With TransEnterix’s deal to merge with Florida medical device developer SafeStitch Medical (OTC:SFES) finished, the company now turns its focus to its robotic surgical system, which CEO Todd Pope says is on track to be submitted to regulators in 2014.

The merger was important to the SurgiBot surgical system because it was accompanied by a $30.2 million private placement funded by investors from both SafeStitch and TransEnterix. Pope said the money will finance final development and testing of SurgiBot, TransEnterix’s minimally-invasive robotic surgical system.

If SurgiBot gains market clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, it would compete against Intuitive Surgical’s (NASDAQ:ISRG) da Vinci Surgical System, now in use in hospitals around the country and throughout the world. The da Vinci robot helped Intuitive top $2.1 billion in 2012 revenue.

It’s easy to look at TransEnterix as a “David” looking to tackle a “goliath” in Intuitive; Pope acknowledged that SurgiBot would target the same marketplace as the da Vinci. But he added that SurgiBot could play in a different market segment. Intuitive’s robots start at $1 million and go up depending on the robot’s configuration. While not tipping his hand on price, Pope said SurgiBot would be less expensive.

Pope added that most hospitals right now don’t have any kind of robotic surgical system because of the technology’s cost and the large amount of space required to house these systems. A surgeon using da Vinci operates the controls from a different part of the operating room or from another room altogether. SurgiBot, designed to operate at the side of the patient, takes up a much smaller footprint and would offer hospitals an alternative entry point into robotic surgical technology.

“We see it as a market expansion, not as a head-on competition,” Pope said.

SurgiBot brings robotic capabilities to the minimally invasive surgical platform that TransEnterix first commercialized as its SPIDER surgical system. Surgeons using SPIDER require only a small incision in the belly button to access the abdomen to perform a number of procedures. Because the patient has only one incision, scarring is minimized and patient recovery time is reduced.