RALEIGH – Intuitive Surgical is closing its Durham site as of Dec. 31, according to a layoff notice filed with the state of North Carolina.

However, the company said it is encouraging employees to “relocated” to Atlanta where the company is creating am east coast hub for its operations.

Intuitive logo

“We have spent months encouraging all Durham employees to relocate to [Atlanta] and are still awaiting approximately 91 employees to advise us of their decision,” wrote Luis Prado, senior human resources manager, in the WARN layoff notice.

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is designed to “ensure advance notice in cases of qualified plant closings and mass layoffs,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Intuitive develops, manufactures, and markets robotic products designed to improve clinical outcomes of patients through minimally invasive surgery, most notably with the da Vinci Surgical System, notes Wikipedia in its entry about the company.