Review of surgical robotics user interface: What is the best way to control robotic surgery?

Anton Simorov, R. Stephen Otte, Courtni M. Kopietz, Dmitry Oleynikov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Background: As surgical robots begin to occupy a larger place in operating rooms around the world, continued innovation is necessary to improve our outcomes. Methods A comprehensive review of current surgical robotic user interfaces was performed to describe the modern surgical platforms, identify the benefits, and address the issues of feedback and limitations of visualization. Results: Most robots currently used in surgery employ a master/slave relationship, with the surgeon seated at a work-console, manipulating the master system and visualizing the operation on a video screen. Although enormous strides have been made to advance current technology to the point of clinical use, limitations still exist. A lack of haptic feedback to the surgeon and the inability of the surgeon to be stationed at the operating table are the most notable examples. The future of robotic surgery sees a marked increase in the visualization technologies used in the operating room, as well as in the robots' abilities to convey haptic feedback to the surgeon. This will allow unparalleled sensation for the surgeon and almost eliminate inadvertent tissue contact and injury. Conclusions: A novel design for a user interface will allow the surgeon to have access to the patient bedside, remaining sterile throughout the procedure, employ a headmounted three-dimensional visualization system, and allow the most intuitive master manipulation of the slave robot to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2117-2125
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Surgical robot
  • Surgical user interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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