Gestonurse: A Robotic Surgical Nurse for Handling Surgical Instruments in the Operating Room

The Problem

While surgeon–scrub nurse collaboration provides a fast, straightforward method of delivering surgical instruments to the surgeon, it often results in mistakes. These errors can have a negative impact on the outcome. These errors could potentially be reduced by introducing robotics into the operating room.


Develop a robotic scrub nurse capable of handling and passing surgical instruments with accuracy.


Gestonurse uses real-time hand tracking and recognition based on fingertip detection and gesture inference. It provides the following features: (a) ease of use, (b) natural interaction, (c) an unencumbered interface, and (d) reliability. The robot can pick instruments when they are as close as 25 mm apart.

Potential Impact

A robotic scrub nurse has the potential to reduce errors in the OR by automating the passing of surgical instruments which allows personnel to focus on more complicated tasks such as maintaining a sterile environment, preparing required surgical supplies and monitoring the state of the patient. These failures can lead to wastage of resources, procedural errors, delays, distraction and inefficiency.

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