Intuitive Da Vinci


Intuitive came to us to help create a product sound strategy for their revolutionary da Vinci Surgical System, one that could provide rich feedback for surgeons while reducing noise pollution and raising the bar for sound design in this space. We worked closely with Intuitive’s engineers to completely overhaul the sound of the systems, developing a new sonic language for the machine.


Audio UX, Product Sound

User Experience, Healthcare


Intuitive’s mission is to advance what is possible with minimally invasive care by giving surgeons powerful and natural tools for laparoscopic surgery. We knew our sounds would have to be as intuitive as possible, conveying critical information in the most succinct and legible way possible.

Sound Logo

And we knew our sounds would have to stand out in an already cluttered sonic landscape, with a multitude of medical devices vying for surgeon’s attention, and cut through the considerable noise of the Hospital environment. Finally, our sounds would have to clear demanding regulatory criteria and prove their merits in extensive clinical trials with real physicians.


We started by mapping out all of the interactions that needed to happen throughout the system, working closely with Intuitive to wrap our heads around the user experience and define which aspects of the experience would benefit most from sound. Our overall goal was to use sound sparingly, reducing sonic clutter while providing clear feedback where appropriate. We also developed a palette of simple timbres designed to cut through background noise.


From there, we iterated on a wide range of product sounds, stress testing all of our ideas through extensive trials with clinicians and user testing. We also collaborated with internal Intuitive researchers to design studies to test specific concepts in order to ensure that all of our sound cues were as intuitive as possible.



The resulting sound set greatly enhanced the user experience, reinforced the Intuitive brand and set da Vinci apart from other surgical robots in this space.