(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (io) Pub. No.: US 2005/0090809 Al
Cooper et al. (43) Pub. Date: Apr. 28,2005
(54) SURGICAL TOOL HAVING POSITIVELY POSITIONABLE TENDON-ACTUATED MULTI-DISK WRIST JOINT
(75) Inventors: Thomas G. Cooper, Menlo Park, CA (US); Daniel T. Wallace, Redwood City, CA (US); Stacey Chang, Sunnyvale, CA (US); S. Christopher Anderson, Northampton, MA (US); Dustin Williams, Mountain View, CA (US); Scott Manzo, Shelton, CT (US)
TOWNSEND AND TOWNSEND AND CREW,
TWO EMBARCADERO CENTER
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94111-3834 (US)
(73) Assignee: Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA (US)
(21) Appl. No.: 10/980,119
(22) Filed: Nov. 1, 2004
Related U.S. Application Data
(62) Division ol application No. 10/187,248, filed on Jun.
28, 2002, now Pat. No. 6,817,974.
(60) Provisional application No. 60/301,967, filed on Jun.
29, 2001. Provisional application No. 60/327,702, filed on Oct. 5, 2001.
The present invention is directed to a tool having a wrist mechanism that provides pitch and yaw rotation in such a way that the tool has no singularity in roll, pitch, and yaw. A positively positionable multi-disk wrist mechanism includes a plurality of disks or vertebrae stacked in series. Each vertebra is configured to rotate in pitch or in yaw with respect to each neighboring vertebra. Actuation cables are used to manipulate and control movement of the vertebrae. In specific embodiments, some of the cables are distal cables that extend from a proximal vertebra through one or more intermediate vertebrae to a distal vertebra, while the remaining cables are medial cables that extend from the proximal vertebra to one or more of the intermediate vertebrae. The cables are actuated by a pivoted plate cable actuator mechanism. In specific embodiments, the actuator mechanism includes a plurality of small radius holes or grooves for receiving the medial cables and a plurality of large radius holes or grooves for receiving the distal cables. The holes or grooves restrain the medial cables to a small radius of motion and the distal cables to a large radius of motion, so that the medial cables to the medial vertebra move only a fraction of the amount as the distal cables to the distal vertebra, so as to achieve precise control and manipulation of the vertebrae.