Surgical Robotics Technology

NDI Optical Measurement Solutions

Optical tracking works like a GPS navigation system to track surgical instruments in 3D space for OEM image-guided surgery systems.

The main components of the optical tracking systems are:

  • Optical tracking device
  • Navigation markers
  • Host (OEM) application.

The illuminators from the Polaris® system flood the pre-calibrated measurement volume with the infrared light) which illuminates reflective markers. The markers are attached to the instruments for detection and identification purposes and act as localization points. A fixed (home) location is established by placing a reference tool near the patient against which the instruments are tracked. The light is reflected from the markers to the position sensors that triangulate the marker coordinates. The triangulation technique helps in mapping the marker’s position and orientation in a 3D space; this data from the position sensor is communicated to the host application where the instrument is visualized relative to patient image sets. Real-time instrument navigation is supported by tracking a tool’s path continuously by visualizing it on the host computer.

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