director, corporate communications
tel: (510) 814-7000
for pictures in 300 dpi format
send request to email@example.com
Battlefield Robotic Surgical System Uses RGB Spectrum's Multi Image Display Technology
|A graphical representation of a soldier receiving medical treatment in the self-contained, mobile Trauma Pod system.|
October 12, 2006, Alameda, CA - When a soldier is wounded on the battlefield, every second counts. Medical resources are not often within close proximity to render life-saving treatment quickly. To address this problem, the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) established a project to develop a mobile, autonomous robotic medical system to perform full scalpel-and-stitch surgeries and emergency medical treatment to soldiers on the battlefield. SRI International was awarded the contract to design the system, called the Trauma Pod Unmanned Medical-Surgical System.
Thomas Low, Director of Medical Robotics Programs for SRI's Engineering and Systems Division, explained, "The objective of this ground- breaking program is to devise a future-generation of medical/ surgical treatment systems that do not require onsite medical personnel on the front lines. The remotely controlled unmanned system can diagnose, treat, and stabilize soldiers on the battlefield during the critical life-saving minutes following injury. The Trauma Pod Program will upgrade the far-forward medical combat casualty care and reduce the number of medical personnel and logistics required on the battlefield."
Low continued, "The first phase of the project is to integrate existing COTS display and robotic surgical technologies to create an operating room that can be remotely operated by a surgeon. The Trauma Pod system will perform totally unmanned surgical procedures. The initial "proof of concept" system incorporates the commercially available Da Vinci robotic surgical system. One design challenge was to discover a display technology that could combine and display computer and video signal sources and display them real time in a 3-D rendering presented to the surgeon. RGB Spectrum's SuperView® multi-image display processors were selected to perform this critical display function. The processors overlay the live video feeds from the Trauma Pod with computer-generated graphic overlays and output a composited visual to the remote surgeon console."
From the remote control facility out of harm's way, the surgeon sits at a surgeon console and views the 3-D imagery on a specially designed binocular-like monitor. Two SuperView processors are used, one for each eye.
The SuperView processors receive live S-Video feeds from various cameras transmitted from the remote Trauma Pod. A camera at the end of one of the robot's arms provides a vantage point from inside the patient as the surgeon performs a medical procedure. The processors then receive computer-generated graphics depicting patient vital signs, hemodynamic activity, patient monitoring data, supplies inventory, and various user interface and system status icons. The SuperView processors perform sophisticated chroma-keying and overlay the computer-generated graphics onto the live surgical video and output the integrated visuals to two 15-inch CRT displays in the surgeon console eyepiece.
Additionally, a group of cameras extended from the mobile Trauma Pod vehicle provide "bird's eye" and surveillance views of the entire area surrounding the Trauma Pod, giving provide the surgeon a live situational awareness picture. The SuperView processors receive these feeds and output them to the surgeon console monitors.
The visuals from the SuperView processors immerse the surgeon in an enhanced 3-D stereo view of the actual surgical field, providing direct eye-hand-instrument alignment and the natural depth perception necessary for precise surgical manipulation. Via wireless communications, the system seamlessly translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments in the Trauma Pod.
Low commented, "The SuperView processor is the ideal display integration solution for this system. It offers the unique capability of supporting a myriad of varying signal sources of different resolutions, scaling these disparate sources to the same resolution, then overlaying them in a combined image with excellent image clarity and detail."
The first phase of Trauma Pod system development will also incorporate Computed Tomography (CT) diagnostic scanning capability and a portable Intensive Care Unit stretcher. The next phase would be to miniaturize the robotic surgery system and integrate it onto a new Life Support for Trauma and Transport (LSTAT) stretcher. Finally, the new system will be incorporated onto an unmanned vehicle. When fully developed, the Trauma Pod will not require human medical personnel on-site to conduct the surgery, and will be small enough to be carried by a medical ground or air vehicle.
The Trauma Pod program is funded by the Defense Advanced Projects Agency through the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a subordinate element of the U.S. Army Research and Materiel Command. For more information, visit http://www.darpa.mil/DSO/thrust/biosci/traumpod.htm.
SRI International is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The Engineering and Systems Division (ESD), SRI's largest group, is a multidisciplinary engineering organization dedicated to forward-looking research, development and application of operationally effective systems. SRI ESD performs a variety of engineering research, systems engineering, testing, and integration services for commercial and government clients worldwide. For more information, call 650-859-2000 or visit www.sri.com/esd/.
RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and SuperWall™, ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.