Icon Netzer Rotary encoders for medical applications

Medical Robotics Encoders

Master of The Surgical Robot


For some medical procedures, the human hand is not as ideal as surgical robots. In such procedures where the human hand is not considered stable enough with a scalpel, its mere size is not adequate, or where multi-joint/multi-articulation is required in order to access hard-to-reach places, surgical robots are becoming more and more prevalent. It is typical to find such surgical robots performing spine operations, delicate brain surgery, as well as interbody probes reaching the abdomen without a costly and dangerous full surgical operation.

In these surgical robots, the robot arm itself is considered the “Slave” part of the system, while the controller (operator’s stick) is considered the “Master” part. These “Master” controllers are actually sensitive, accurate, and dimensionally challenging servo systems that command the “Slave” part to mimic the Master Controller’s motion.

Netzer’s proven miniature DS-16 Electric Encoder™ is a reliable and high-precision encoder that provides excellent and repetitive performance and its miniature dimensions are specifically designed to be incorporated in the design of high-end surgical robots, allowing accurate and reliable measurement of the robotic arms’ exact position during the entire surgical procedure.

The DS line of encoders is immune to magnetic fields and resistant to “surgical energy” and provides a stable position measurement under the demanding environment of remote surgery, meeting the highest standards required from the surgical robots by the certification authorities.


  • Small size/diameter and low profile
  • High precision
  • Resistance to magnetic fields and “Surgical Energy”
  • Built-In Test (BIT) functionality

Rotary Encoder

  • Netzer DS-16 Absolute Position Electric Encoder™ was incorporated into the robotic Master controller with an accuracy of better than 0.02deg.
  • Compact form, low profile, lightweight, and hollow shaft: Allow easy integration into the robotic Master.
  • Frame-less and contact-less with a negligible weight introduce no extra inertia(load) to the robotic system, resulting in long-lasting operational life
  • Immunity to magnetic interference: This can be located very close to the frameless-motor magnets.
  • High resolution 16 bit and better than 0.02 deg accuracy for smooth rotation with high repeatability of no more than 1 count.
  • The DS series is Smart Sensors featuring special safety algorithms with real-time BIT (Built-In Test) over SSI or BiSS, zero position assignment, and more.

Do you want to know which absolute rotary encoder best suits your application? Contact our engineers for further information.

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