A surgical instrument for enhancing robotic surgery generally includes an elongate shaft with an ultrasound probe, an end effector at the distal end of the shaft, and a base at the proximal end of the shaft. The end effector includes an ultrasound probe tip and the surgical instrument is generally configured for convenient positioning of the probe tip within a surgical site by a robotic surgical system. Ultrasound energy delivered by the probe tip may be used to cut, cauterize, or achieve various other desired effects on tissue at a surgical site. In various embodiments, the end effector also includes a gripper, for gripping tissue in cooperation with the ultrasound probe tip. The base is generally configured to removably couple the surgical instrument to a robotic surgical system and to transmit forces from the surgical system to the end effector, through the elongate shaft. A method for enhancing robotic surgery generally includes coupling the surgical instrument to a robotic surgical system, positioning the probe tip in contact with tissue at a surgical site, and delivering ultrasound energy to the tissue.
1. A surgical instrument, for use with a robotic surgical system, the robotic surgical system providing master-slave telesurgery in response to input from a surgeon, the surgical instrument comprising:
an elongate shaft having a proximal end and a distal end, the elongate shaft including an ultrasound probe;
an end effector disposed at the distal end, the end effector including an ultrasound probe tip of the ultrasound probe; and
a base disposed at the proximal end for removably connecting the surgical instrument to the robotic surgical system;
wherein the elongate shaft is configured to rotate in relation to the base about an axis drawn from the proximal end to the distal end; and
wherein the base includes:
at least two shafts rotatably mounted to the base, each of the shafts having two ends, at least one of the ends of one of the shafts disposed to engage a corresponding interface member on the robotic surgical system;
at least two spools, each spool being mounted on one of the shafts;
at least one cable for connecting two of the spools; and
a rotating member coupled to the cable and to the elongate shaft, the rotating member being configured to rotate the elongate shaft in response to movements of the interface member, the at least two shafts, the at least two spools and the at least one cable.