The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency has approved a new robotic surgical system that has the ability to greatly reduce the risks of complications during open surgery.

Intuitive Surgical has been supplying doctors with robots that can assist them in performing minimally invasive surgery for years, but their latest robot, da Vinci Xi, allows doctors more efficient access to the chest and abdomen, replacing the need for large-incision abdominal surgeries.

The robot comes with four arms, and an endoscope can be attached to any arm.

The endoscope connects to a new 3D-HD vision system so that surgeons can now have a highly magnified view of the operating area, while the arms are designed to be smaller and thinner, with joints that allow better range of movement.

The technology is designed to assist doctors in improving the way they treat complex diseases and conditions in gynaecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac, and general surgery.

"Our goal is to develop technology that enhances surgical performance," said Gary Guthart, Intuitive Surgical president and chief executive officer.

"The da Vinci Xi System's new overhead architecture means that multi-quadrant surgery can be performed without repositioning the system, an innovation long sought by surgeons who perform complex procedures. We strive to provide the most advanced, least invasive option for surgery, and we are working hard to make minimally invasive surgery the standard of care."

FDA approval means that the new surgical robot can now be used in hospitals in the US.