RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Medical device firm TransEnterix is now giving “vision” to its surgical robots.

The maker of surgical robots and medical instruments has filed a 510(k) submission with an Intelligent Surgical Unit, seeking FDA clearance for its new technology in abdominal robotic surgery.

TransEnterix CEO Anthony Fernando said this advance is an important first step towards enabling augmented intelligence, and said he believes it is  the first company to seek FDA clearance for this technology.

“Rather than simply passing a video sign to the surgeon, [the instrument] will initially have the ability to actually visualize the surgical field to guide movement and capture information,” Fernando said in a statement.

TransEnterix is focused on the commercialization of the Senhance® Surgical System, which digitizes laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery. The system allows for robotic precision, haptic feedback, surgeon camera control via eye sensing and improved ergonomics — and now increased control in visualization to recognize certain objects and locations in the surgical field.

The company also had an executive shakeup in recent months, with Fernando stepping into the top role five months ago. It also named Brett Farabaugh as its interim chief financial officer, replacing Joe Slattery who retired this past December.

Over 6 million applicable procedures are performed annually in the United States and the European Union.

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