International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 75–88 | Cite as

Effects of Experience and Workplace Culture in Human-Robot Team Interaction in Robotic Surgery: A Case Study

  • S. Cunningham
  • A. Chellali
  • I. Jaffre
  • J. Classe
  • C. G. L. Cao


Robots are being used in the operating room to aid in surgery, prompting changes to workflow and adaptive behavior by the users. This case study presents a methodology for examining human-robot team interaction in a complex environment, along with the results of its application in a study of the effects of experience and workplace culture, for human-robot team interaction in the operating room. The analysis of verbal and non-verbal events in robotic surgery in two different surgical teams (one in the US and one in France) revealed differences in workflow, timeline, roles, and communication patterns as a function of experience and workplace culture. Longer preparation times and more verbal exchanges related to uncertainty in use of the robotic equipment were found for the French team, who also happened to be less experienced. This study offers an effective method for studying human-robot team interaction and has implications for the future design and training of teamwork with robotic systems in other complex work environments.


Human-robot interaction Robotic surgery Verbal communication Workflow Workplace culture 



This work was supported in part by a Chaire Régionale de Chercheur Étranger de la Région Pays de la Loire award, and a joint summer student research internship from the Ecole des Mines de Nantes and Tufts University. The authors are grateful to the surgical staff at Institut de Cancérologie de l’Ouest, Nantes, France.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Cunningham
    • 1
  • A. Chellali
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. Jaffre
    • 3
  • J. Classe
    • 3
  • C. G. L. Cao
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Ecole des Mines de NantesNantesFrance
  3. 3.Institut de Cancérologie de l’OuestNantesFrance
  4. 4.Wright State UniversityDaytonUSA

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