The laparoscopic technique for performing abdominal surgery requires a very high degree of skill in the medical practitioner. Much interest has been focused on using computer graphics to provide simulators for training surgeons. Unfortunately, these tend to be complex and have a very high cost, which limits availability and restricts the length of time over which individuals can practice their skills. With computer game technology able to provide the graphics required for a surgical simulator, the cost does not have to be high. However, graphics alone cannot serve as a training simulator. Human interface hardware, the equivalent of the force feedback joystick for a flight simulator game, is required to complete the system. This paper presents a design for a very low cost device to address this vital issue. The design encompasses: the mechanical construction, the electronic interfaces and the software protocols to mimic a laparoscopic surgical set-up. Thus the surgeon has the capability of practicing two-handed procedures with the
possibility of force feedback. The force feedback and collision detection algorithms allow surgeons to practice realistic operating theatre procedures with a good degree of authenticity.