FlexDex specialise in making aids for surgeons performing Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). Their flagship device, pictured above, directly translates its operators hand movements into the movements of its articulating end.
Currently, hand-operated mechanical laparoscopy devices require extensive training to use because their movements are opposite to those of the surgeon’s hands. Despite these difficulties, the smaller incisions required for their use mean that patients typically recover faster and experience less pain.
The Intuitive Surgical Da Vinci robot, which costs $2 million, overcomes these problems by using a human interface to control robotic appendages that translate hand movements into corresponding articulations.
FlexDex, seen above being used to suture a cherry and performing suturing upside down with the aid of an endoscope, aims to offer a far cheaper alternative to the Da Vinci robot, allowing surgeons the much more intuitive experience of direct movement translation.
The device is held in one hand and provides remarkable function for its price tag. FlexDex is perhaps one of the best thought-out and potentially valuable of a range of human-machine combinations that are currently being developed. //