The present invention provides robotic surgical instruments and systems that include electrosurgical cutting/shearing tools and methods of performing a robotic surgical procedure. The surgical instruments can advantageously be used in robotically controlled minimally invasive surgical operations. A surgical instrument generally comprises an elongate shaft having a proximal end and a distal end. An end effector, for performing a surgical operation such as cutting, shearing, grasping, engaging, or contacting tissue adjacent a surgical site, is coupleable to a distal end of the shaft. Preferably, the end effector comprises a pair of scissor-like blades for cooperatively shearing the tissue. A conductor electrically communicating with at least one blade delivers electrical energy to tissue engaged by the blades. An interface coupled to the proximal end of the shaft and removably connectable to the robotic surgical system is also included.