3 March 2017 Co-robotic ultrasound imaging: a cooperative force control approach
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Abstract
Ultrasound (US) imaging remains one of the most commonly used imaging modalities in medical practice. However, due to the physical effort required to perform US imaging tasks, 63-91% of ultrasonographers develop musculoskeletal disorders throughout their careers. The goal of this work is to provide ultrasonographers with a system that facilitates and reduces strain in US image acquisition. To this end, we propose a system for admittance force robot control that uses the six-degree-of-freedom UR5 industrial robot. A six-axis force sensor is used to measure the forces and torques applied by the sonographer on the probe. As the sonographer pushes against the US probe, the robot complies with these forces, following the user's desired path. A one-axis load cell is used to measure contact forces between the patient and the probe in real time. When imaging, the robot augments the axial forces applied by the user, lessening the physical effort required. User studies showed an overall decrease in hand tremor while imaging at high forces, improvements in image stability, and a decrease in difficulty and strenuousness.
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Rodolfo Finocchi, Fereshteh Aalamifar, Ting Yun Fang, Russell H. Taylor, Emad M. Boctor, "Co-robotic ultrasound imaging: a cooperative force control approach", Proc. SPIE 10135, Medical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 1013510 (3 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2255271; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255271
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