The da Vinci Robotic Surgical System was introduced in 1999 by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., which is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The company developed the da Vinci system using licenses on various technologies created earlier by other institutions. According to Intuitive, the device is intended for use in minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The predecessor prototype of the da Vinci system was developed in the late 1980s at the Stanford Research Institute. The work was funded by the U.S. Army, which wanted an advanced means of performing surgery remotely.
In 2000, the da Vinci system was approved by the federal Food And Drug Administration (FDA) for use in general laparoscopic surgeries. Later, the FDA approved the system for use in an array of other surgical procedures.
According to the company’s website, by September 2012, more than 2,400 da Vinci systems were present in nearly 2,000 hospitals throughout the world.
In a 2011 article that appeared in The Los Angeles Times, it was reported that use of the da Vinci Robotic System quadrupled during the period 2007 to 2011.