanipulation
actuators, wherein when the second plurality of telemanipulation actuators is mated with the stereoscopic imaging system,
the second plurality of telemanipulation actuators moves the image capture component with two or more Cartesian degrees of
freedom;

wherein the two or more Cartesian degrees of freedom of the image capture component are independent of the degrees of freedom
of the guide tube.

US Pat. No. 9,492,927

APPLICATION OF FORCE FEEDBACK ON AN INPUT DEVICE TO URGE ITS OPERATOR TO COMMAND AN ARTICULATED INSTRUMENT TO A PREFERRED POSE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for urging operator manipulation of an input device to command an articulated instrument to a preferred pose at
a work site, the method comprising:
generating a commanded pose of the articulated instrument in response to operator manipulation of an input device;
receiving information of a first static pose for the articulated instrument, the first static pose predefined by at least
one of an instrument type of the articulated instrument and a current operating mode of the articulated instrument;

generating a first preferred pose by using a dynamically changed version of the first static pose, the dynamically changed
version of the first static pose generated by automatically changing the first static pose according to information of one
or more other articulated instruments disposed at the work site;

generating first force commands for a plurality of degrees of freedom of the input device so as to increase as a difference
between the first preferred pose and the commanded pose increases; and

applying the first force commands to the plurality of degrees of freedom of the input device by phasing in their application
according to a first activation signal that increases in magnitude over a transition period.

US Pat. No. 9,446,177

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH ROBOTIC AND MANUAL ACTUATION FEATURES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical instrument, comprising:
a mechanical component that includes a housing in which is mounted at least one valve having a valve shaft, the mechanical
component having an interface base configured to mount to a robot arm, the mechanical component being configured to control
the flow of one or more fluids into or out of a surgical site in response to either a robot actuation or a manual actuation
of the at least one valve, the mechanical component further including:

a receiving member structurally coupled to the valve shaft and configured to releasably couple to a driver to receive the
robotic actuation from the driver, the receiving member configured to be remotely controlled by a surgeon, and

a manual actuation component structurally coupled to the valve shaft and extending from the housing, the manual actuation
component being configured to receive the manual actuation to adjust a state of the valve.

US Pat. No. 9,439,732

INSTRUMENT INTERFACE OF A ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An instrument interface of a telesurgical manipulator, comprising:
an instrument input including
an elongated input bar having a length dimension greater than a width dimension, the elongated input bar adapted to transfer
an axial load and torque to a sterile adaptor configured to operably couple an instrument;

a spring member defining a load axis extending therethrough and adapted to provide the axial load to the elongated input bar
along the load axis, wherein the load axis of the spring member is oriented orthogonally to the length dimension of the elongated
input bar;

an output pulley adapted to provide the torque to the input bar;
a shaft, extending through the spring member, the shaft being rigidly coupled to the elongated input bar and movably coupled
to the output pulley; and

a slide unit coupled between the shaft and the output pulley, the slide unit adapted to transfer the torque from the output
pulley to the shaft and adapted to translate axially along the shaft.

US Pat. No. 9,417,621

CONTROL OF MEDICAL ROBOTIC SYSTEM MANIPULATOR ABOUT KINEMATIC SINGULARITIES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method for controlling a manipulator configured to move a medical device in first, second, and third rotational degrees
of freedom in which the medical device is respectively rotatable about first, second, and third axes at a pivot point, and
for resolving a control ambiguity caused by the first and third axes coinciding, the method comprising:
determining whether a commanded state of the medical device is within an allowed direction defined by a plane of rotation
of the second rotational degree of freedom of the manipulator,

if the commanded state is determined to be in the allowed direction, then commanding the manipulator to move the medical device
to the commanded state by using the second rotational degree of freedom of the manipulator, and

if the commanded state is determined not to be in the allowed direction, then commanding the manipulator to move the medical
device to the commanded state by first changing the allowed direction using the third rotational degree of freedom so that
the commanded state is within the allowed direction and then using the second rotational degree of freedom of the manipulator.

US Pat. No. 9,295,523

LOW FRICTION CANNULA SEALS FOR MINIMALLY INVASIVE ROBOTIC SURGERY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A cannula seal, comprising:
a base portion that engages with a cannula, the base portion including an inner wall defining an interior space sized and
shaped to receive an instrument shaft;

a seal portion coupled with the base portion, the seal portion including at least a first lip and a second lip, the first
lip extending inwardly and distally from the inner wall of the base portion to a first lip edge in the interior space, and
the second lip extending inwardly and proximally from the inner wall of the base portion to a second lip edge in the interior
space, the first lip edge and second lip edge being separated by a gap

a fluid channel extending through the base portion to a fluid channel exit in the inner wall of the base portion between the
first lip and the second lip;

the first lip and second lip being sized and shaped to slidably seal against an outer surface of the instrument shaft inserted
into the interior space.

US Pat. No. 9,216,061

MEDICAL DEVICE WITH ORIENTABLE TIP FOR ROBOTICALLY DIRECTED LASER CUTTING AND BIOMATERIAL APPLICATION

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for using a medical device in a medical system, the medical device having a wrist joint to orient a distal tip
of the medical device, the method comprising:
controllably actuating the wrist joint to manipulate a tip of the medical device so as to point towards a target tissue and
activating a laser beam through an optical fiber extending through the medical device to a distal end of the tip so as to
sever a portion of the target tissue; and

controllably actuating the wrist joint to manipulate the tip of the medical device so as to point towards a non-severed portion
of the target tissue and providing first and second biomaterials through separate lumens of a catheter extending through the
medical device to the distal end of the tip so as to apply a mixture of the first and second biomaterials to the non-severed
portion of the target tissue.

US Pat. No. 9,144,456

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT CONTROL

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A computer-controlled surgical system, comprising:
a surgical instrument having a working end, the working end having a movable mechanical component, movement of the mechanical
component performing a clamping function and a cutting function by the working end; and

a computer control system operably coupled to the surgical instrument and to first and second input devices,
wherein, in response to a first command received from the first input device, the computer control system controls movement
of the mechanical component to perform the clamping function, and

wherein, in response to a second command received from the second input device, the computer control system controls movement
of the mechanical component to perform the cutting function.

US Pat. No. 9,095,317

FLEXIBLE WRIST FOR SURGICAL TOOL

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a plurality of flexible axial members connected to each other, wherein each axial member forms a longitudinal segment of a
tube, and wherein the axial members are longitudinally slidable relative to each other, the plurality of flexible axial members
comprising a first member and a second member contacting each other, each of the plurality of axial members comprising a proximal
end and a distal end; and

an actuation mechanism coupled to the proximal ends of the plurality of axial members, the actuation mechanism configured
to longitudinally slide the first member relative to the second member to change a radius of curvature of the first member
relative to a radius of curvature of the second member;

wherein changing the radius of curvature of the first member relative to the radius of curvature of the second member causes
the tube to bend in pitch and yaw.

US Pat. No. 9,084,624

ROBOTIC SURGERY SYSTEM INCLUDING POSITION SENSORS USING FIBER BRAGG GRATINGS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a robotic manipulator; and
a surgical instrument mounted on the robotic manipulator,
a surgical instrument comprising:
an elongate arm having a distal end, a proximal end, and a joint region disposed between the distal and proximal ends, and
an optical fiber having an optical fiber bend sensor positioned in the joint region of the elongate arm; and
a control system comprising:
a detection system, wherein the detection system is coupled to receive light reflected by or transmitted through the optical
fiber bend sensor, and wherein the detection system is configured to determine information characterizing a state of the joint
region of the elongate arm based on the received light; and

a servo controller coupled to bend the joint region, the servo controller comprising a multiple loop feedback loop including
a closed feedback loop as one of the multiple loops, wherein the servo controller is coupled to receive the joint region state
information from the detection system, and wherein the servo controller is configured to use the received joint region state
information as real time feedback to the closed feedback loop to control bending of the joint region.

US Pat. No. 9,572,481

MEDICAL SYSTEM WITH MULTIPLE OPERATING MODES FOR STEERING A MEDICAL INSTRUMENT THROUGH LINKED BODY PASSAGES

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A medical system comprising:
a steerable medical instrument defining a central axis therethrough, the steerable medical instrument comprising a steerable
tip at a distal end thereof;

at least one actuator; and
control means for:
commanding the at least one actuator to actively steer the medical instrument according to a programmed navigation path according
to an insertion control mode as the medical instrument moves in an insertion direction along the central axis through an anatomic
passageway;

transitioning from the insertion control mode to a manual override control mode in response to movement of an operator input
device that is in contradiction to the programmed navigation path; and

while in the manual override control mode, displaying on a display screen a graphical indication of a steering direction corresponding
to the programmed navigation path.

US Pat. No. 9,517,326

LINK SYSTEMS AND ARTICULATION MECHANISMS FOR REMOTE MANIPULATION OF SURGICAL OR DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

11. An articulating medical tool comprising:
a proximal link system including a pair of proximal articulating links;
a distal link system including a pair of distal articulating links;
a first set of actuating elements coupled to a first one of the pair of proximal articulating links and to a first one of
the pair of distal articulating links;

a second set of actuating elements coupled to a second one of the pair of proximal articulating links and to a second one
of the pair of distal articulating links;

a locking mechanism located proximal of the distal link system, the locking mechanism including a collar mechanism through
which the first and second sets of actuating elements extend and a locking member movable between first and second positions,

wherein the collar mechanism frictionally impedes motion of the actuating elements when the locking member is in the first
position and the collar mechanism allows translation of the actuating element when the locking member is in the second position.

US Pat. No. 9,468,501

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR USING THE NULL SPACE TO EMPHASIZE MANIPULATOR JOINT MOTION ANISOTROPICALLY

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A robotic method for a manipulator arm, the manipulator arm comprising a movable distal portion that includes an end effector,
a proximal portion coupled to a base, and a plurality of joints between the distal portion and the base, the plurality of
joints having sufficient degrees of freedom to allow a range of differing joint states for a given state of the end effector,
the method comprising:
receiving a manipulation command to move the end effector with a desired end effector movement;
determining an end effector displacing movement of the plurality of joints to effect the desired end effector movement by
calculating joint velocities for the plurality of joints to achieve the desired end effector movement;

determining a desired movement of a first set of joints of the plurality of joints by applying a weighting to the calculated
joint velocities of the plurality of joints to determine weighted joint velocities of the plurality of joints, the weighting
being within a joint space of the plurality of joints, the weighting corresponding to the desired movement of the first set
of joints of the plurality of joints, and the desired movement corresponding to a non-moving end effector; and

driving the plurality of joints according to the calculated joint velocities and the weighted joint velocities so as to effect
the desired end effector movement and the desired movement of the first set of joints.

US Pat. No. 9,119,654

STABILIZER FOR ROBOTIC BEATING-HEART SURGERY

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A tissue stabilizer comprising:
a shaft having a longitudinal axis extending along a length of the shaft;
first and second stabilizing bodies, wherein the first and second stabilizing bodies respectively have first and second tissue
engaging surfaces, wherein the first and second tissue engaging surfaces are adapted to concurrently engage and inhibit movement
of a target tissue in a same direction, surfaces, wherein the first and second stabilizing bodies respectively have first
and second tissue non-engaging surfaces that are respectively on opposite sides of the first and second stabilizing bodies
relative to the first and second tissue engaging surfaces, and wherein the first and second tissue engaging surfaces have
higher friction surfaces than the first and second tissue non-engaging surfaces;

a wrist assembly coupling the first and second stabilizing bodies to the shaft, the wrist assembly configured with a first
pivot defining a first axis about which the first and second stabilizing bodies are pivotable together and a second pivot
defining a second axis about which the first and second stabilizing bodies are pivotable individually, wherein the first and
second axes are constrained by construction of the wrist assembly to be substantially orthogonal; and

first and second grips operatively coupled through the shaft respectively to the first and second stabilizing bodies for individually
pivoting the first and second stabilizing bodies about the second axis.

US Pat. No. 9,085,085

ARTICULATING MECHANISMS WITH ACTUATABLE ELEMENTS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A medical instrument comprising:
a distal articulation mechanism including a plurality of distal segments movable relative to each other;
an actuatable element coupled to the distal articulation mechanism;
a proximal articulation mechanism including a plurality of proximal segments, each proximal segment forming a pair with a
corresponding distal segment from the plurality of distal segments;

a user interface coupled to the proximal articulation mechanism, wherein the user interface manipulates the actuatable element;
and

multiple sets of cables, each set connecting the proximal segment and the corresponding distal segment of one of the pairs
and terminating at the segments of the pair, such that movement of the proximal segment causes corresponding relative movement
of the corresponding distal segment of the pair.

US Pat. No. 9,055,865

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MEASURING INSERTED LENGTH OF A MEDICAL DEVICE USING INTERNAL REFERENCED SENSORS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

15. An apparatus comprising:
a steerable medical device comprising a plurality of articulatable segments and a plurality of position sensors,
each articulatable segment of the plurality of articulatable segments including a serial combination of three or more links,
each link in the three or more links being coupled to another link in the three or more links by a joint,

a first position sensor of said plurality of position sensors being mounted on a distal end of a distal articulatable segment
of said plurality of articulatable segments,

a second position sensor of said plurality of position sensors being mounted on a proximal end of a proximal articulatable
segment of said plurality of articulatable segments, and

a different position sensor of said plurality of position sensors being mounted between each of said plurality of articulatable
segments so that the each articulatable segment of said plurality of articulatable segments is bounded by a different pair
of position sensors of said plurality of position sensors;

a controller, coupled to said steerable medical device, comprising:
a processor, coupled to said steerable medical device, configured to receive position data for said plurality of sensors,
and configured to receive data defining a foundation point; and

a steerable medical device controller coupled to said steerable medical device,
wherein the steerable medical device controller is configured to configure said plurality of articulatable segments,
wherein said processor is configured to analyze said position data with reference to said foundation point to determine a
number of said plurality of articulatable segments having an active state and a number of said plurality of articulatable
segments having an active state and an articulating state,

wherein an articulating segment of said plurality of articulatable segments is counted by the processor as having an active
state if the articulating segment is completely or partially inserted into a patient past the foundation point,

wherein an articulating segment of said plurality of articulatable segments is counted by the processor as having an active
state and an articulating state if more than a predetermined percentage of the articulating segment is inserted into the patient
past the foundation point, and

wherein said processor is configured to output a command to said steerable medical device controller to configure said steerable
medical device to have said number of said plurality of articulatable segments having said active state and to have said number
of said plurality of articulatable segments having said active state and said articulating state.

US Pat. No. 9,623,902

SURGICAL PATIENT SIDE CART WITH STEERING INTERFACE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A patient side cart for a teleoperated surgical system, comprising:
at least one manipulator portion for holding a surgical instrument; and
a steering interface, the steering interface comprising:
a core;
a shell covering at least a portion of the core, the shell being configured to provide a grasping surface of the steering
interface; and

one or more sensor assemblies housed in the shell and positioned to sense turning, fore, and aft forces exerted on the grasping
surface of the steering interface, the or each sensor assembly

being in signal communication with a drive control system of the patient side cart.

US Pat. No. 9,606,021

METHODS AND APPARATUS SEGMENTED CALIBRATION OF A SENSING OPTICAL FIBER

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method comprising the steps of:
a—placing an optical fiber into an initial configuration;
b—determining an initial optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) data set including phase information for the optical
fiber in the initial configuration;

c—placing a first segment of the optical fiber into a predetermined configuration;
d—determining a first segment OFDR data set including phase information for the first segment of the optical fiber in the
predetermined configuration;

e—placing a next segment of the optical fiber into the predetermined configuration, the next segment overlapping a portion
of the first segment in the predetermined configuration;

f—determining a next segment OFDR data set including phase information for the next segment of the optical fiber in the predetermined
configuration;

g—matching the first segment OFDR data set with a corresponding first portion of the initial OFDR data set;
h—matching the next segment OFDR data set with a corresponding next portion of the initial OFDR data set;
i—comparing phase information from matching OFDR data sets for the first and next segments in the overlapping portion of the
first segment and the overlapping portion of the next segment to determine a phase difference for the overlapping portions;

j—using the phase difference to correct the next segment phase information;
k—extending the first segment phase information using the corrected next segment phase information to generate segment correction
data, where at least some of the corrected next segment phase information is for a portion of the next segment that does not
overlap the first segment; and

l—storing the segment correction data.

US Pat. No. 9,498,215

SURGICAL STAPLE CARTRIDGE WITH ENHANCED KNIFE CLEARANCE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of articulating a cutting blade in a surgical instrument, the method comprising:
supporting a knife member having a cutting blade within a housing of the instrument, the housing having an upper surface with
a plurality of staple openings, a proximal end, and a distal end;

moving the knife member distally from the proximal end of the housing to the distal end of the housing such that the knife
member is exposed and above the upper surface during moving the knife member distally, and wherein a plurality of staples
exit the upper surface during moving the knife member distally; and

placing the knife member into a predetermined parked position at the distal end of the housing by translating and rotating
the knife member such that a first portion of the knife member displaces below the upper surface and a second portion remains
displaced above the upper surface, the second portion being laterally faced by a garage that extends above the upper surface,
wherein there is lateral clearance in the predetermined parked position between the garage and the second portion.

US Pat. No. 9,492,233

APPARATUS WITH TWO-PIECE END-EFFECTORS FOR ROBOTIC SURGICAL TOOLS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a first drive cable configured to receive a first driving force;
a first crimp coupled to the first drive cable;
a first drive element having a first pair of prongs to receive opposite sides of the first crimp there-between, the first
crimp configured to transmit the first driving force to the first pair of prongs and the first drive element, the first drive
element further having a circular pivot hole and one or more first drive protrusions;

a first working element having one or more first drive holes to receive the one or more first drive protrusions to be removably
keyed to the first drive element, the first working element further having a circular pivot hole aligned with the circular
pivot hole of the first drive element;

a second drive cable configured to receive a second driving force;
a second crimp coupled to the second drive cable;
a second working element having a circular pivot hole aligned with the circular pivot holes of the first drive element and
the first working element, the second working element further having one or more second drive holes;

a second drive element having a circular pivot hole aligned with the circular pivot holes of the first drive element, the
first working element, and the second working element, the second drive element further having one or more second drive protrusions
coupled into the one or more second drive holes to be removably keyed to the second working element, the second drive element
further having a second pair of prongs to receive opposite sides of the second crimp there-between, the second crimp configured
to transmit the second driving force to the second pair of prongs and the second drive element;

a housing having an opening to receive portions of the first drive element, the first working element, the second working
element, and the second drive element, the housing further having a first hole and a second hole aligned with the circular
pivot holes of the first drive element, the first working element, the second working element, and the second drive element;
and

a pivot pin extending through the circular pivot holes of the first drive element, the first working element, the second working
element, and the second drive element to pivotally couple the first drive element, the first working element, the second working
element, and the second drive element together within the opening of the housing, the pivot pin having a first end coupled
to the housing in the first hole and a second end coupled to the housing in the second hole.

US Pat. No. 9,452,276

CATHETER WITH REMOVABLE VISION PROBE

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A medical system comprising:
a catheter having a main lumen and a mechanical system, wherein the mechanical system is connected to control a pose of a
steerable distal tip of the catheter, the pose including a position and orientation of the steerable distal tip of the catheter;

a sensor system coupled to the catheter to generate measurement signals associated with the catheter; and
a control system coupled to the sensor system to receive measurement signals and coupled to the mechanical system to control
the catheter, wherein the control system is operable to identify a desired working configuration of the distal tip while an
imaging device is deployed in the main lumen for obtaining images and providing the obtained images to an operator interface,
wherein the desired working configuration comprises a desired pose of the distal tip of the catheter, the desired pose comprising
a desired position and a desired orientation of the distal tip, and the control system is further operable to receive orientation
information about the distal tip from the measurement signals generated by the sensor system when the imaging device has been
removed from the catheter, and to hold or return the distal tip of the catheter to the desired working configuration when
the imaging device has been removed from the catheter and a medical probe is deployed in the main lumen.

US Pat. No. 9,413,976

AUTO EXPOSURE OF A CAMERA IN A SURGICAL ROBOT

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of adjusting an exposure for an imaging system, comprising:
determining a location for each of a plurality of instrument end effectors within a field-of-view of a camera by receiving
a physical location of the instrument end effector, a physical location of the camera, and mapping the physical location of
the instrument end effectors into the field-of-view determined by the physical location of the camera;

determining a region of interest in the field-of-view based on the location for each of the plurality of instrument end effectors
in the field-of-view of the camera;

gathering luminance statistics for the region of interest;
computing a measured luminance value from the luminance statistics; and
adjusting the exposure in response to a comparison of the measured luminance value with a target luminance value.

US Pat. No. 9,254,090

TISSUE CONTRAST IMAGING SYSTEMS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An imaging catheter, comprising:
a flexible catheter suitable for intravascular advancement;
an imager in proximity to a distal end of the catheter, wherein the imager is positioned to visualize a tissue region adjacent
to the distal end;

a sensor in proximity to the distal end wherein the sensor is configured to detect fluorescence from the tissue region;
an excitation source that is configured to activate the fluorescence from the tissue region and is electrically modulated
at a rate that is higher than a video frame rate of the imager; and

a hood attached to the distal end of the catheter and also defining an open area when the hood is in an expanded configuration,
wherein the open area is in fluid communication with a fluid lumen defined through the catheter and with a blood-filled environment
through an opening defined by the hood.

US Pat. No. 9,198,730

CONTROL SYSTEM FOR REDUCING INTERNALLY GENERATED FRICTIONAL AND INERTIAL RESISTANCE TO MANUAL POSITIONING OF A SURGICAL MANIPULATOR

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method for reducing internally generated frictional and inertial resistance when manually positioning a slave manipulator,
the method comprising:
controlling movement of the slave manipulator in response to input received from a master manipulator, by using a master/slave
control system when the master/slave control system is engaged; and

performing a following combination of actions when the master/slave control system is disengaged:
receiving sampled displacement measurements corresponding to movement of a joint of the slave manipulator;
generating a signal to compensate for internally generated non-linear viscous friction, compensate for internally generated
Coulomb friction, and compensate for internally generated inertial resistance, by using the received sampled displacement
measurements; and

driving a motor that actuates the joint by using the signal.

US Pat. No. 9,173,697

SURGICAL CANNULA FOR DISSIPATING ELECTRIC CHARGE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

12. An assembly comprising:
a cannula having a rigid tube section; and
a surgical instrument having a substantially rigid shaft;
the tube section comprising in series a proximal main portion, an intermediate tapered portion, a distal end flared portion,
and a distal end;

the main portion having a constant inner diameter along a length of the main portion;
the tapered portion having an inner diameter that decreases from the inner diameter of the main portion at a proximal end
of the tapered portion to a minimum inner diameter at a distal end of the tapered portion;

the flared portion having an inner diameter that increases along the length of the flared portion from the minimum inner diameter
of the tapered portion to the distal end of the tube section; and

the shaft of the surgical instrument extending through the tube section, the shaft of the surgical instrument contacting the
tube section only at the minimum inner diameter of the tapered portion.

US Pat. No. 10,045,823

SURGICAL TOOL WITH A TWO DEGREE OF FREEDOM WRIST

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of articulating elements of an end effector of a medical device, the end effector being coupled to a shaft of the medical device, the method comprising:pivotally supporting an intermediate member having an intermediate member aperture via a first pivot joint connecting the intermediate member to the shaft;
pivotally supporting the end effector via a second pivot joint connecting the end effector to the intermediate member;
articulating a first element of the end effector by articulating a first drive component that extends through a bore of the shaft from a proximal end of the shaft to a distal end of the shaft, through the intermediate member aperture, to the end effector; and
articulating a second element of the end effector by rotating a drive shaft that extends through the bore of the shaft, through an area adjacent to the intermediate member in a direction perpendicular to an extending direction of the drive shaft, to the end effector.

US Pat. No. 9,226,750

METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR DETECTING CLAMPING OR FIRING FAILURE

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. An apparatus comprising:
an end effector having a first jaw and a second jaw for clamping a material, and a staple for stapling the material clamped
between the first and second jaws;

a drive system operatively coupled to the end effector such that driving an actuator of the drive system actuates the end
effector for either a surgical or non-surgical method, wherein the drive system moves the first jaw toward the second jaw
so as to clamp the material between the jaws such that a clamping force is applied, and wherein the drive system is coupled
to the staple such that driving the actuator to staple produces a firing force so as to fire the staple into the material
clamped between the first and second jaws;

a sensor for monitoring a drive parameter of the drive system when the actuator induces the clamping force, the firing force,
or both the clamping force and the firing force;

a processor which continuously monitors the drive parameter of the drive system and compares the drive parameter to an acceptable
range of drive parameters as the drive system drives the jaws to clamp at a desired clamping force; and

a user interface having an indicator for indicating success or failure of clamping or firing, wherein the indicator is of
failure when the drive parameter during clamping is outside of an acceptable range of desired drive parameters for clamping
or when the drive parameter during firing is outside an acceptable range of desired drive parameters for firing.

US Pat. No. 9,216,243

ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEMS WITH FLUID FLOW CONTROL FOR IRRIGATION, ASPIRATION, AND BLOWING

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A robotic surgical system, comprising:
a control console adapted to generate control signals that vary a flow rate of fluid into or out of a surgical site over a
range of flow rates between zero and fully open flow;

a robotic arm in communication with the control console operable by a user and adapted to respond to the control signals in
order to manipulate at least one surgical instrument through a driver element; and

a surgical instrument coupled to the robotic arm, the surgical instrument including
a valve body including a valve opening, the valve opening having an inner cylindrical sidewall, wherein a plurality of openings
extend through the inner cylindrical sidewall,

a receiving element, the surgical instrument being coupled to the robotic arm in a way that removably couples the receiving
element to the driver element,

a robotically controlled valve including a shaft coupled to the receiving element and extending into the valve opening, the
shaft being rotatable in a fixed axial position about a central axis of the valve opening, wherein the shaft of the robotically
controlled valve includes a slanted flow channel extending through the shaft, the flow channel including a first port and
a second port that are coupleable to two openings of the plurality of openings, the first port being offset from the second
port along a longitudinal axis of the shaft, and wherein the shaft is adapted to rotate, in response to actuation of the receiving
element by the driver element in response to the control signals, to couple the two openings to the flow channel and to vary
the flow rate of a first fluid through the flow channel in a controlled manner over a range of flow rates between zero and
fully open flow, and

a hollow tube having a first end coupled to the valve body and a second end with an opening to direct the flow of the first
fluid into or out of the surgical site.

US Pat. No. 9,055,960

FLEXIBLE SURGICAL DEVICES

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical device comprising:
a tube comprising a wall having a plurality of slits oriented generally transverse to a longitudinal axis of the tube, wherein
each slit is defined by opposing surfaces, the tube comprising a proximal segment and a distal segment;

a plurality of force transmission elements coupled to the tube and actuatable to alter the distal segment of the tube between
a flexible state and a stiffened state;

a plurality of routing members, each routing member including an attachment surface coupled to a surface of the wall of the
tube, the routing members configured to receive and route the force transmission elements along a length of the tube while
permitting the length of the tube to flex and compress, wherein some of the routing members are coupled to the proximal segment
and some of the routing members are coupled to the distal segment; and

a decoupling structure that reduces force applied to the proximal segment when a force is applied to the distal segment by
the force transmission elements;

wherein in the flexible state of the tube, at least some of the opposing surfaces defining respective slits are separated
from one another;

wherein in the stiffened state of the tube, a force exerted on the force transmission elements causes the opposing surfaces
of each slit to contact one another so that the tube is straight and compressed along the longitudinal axis of the tube in
the stiffened state; and

wherein in the stiffened state of the tube, the force exerted on the force transmission elements causes first and second portions
of distal segment of the tube to rotate with respect to each other around the longitudinal axis of the tube.

US Pat. No. 9,050,119

CABLE TENSIONING IN A ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A cable tensioning apparatus of a robotic surgical manipulator, the cable tensioning apparatus comprising:
an arm;
a first pulley system comprising two idler pulleys along a same axis, the first pulley system being rotatably coupled to a
first end of the arm and positioned between second and third pulley systems in the robotic surgical manipulator; and

a base operably coupled to a second end of the arm, the base including a translation mechanism configured to limit movement
of the first pulley system along a linear path to control a tension of a closed loop cable extending between the second and
third pulley systems and movable along the first pulley system, wherein movement of the first pulley system along the linear
path moves the first pulley system toward one of the second or third pulley systems to tension the cable;

wherein the closed loop cable passes over each of the two idler pulleys such that movement of the closed loop cable causes
rotation of the two idler pulleys in opposite directions of each other.

US Pat. No. 9,434,077

ARTICULATING CATHETERS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. An articulating catheter system comprising:
a proximal user interface having a catheter handle and a proximal articulating mechanism extending from a proximal end of
the catheter handle, wherein the proximal articulating mechanism includes a plurality of serially arranged proximal links,
each proximal link including a plurality of circumferentially spaced channels that are centered equidistantly at a first distance
from a central axis of the proximal articulating mechanism and are spaced uniformly around the central axis of the proximal
articulating mechanism;

a distal articulating mechanism attached to a distal end of the catheter handle directly opposite the proximal end, wherein
the distal articulating mechanism includes a plurality of serially arranged distal links, each distal link including a plurality
of circumferentially spaced channels that are centered equidistantly at a second distance from a central axis of the distal
articulating mechanism and are spaced uniformly around the central axis of the distal articulating mechanism, and wherein
the distal articulating mechanism comprises a central lumen therethrough;

multiple pairs of links, each pair of links including a proximal link of the plurality of proximal links located in the proximal
articulating mechanism and a distal link of the plurality of distal links located in the distal articulating mechanism, each
proximal link being maintained in a spaced apart relationship relative to the distal link of the pair; and

multiple sets of cables, each set connecting and terminating at the proximal and distal links of a discrete pair of the multiple
pairs of links and continuously extending through corresponding channels of the plurality of circumferentially spaced channels
of each intervening distal link and proximal link between the links of the discrete pair and terminating at corresponding
channels of the links of the discrete pair, wherein movement of the proximal link of the discrete pair located in the proximal
articulating mechanism causes corresponding relative movement of the corresponding distal link of the discrete pair located
in the distal articulating mechanism, wherein each of the distal and proximal links in a first discrete pair and a second
discrete pair of the multiple pairs of links includes a first set of the circumferentially spaced channels occupied by cables
of the multiple sets of cables and a second set of the circumferentially spaced channels that remain unoccupied by cables
of the multiple sets of cables, wherein the channels of the first and second sets of circumferentially spaced channels are
identical in size and wherein a number of channels in the first set is larger than a number of channels in the second set
for the discrete pair and the number of channels in the second set is larger than a number of channels of the first set in
the second discrete pair.

US Pat. No. 9,314,307

GRIP FORCE CONTROL FOR ROBOTIC SURGICAL INSTRUMENT END EFFECTOR

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A method of controlling a gripping force of an end effector of a surgical instrument, the method comprising:
receiving a first input signal in response to grip input at a master grip input mechanism that controls slave gripping force
of the end effector;

in response to receiving the first input signal, increasing the slave gripping force of the end effector to a first threshold
level;

receiving a second input signal after receiving the first input signal, wherein the second input signal is received in response
to a procedure input at a master input device, the procedure input being other than grip input at the master grip input mechanism,
the procedure input causing actuation of the surgical instrument to perform a first surgical procedure; and

in response to receiving at least the second input signal while continuing to receive the first input signal, increasing the
slave gripping force of the end effector from the first threshold level to a second level higher than the first threshold
level during the first surgical procedure.

US Pat. No. 9,261,172

MULTI-PLY STRAP DRIVE TRAINS FOR SURGICAL ROBOTIC ARMS

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A surgical robotic arm comprising:
a linkage assembly including
first, second, third, and fourth links pivotally coupled in series together at second, third, and fourth joints, the third
link including a bend, and

at least one idler pulley pivotally coupled to the third link near the bend; and
a strap drive train including first and second sets of straps coupled to the linkage assembly to define a parallelogram with
a vertex at a remote center point and a side, between the fourth joint and the remote center point, pitched away from an insertion
axis through the remote center point, at least one strap of the second set of straps is directed through the third link by
the at least one idler pulley;

wherein as the linkage assembly is moved about a pitch axis, the strap drive train ensures the linkage assembly maintains
the vertex of the parallelogram at the remote center point.

US Pat. No. 10,033,308

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MOTOR TORQUE COMPENSATION

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A medical instrument system comprising:a motor; and
a control system comprising a processor and a memory, the memory comprising machine readable instructions that when executed by the processor, cause the control system to:
monitor a torque output of the motor;
determine an oscillation component of the torque output, the oscillation component being associated with a torque ripple;
receive an upper torque limit;
adjust the upper torque limit based on the oscillation component to create a localized compensated upper torque limit; and
output to a user interface, an indication of operation failure in response to a determination that the torque output exceeds the localized compensated upper torque limit.

US Pat. No. 9,572,626

ACTUATED CANNULA SEAL

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical system, comprising:
a controller;
an arm coupled to the controller;
a surgical instrument coupled to the arm and controlled by the controller, the surgical instrument including an instrument
shaft;

cannula, the instrument shaft being received through the cannula;
a cannula seal coupled to the cannula, the cannula seal including a base portion that engages with the cannula and a seal
portion coupled to the base portion, the seal portion being sized and shaped to slidably engage the instrument shaft; and

an actuator coupled to the cannula seal, the actuator being configured to induce continuous rotation of the seal portion relative
to the instrument shaft.

US Pat. No. 9,510,911

SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR MANAGING MULTIPLE NULL-SPACE OBJECTIVES AND SLI BEHAVIORS

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A tele-operation method for a manipulator arm, the manipulator arm including a movable distal surgical end effector, a
proximal portion coupled to a base, and a plurality of joints between the distal portion and the base, the plurality of joints
having sufficient degrees of freedom to allow a range of differing joint states for a given end effector state, the method
comprising:
calculating a first movement of a first set of joints of the plurality within a null-space of a Jacobian according to a first
objective and calculating a second movement of a second set of the plurality of joints within the null-space of the Jacobian
according to a second objective, the second objective being different from the first objective;

determining a first attribute associated with the first calculated movement according to the first objective and determining
a second attribute associated with the second calculated movement according to a second objective, the first and second attributes
characterizing a weighting or priority between the first objective and the second objective within the null-space of the Jacobian;

consolidating the first and second calculated movements in a combined movement of the plurality of joints within the null-space
of the Jacobian, based, in part, on their respective attributes according to a desired relationship or behavior between the
first and second objectives, the combined movement corresponding to the weighting or priority between the first objective
and the second objective within the null-space of the Jacobian; and

driving the plurality of joints to effect the combined movement of the plurality of joints within the null-space of the Jacobian.

US Pat. No. 9,333,045

METHOD AND MEANS FOR TRANSFERRING CONTROLLER MOTION FROM A ROBOTIC MANIPULATOR TO AN ATTACHED INSTRUMENT

INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERAT...

1. A coupler to transfer controller motion from a robotic manipulator to a surgical instrument, the coupler comprising:
a pin having a tip with a bearing surface; and
a plate having a driving surface that bears against a gimbal assembly included in the surgical instrument, the plate including
a pin receiving portion having a receiving surface supported on the bearing surface of the pin, the bearing surface having
a center that coincides with an intersection of two rotational axes of the gimbal assembly, the plate being rotated about
the center of the bearing surface.

US Pat. No. 9,211,058

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR FLUORESCENT IMAGING WITH BACKGROUND SURGICAL IMAGE COMPOSED OF SELECTIVE ILLUMINATION SPECTRA

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A method of generating an augmented image display in a surgical system comprising:
generating, by a controller, a first visible color component output, the first visible color component output being a first
acquired component image, and the first visible color component being a first visible color component of a plurality of visible
color components of white light;

generating, by the controller, a second visible color component output, the second visible color component output including
the first acquired component image;

including, by the controller, a second acquired component image in the second visible color component output so that the second
visible color component output is a combination of both the first acquired component image and the second acquired component
image, the second acquired component image representing fluorescence excited by illumination from a first fluorescence excitation
illumination source, and the second visible color component being a second visible color component of the plurality of visible
color components of white light;

generating, by the controller, a third visible color component output, the third visible color component output being the
first acquired component image, and the third visible color component being a third visible color component of the plurality
of visible color components of white light;

receiving, by a color display device, the first visible color component output on a first visible component input of the color
display device, the second visible color component output on a second visible component input of the color display device,
and the third visible color component output on a third visible component input of the display device; and

displaying, on a display screen of the color display device, a monochromatic image combined with the second acquired component
image, the second acquired component image being highlighted relative to the monochromatic image, the monochromatic image
combined with second acquired component image being a combination of the first, second, and third visible color component
outputs.

US Pat. No. 10,058,395

ACTIVE AND SEMI-ACTIVE DAMPING IN A TELESURGICAL SYSTEM

Intuitive Surgical Operat...

1. A surgical system comprising:a base;
a first link mechanically coupled to the base;
a second link mechanically coupled to the first link at a damper, the damper including a variable portion;
a surgical tool supported by the second link;
a sensor configured to detect a movement of at least one of the first link and the second link; and
a processor configured to:
adjust the variable portion of the damper using the movement detected by the sensor; and
command a movement of the surgical tool.