CMU Spinoff Medrobotics Gets FDA Clearance For Surgical Robots


Medrobotics, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff company, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its Flex Robotic System, which is based on the research of CMU Robotics Institute Professor Howie Choset.

A flexible endoscopic system that enables surgeons to access and visualize hard-to-reach anatomical locations, the system extends the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to a broader population of patients, according to a statement by the university. Medrobotics initially has targeted the system for use in head and neck surgery, operating through the mouth.

Startup activity among the university’s faculty, students and alumni has led to the creation of more than 138 companies since 2009. Mr. Choset serves as the company’s acting chief technology officer and a partial owner. He developed the surgical robot in collaboration with Alon Wolf, then a post-doctoral researcher and now a faculty member at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Dr. Marco Zenati, then a professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, now at Harvard Medical School. The three co-founded Medrobotics as a Carnegie Mellon spinoff in 2005.

Medtronics is based in Raynham, Mass. It received European CE mark clearance in March 2014, which allowed for a limited commercial launch of the Flex Robotic System in select European markets.

[Image courtesy: Medtronics]

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