Medical robot operator: who is he and what does he do?


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In the future, robots will replace humans in many fields. At the same time, new professions will appear. One of these is a medical robot operator. We tell you what he will do, what he should be able to do and how to become one.

Who is a medical robot operator?

A medical robot operator  is a specialist who programs, configures diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and other robots that help doctors carry out various procedures, and also knows how to control them.

Robotic devices are used in medicine at all stages of treatment. They diagnose patients, perform surgeries, help patients follow doctor’s orders, and assist medical staff with tasks ranging from preparing instruments to applying sutures.

What does a medical robot operator do?

The medical robot operator is responsible for the smooth functioning of the medical robots. He accompanies the robot at all stages of its life – from programming and internal settings to its maintenance and diagnostics of the quality of work.

His tasks include:

  • monitoring the general condition of the robot based on information from built-in sensors;
  • operating system performance assessment;
  • building models and predicting the robot’s activity at work;
  • planning the robot’s actions in accordance with the tasks;
  • writing program code for the robot and loading it into the device;
    robot maintenance.

Basic Skills for a Medical Robot Operator

A specialist in this field must be technically savvy and understand :

  • mathematics;
  • computer science;
  • basics of electronics;
  • mechanics;
  • software operation;


In addition, he needs to be able to program, understand the principles of artificial intelligence, and also speak English at a high level. Medical robots are not yet produced in Russia, so a foreign language is needed to translate instructions and undergo training with the robot.

Trends and directions of the profession

Medical robots are a promising area of ​​robotics. In the HSE ISSEK ranking “Top 15 Robotics Trends,” robotic surgery took fifth place. According to GlobeNewswire, the global medical robotics market was worth $10.88 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach $44.45 billion by 2030.

There are several types of medical robots:

  • sick leave,
  • social,
  • rehabilitation,
  • laboratory,
  • robots for radiation therapy,
  • robotic prosthetics,

robot surgeons.

The autonomy of the devices depends on the proximity of the work with the patient. For example, a surgical robot is completely controlled by a person, while hospital workers can independently perform various tasks – delivering food and medicine and sanitizing premises.

Where did the profession come from?

Medical robots began to develop in the second half of the 20th century. In 1985, using the Programmable Universal Manipulation Arm (PUMA) system, surgeons performed a puncture biopsy of the brain. In 1988, they developed the Probot system for transurethral resection of the prostate – removal of the entire organ or part of it in case of problems with urination. Then devices for joint prosthetics, neurosurgery, and radiation therapy appeared. In 1994, Computer Motion introduced the first robotic surgeon to receive FDA (Food and Drug Administration) certification.

In 1999, a successful operation was performed by the Da Vinci robotic surgeon . Today it is one of the most advanced robotic medical systems, which performs complex operations such as gastric bypass, mitral valve repair, and mediastinal tumor resection. The robot is controlled by a surgeon who observes the operated area through cameras with multiple magnification in 3D format and controls the robot’s actions using joysticks.

There are more and more medical robots every year. Statista calculated that in 2016 there were 713 of them, in 2017 there were already 826, and in 2025 there will be 2112 robots. For robots to function properly, a medical robot operator is needed.

How to become a medical robot operator

You can get a basic technical or medical higher education. In addition, such programs as “Mechatronics and Robotics” at the National Research University MPEI, “Biotechnical Systems and Technologies” at MIREA, “Digital Medicine and Bioinformatics” at the Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. are being implemented in Russia. Yeltsin, “Medical Cybernetics” at the Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I. Pirogov.


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