Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Laser Scanning (SLAM) and AR making surgery safer

The uses for Microvision's technology will have enormous value, far beyond consumer electronics.

Machine Design

At the University of Twente in the Netherlands, a research team is developing an economical smartphone technology based on the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology, along with augmented reality (AR). The device allows doctors to reconstruct 3D body sections by directing the smartphone to the areas of interest. The smartphone will display AR layers of the 3D skin surface so that it can help visualize information that would otherwise be invisible to the doctors.

According to Søren Riisgaard and Morten Rufus Blas, researchers from MIT, “SLAM consists of multiple parts: Landmark extraction, data association, state estimation, state update and landmark update.” By using the data from the body scans, the computer outputs a continuous update mapping by constantly reorienting the scans and interpreting the new data into updated maps.
“We want our SLAM toolbox software solution to support different cameras like a plug-and-play system,” Srmacek added. “So, this allows users to use higher resolution cameras when needed. After medical approvals are obtained for our SLAM toolbox, we would like it to be commercialized as soon as possible.”

“SLAM is a core technology in robotics, but its universal usage will only be possible if we have methods to easily interface many sensors in a robotic system,” said Prof. Dr. Ir. Stefano Stramigioli, chairman of the Robotics and Mechatronics (RAM) Group, Robotics and Mechatronics. “At RAM, we intend to create a modular SLAM box, which will automatically reconfigure itself if extra sensors are attached in a ‘plug-and-play’ fashion. Then it would be possible to connect this ‘SLAM Box’ to a complete robotic system, giving it powerful perception capabilities.”

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