The interdisciplinary project with the University Hospital of Cologne investigates the interplay of image, space and action in robot-guided operations and develops perspectives on the relationship between design and medicine.

Minimally invasive interventions confront surgeons with an increasingly complex structure of actions consisting of technical apparatuses, imaging procedures, machine processes and interpersonal interactions. These interdependencies are becoming even more pronounced with the use of surgical assistant robots such as the Da Vinci® operating system from the company Intuitive Surgical. While studies prove the medical benefits of the Da Vinci System®, little attention has been paid to the image-space arrangements and interactions between the system and surgical participants. This project is dedicated to this perspective. How the surgeon’s perception is structured by the physical-digital operating environment, what actions are called for, and which senses are addressed in addition to the sense of sight, is explored experimentally with the aid of audiovisual media.

Prof. Dr. Carolin Höfler, TH Köln and Prof. Dr. Christiane Bruns, University Hospital Cologne

Juliane Ahn, TH Köln

Other Involved Scientists
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Hans F. Fuchs, University Hospital Cologne

Project Partners
University Hospital Cologne, Department and Polyclinic for General, Visceral, Tumor and Transplant Surgery

Funded by
Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North RhineWestphalia

19.11.2018 – 31.07.2019

Fuchs, H.; Ahn, F.; Leers, J.; Schröder, W.; Höfler, C.; Bruns, C. (2019): »P131 Revealing The Ergonomic Crisis of an Upper Gstrointestinal Robotic Surgeon – Still a Lot to Improve in Minimally Invasive Surgery«, in: Diseases of the Esophagus 32/2, DOI:

Image: »Screen Spaces. An Interdisciplinary Research Project About The Perception of Space Using Surgical Robots« by Juliane Ahn