A practical system for recording instrument interactions during live robotic surgery

William McMahan*, Ernest D. Gomez, Liting Chen, Karlin Bark, John C. Nappo, Eza I. Koch, David I. Lee, Kristoffel R. Dumon, Noel N. Williams, Katherine J. Kuchenbecker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We have developed a system for measuring and recording the high-frequency vibrations that characterize instrument interactions during minimally invasive robotic surgery. Consisting of simple circuitry and a DVD recorder, this system is low-cost and easily implementable, requires no sterilization, and enables measurement of a validated, objective technical skill metric in both the simulated setting and the operating room. The vibration recordings of fourteen sleeve gastrectomies were processed by segmenting the operation into seven phases and calculating the root mean square (RMS) vibration within each phase. Statistical analysis showed that the observed differences match expectations drawn from knowledge of the operation, substantiating the premise that RMS vibration provides a good measure of the intensity of instrument interactions during live robotic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Haptics
  • Instrument interactions
  • Robotic/instrumentation
  • Sensors
  • Technology assessment
  • Training
  • Vibrotactile feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics

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