The Raven II is helping the open-source community advance the state of the art in surgical robotics. In a joint venture between the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz, the National Science Foundation funded the development of seven identical Raven II surgical robots. Each system has a two-armed surgical robot, a guiding video camera, and a surgeon-interface system built on top of ROS.
These surgical robots are linked via the Internet so researchers can easily share new surgical robotics research and developments. Five Raven II robots are being given to major medical facilities at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nebraska, UC Berkeley, and UCLA.
According to Blake Hannaford at the University of Washington:
"These are the leading labs in the nation in the field of surgical robotics, and with everyone working on the same platform, we can more easily share new developments and innovations."