This article presents the design and experimental evaluation of a prototype robotic platform for minimally invasive surgical procedures. The platform utilizes a hybrid actuation scheme, consisting of a 5 Degree-of-Freedom (DoF) servo-actuated manipulator for extra-operative and pivoting motion and a 4 DoF shape memory alloy actuated probe at the distal end, for intra-operative dexterity. The architecture targets thoracic and abdominal operations, with low interaction forces at the probe's end-effector. The system, runs under the Robot Operating System framework for easier deployment and development. Additional accompanying software is developed to aid the surgeon during deployment. Specifically, a Graphical User Interface employing modules controls for online parameter reconfiguration, operation mode switching while custom viewports for stereo imaging are implemented. Teleoperation is feasible with the integration of a haptic device. In-vitro evaluation of the robot is presented, to assess the maneuvering efficiency and further potential exploitation of the design.