Motivation – The aim of this paper is to study how a complex system such as surgery adapts itself to external changes such as robotic system using verbal communication as a manifestation of the surgeon’s adaptation work progress. Research approach – First, we compared verbal communication between surgeons in two conditions (laparoscopy and robotic surgery). Secondly we compared three teams with different levels of expertise with the robot on a repeated surgery act in order to distinguish between the momentary and the permanent changes. Findings/Design – We showed more acts of communication with the robotic system. The content analyses of the communication revealed a profound change of the structure of the task that requires new explicit collaborative modes. Research limitations/Implications – Although our sample is small, our communication grid can be used in other domains concerned with telework. Originality/Value – Verbal communication is used to study adaptation mechanisms.