Determination of the learning curve of the AESOP robot

L. K. Jacobs, V. Shayani, J. M. Sackier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Background: As the variety of procedures performed with laparoscopic technology increases, the skill levels and equipment demands also increase. Laparoscopic appendectomy, hernia repair, colon resection, and Nissen fundoplication all require someone whose only responsibility is to control the laparoscope and therefore the operative field. This is usually the most inexperienced person on the operating team. The Automated Endoscope System for Optimal Positioning (AESOP) robot provides a means to eliminate the need for the camera person, returns control of the camera and operative field to the operating surgeon, and enhances human performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acquisition of skills to control the laparoscope in a satisfactory fashion. Methods: We selected medical students as our study group because they have no prior experience in laparoscopic procedures. They performed a readily reproducible task in a pelvic trainer with hand control and with the AESOP robot. Their initial times are compared, as is the improvement in their times after 10 min of practice with the AESOP robot. Results: These data show that in this study group use of the AESOP robot was not as fast as hand control but the skill to use it was learned as quickly. Additional features of the robut such as a steady view and the ability to acquire images and return to them reliably are other advantages. Conclusion: The AESOP robotic arm provides a stable support for the laparoscope during laparoscopic procedures which can be manipulated by the surgeon. We found that the time required to learn control of the laparoscope manually and with the AESOP robot is equal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-55
Number of pages2
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • AESOP robot
  • Laparoscopy
  • Learning curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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