Long-distance robotic telesurgery: a feasibility study for care in remote environments


  • No conflict of interest was declared.



Basic telesurgical manoeuvres were conducted with signal delays.


Eight test subjects conducted four manoeuvres. Time delays of 0–1000 ms were investigated. Time to task completion and error rate were recorded in sequential delays of 0–600 ms. Additionally, blinded random delays of 0–1000 ms were studied.


In the sequential trials (0–600 ms), there were no significant differences in average task time compared to zero latency. The error rate remained low despite increasing time delay, and was significantly less at 500 ms (p < 0.05). In the random trials, task time was significantly greater at delays of 500, 600, 800 and 1000 ms (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in error rates (p = 0.252).


Operators are capable of performing surgical exercises at significant delays. Latent video feedback is difficult for telesurgery. Visual or virtual reality cues should be implemented to aid the operator in a high-cadence telesurgery environment. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.