Pneumatics, a core technology of Riverfield’s R&D, has the disadvantage of not being able to generate a force greater than that of a human being. However, this is rather an advantage from the perspective of soft robotics.
Human joints and muscles can move softly, smoothly, and seamlessly, but this is difficult to reproduce with electrically driven gears.
The ability to remotely reproduce a natural “human-like movement” while collaboratively working with humans has a significant impact on the area of implementation.
In the case of delicate operations such as surgery, accurate reproduction of movements performed by human hands will always play a critical role.
We believe that pneumatic control, which excels in soft and delicate movements, is best suited to reproduce human movement.
The organs that forceps touch during surgery are extremely delicate and vital organs.
One of the most sensitive issues for surgeons when performing surgery is the force with which they “grasp,” “touch,” and “pull” on the organ.
The delicate movement is difficult with electrically driven gears, and even more difficult to control with equipment that cannot sense the force.
Riverfield’s insistence on preferring pneumatic control is simply because we want to minimize surgical risks while opening up greater possibilities for robotic assistance in surgery, which had been limited so far.
We have defied the conventional wisdom by introducing pneumatic control, which is believed to be unsuitable for robot drive, because the softness and delicacy provided by pneumatic control are essential in the medical field.
Riverfield’s core technology, “force feedback,” is one of the most important technologies for delicate force control.
Riverfield constantly seeks to achieve “robots considerate of humans.”
Collaborative work between humans and robots is difficult in a situation where there is a constant danger. We, therefore, believe it is important to identify such risks and pursue cleanliness.
In many cases, such as surgical procedures, multiple assistants and nurses must operate closely together in the same space, and injuries and accidents are absolutely unacceptable.
We implement risk management in accordance with ISO14971, an international standard for medical device risk management, and provide products with sufficiently reduced risk.