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Robotic System for Ultrasound Tracking in Radiation Therapy

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I Kuhlemann

I Kuhlemann1,2*, P Jauer1 , A Schweikard1 , F Ernst1 , (1) University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany, (2) Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Luebeck


SU-G-JeP3-8 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Room: ePoster Theater

Purpose: For safe and accurate real-time tracking of tumors for IGRT using 4D ultrasound, it is necessary to make use of novel, high-end force-sensitive lightweight robots designed for human-machine interaction. Such a robot will be integrated into an existing robotized ultrasound system for non-invasive 4D live tracking, using a newly developed real-time control and communication framework.

Methods: The new KUKA LWR iiwa robot is used for robotized ultrasound real-time tumor tracking. Besides more precise probe contact pressure detection, this robot provides an additional 7th link, enhancing the dexterity of the kinematic and the mounted transducer. Several integrated, certified safety features create a safe environment for the patients during treatment. However, to remotely control the robot for the ultrasound application, a real-time control and communication framework has to be developed. Based on a client/server concept, client-side control commands are received and processed by a central server unit and are implemented by a client module running directly on the robot’s controller. Several special functionalities for robotized ultrasound applications are integrated and the robot can now be used for real-time control of the image quality by adjusting the transducer position, and contact pressure. The framework was evaluated looking at overall real-time capability for communication and processing of three different standard commands.

Results: Due to inherent, certified safety modules, the new robot ensures a safe environment for patients during tumor tracking. Furthermore, the developed framework shows overall real-time capability with a maximum average latency of 3.6 ms (Minimum 2.5 ms; 5000 trials).

Conclusion: The novel KUKA LBR iiwa robot will advance the current robotized ultrasound tracking system with important features. With the developed framework, it is now possible to remotely control this robot and use it for robotized ultrasound tracking applications, including image quality control and target tracking.

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