On Tuesday, MAKO Surgical announced that it had filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed IPO of its common stock. This offering should prove to be very intriguing. The medical device maker has designed a surgeon-interactive robotic system that assists orthopedic surgeons in carrying out more precise and less invasive osteoarthritic knee surgeries. The company has only been around since 2004, and its CEO, Dr. Maurice Ferre, recently received the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for emerging companies in Florida.

MAKO Surgical will join a small group of robotic stocks that have made some major waves in recent years. Rule Breakers pick Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) which makes the da Vinci Surgical System, a robotic arm to assist surgeons with minimally invasive surgeries, is a 10-bagger since going public in mid-2000. Intuitive Surgical continues to impress -- it's up 11% in just the past couple of months.

Also in this group is Hansen Medical (NASDAQ:HNSN) and Stereotaxis (NASDAQ:STXS). Hansen Medical is up more than 100% since its IPO last November. In May, Hansen received FDA approval for two of its robotic systems, the Sensei Robotic Catheter System and the Artisan Control Catheter. Stereotaxis is up more than 60% since its own IPO in the summer of 2004. The race is starting to heat up between the two.

Intuitive Surgical and its counterparts have set the bar high, but MAKO is definitely an IPO that should be watched closely -- especially for Fools who have entered middle age and have been hobbled by the early onset of osteoarthritis.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.