As a national university startup company, we always focus on our public nature and the public benefit as we strive to contribute to the creation and development of new industries rooted in scientific technologies.
- As a start-up company from national universities, we will devote ourselves to R&D and D&D of medical devices based on advanced science and technology.
- We will strive to satisfy customer requirements and improve patient quality of life, and to contribute to the development of the medical device industry by addressing sincerely the challenges and needs of the medical field and by providing quickly and appropriately high-quality products and services based on technology.
- We will continue to improve the Quality management system in compliance with laws, regulations, standards, and other requirements.
Message from the Founder
The founder representative
We started on the research and development (R&D) of surgical robots in 2003. Surgical robots have been actively studied since the 1990s, with some robots having already been put to practical use during that time. It was difficult for us to start cutting-edge research on surgical robots. For instance, a surgeon at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, who had been attending our research meetings, informed us that while the performance of the surgical robot was admirable, the operation of the robot was completely reliant on visual information and lacked haptic perception. We felt that haptic feedback was necessary to improve the safety of the surgical robots.
Our specialty is on the research of fluid measurement and control. We have worked on the development of pneumatically-driven robots. Pneumatic drives are often thought as not suitable for precision control applications. However, we have the necessary technology to overcome this problem. The pneumatic drive system has many advantages such as soft activation and back-drivability being easily achieved, and the ability to realize a robotic arm that is both compact and lightweight. As we started our research, most of the commercialized robots at the time were driven by electronic motors. We reasoned that the application of pneumatic actuation to the surgical robot could provide the necessary haptic perception by using the back-drivability of the actuator. Recently, R&D of soft robots has been active, since they are suitable for working collaboratively with human workers. Therefore, we believe that our control technology for the pneumatic drive systems will become an absolute necessity in these changing times.
My belief in robotic design and control is that simple is best. I also keep in mind the importance of continuing our development persistently. I have worked on the development of pneumatically-driven surgical robots with Dr. Kotaro Tadano (co-founder), Dr. Daisuke Haraguchi (co-founder and now CEO of RIVERFIELD Inc.), our other members, and the students in my lab. In 2012, we applied to the Program for Creating Start-ups from Advanced Research and Technology (START Program), a program which is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). Our participation in this program was a major turning point for us. We founded RIVERFIELD Inc. in 2014 with support from the START Program.
In recent years, our country Japan has begun to face a super-aged society and the problems that accompany it, such as a rise in social security costs and a lack of surgeons. Medical devices and systems that improve QOL and assist surgeons have become increasingly important. While always keeping in mind our dreams and goals as a university-initiated venture firm, we will maintain our flexibility, so that we can contribute to our society through the development of surgical robots.
We appreciate your continued support as we move forward together.
The founder representative
Professor, School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Message from the CEO
Over 20 years have passed since the advent of surgery robots, and they are now widely available all over the world.
We started our research on surgical robots at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2003. We completed a trial product of the robots with a pneumatic system by successfully matching the needs and the seeds; realization of force feedback already demanded then and the automatic control techniques for air pressure the university lab possessed.
We established our company because we wanted to practicalize these research results in the actual society and medical setting. We are thankful that a lot of people supported us to start our business.
Although we have to face a difficulty and make compromise so often in commercializing it, we are persistently proceeding with the development. We will keep challenging new technologies as a university-initiated venture while sticking to our principle of steadiness and sincerity as a manufacturer of medical equipment to contribute to the society. We look forward to receiving your continued support and guidance.
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Associate professor