Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) using an endoscope, or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5 – 1.5cm) as opposed to the larger incisions needed with classical surgery. Today, MIS is widely used e.g. with arthroscopy, treating abnormalities of the nose and sinuses as well as laparoscopic surgery. There are a number of advantages to the patient with minimally invasive surgery versus an open procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions and shorter recovery time.
Technically, MIS systems consist of an endoscope and various motor driven tools, mostly hand-held shavers, cutters, drills and saws. All these instruments are operated by a surgeon via a foot switch, however require precise computer control of their mechanical, electrical and thermal characteristics while in operation. These computer control units are commonly referred to as power shavers or shaver systems.


Fig. 1: Karl Storz Power Unit S1

Shaver System EBERLE C2, is a control unit for the operation of electromechanical plug-in handles with surgical tools for minimally invasive surgery. The handles have fast rotating three-phase synchronous motors with gear reduction. The tools are designed for milling, drilling and cutting operations while extracting surgical tissues and body fluids at the same time. The main types of movement are left and right rotation or oscillation. For sucking, the tools must be visible and rotate slowly or stop at a predefined angular shaft position.


Fig. 2: Shaver System EBERLE C2

All of the shaver system’s handles, foot pedal and switches are remotely controlled through a 7-wire serial interface. Depending on customer requirements, specific communication protocols are being implemented, e.g. Storz Control Bus (SCB), or the Olympus Winter & Ibe EndoAlpha interface. This allows surgical assistants to remotely configure shaver systems and monitor them during operation. Detailed operation logs are available for later inspection.

Furthermore, all functions of a shaver system may be remotely controlled for use in autonomous robotic applications requiring extreme geometric precision.