Korean competitor - Eterne
South Korea is well known for its tech savviness. The first da Vinci procedure happened in July 2005 in the Yonsei University Hospital, and since then they have bought over 36 systems.
They acquired the ROBODOC system from ISS in 2005-2006, and even beforehand, many of the clinical uses were coming from Korea. They also approved Mazor's Renaissance system in 2012.
The Korean copy of the da Vinci system is called Eterne, from Meere. It has similar features, RCM and so. The development started in 2007 under the name Rebo. The first animal trials were conducted in 2008, and human trials are scheduled for 2013.
Nevertheless, Korea is also home to other type of surgical robotic development, such as capsule robots and the Korea University of Technology also took part in the Plugfest event.
Source: Prof. Moon's talks
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