Evaluation of Pre-Training with the da Vinci Skills Simulator on Motor Skill Acquisition in a Surgical Robotics Curriculum

Edoardo Battaglia, Bradly Mueller, Deborah Hogg, Robert Rege, Daniel Scott, Ann Majewicz Fey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Training for robotic surgery can be challenging due the complexity of the technology, as well as a high demand for the robotic systems that must be primarily used for clinical care. While robotic surgical skills are traditionally trained using the robotic hardware coupled with physical simulated tissue models and test-beds, there has been an increasing interest in using virtual reality simulators. Use of virtual reality (VR) comes with some advantages, such as the ability to record and track metrics associated with learning. However, evidence of skill transfer from virtual environments to physical robotic tasks has yet to be fully demonstrated. In this work, we evaluate the effect of virtual reality pre-Training on performance during a standardized robotic dry-lab training curriculum, where trainees perform a set of tasks and are evaluated with a score based on completion time and errors made during the task. Results show that VR pre-Training is weakly significant (p≤0.1) in reducing the number of repetitions required to achieve proficiency on the robotic task; however, it is not able to significantly improve performance in any robotic tasks. This suggests that important skills are learned during physical training with the surgical robotic system that cannot yet be replaced with VR training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2150006
JournalJournal of Medical Robotics Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Training
  • robotic surgery
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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