The KangDuo surgical robot: the surgeon control console (a), the patient cart (b), and the vision cart (c).

A new surgical robotic system is feasible, safe, and effective for treatment of early-stage prostate cancer, concludes an initial evaluation. The system, called the KangDuo Surgical Robot-01, offers high accuracy and surgical success with low complication rates and a high comfort level for the surgeon — and may provide a less-costly alternative to current surgical robots.

The researchers analyzed their experience using the KangDuo system to perform robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) in 16 men with localized prostate cancer. Robotically assisted surgery for prostate cancer using the groundbreaking da Vinci system has been available for two decades, with demonstrated advantages over conventional open or laparoscopic surgery.

The KangDuo robotic system incorporates several important features to optimize hand-eye coordination and allow for normal and adjustable neck posture. On ergonomic evaluation, the surgeon reported a “high level of comfort” using the robotic surgeon, with “acceptable” levels of mental and physical demand.

The initial experience revealed some minor technical issues. For example, the KangDuo system introduces a foot-operated clutch, which required to additional training time for surgeons who had been accustomed to the manual clutch of the da Vinci robotic system. Further refinements are planned, including a tactile feedback system and the ability to perform long-distance operations using 5G technology.