Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Janos Grantner

Second Advisor

Massood Atashbar


The Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) box trainer currently offers medical students the opportunity to practice their dexterity with laparoscopic surgical tools and accustom themselves to the disconnect between their actions and their visible frame of reference. However, at this stage the box trainer offers few ways to test, practice, or improve upon important factors in laparoscopic surgery including disturbance of and pressure applied to patient tissue. The purpose of this project was to add sensory interfaces to the FLS box trainer to offer more concrete feedback for medical students practicing the required tasks, consolidate the information gathered by the sensors, and export it to the box trainer’s computer for the study and use of the medical student. The system developed placed a force sensor at the handle of the grasper tool which measures the force applied to the tool by the student, an accelerometer at the student’s wrists to measure their orientations while using the tools, and a timer in the software to record the time it took the students to complete each task. The system was implemented using an STM32F4 Discovery Board microcontroller with an ARM Cortex-M4 processor. The communication between the microcontroller and the PC was facilitated using ST software and the Discovery Board’s embedded debugger and programmer STLink. Data from the sensors is saved to the box trainer PC using this connection. All specifications have been addressed and completed. The result is an extension to the box trainer which properly reads applied force, wrist orientation, and elapsed time of box trainer tests. Each sensor was properly calibrated. The program was compiled and included in this document. Medical students can now better see and understand how they are doing in real time while completing the required tasks.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

FLS box trainer final presentation v3.0.pdf (1283 kB)
Defense Presentation