An ultrasonic examination is a clinically universal and safe examination method, and with the development of telemedicine and precision medicine, the robotic ultrasound system (RUS) integrated with a robotic arm and ultrasound imaging system receives increasing attention. As the RUS requires precision and reproducibility, it is important to monitor the real-time calibration of the RUS during examination, especially the angle of the probe for image detection and its force on the surface. Additionally, to speed up the integration of the RUS and the current medical ultrasound system (US), the current RUSs mostly use a self-designed fixture to connect the probe to the arm. If the fixture has inconsistencies, it may cause an operating error. In order to improve its resilience, this study proposed an improved sensing method for real-time force and angle calibration. Based on multichannel pressure sensors, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), and a novel sensing structure, the ultrasonic probe and robotic arm could be simply and rapidly combined, which rendered real-time force and angle calibration at a low cost. The experimental results show that the average success rate of the downforce position identification achieved was 88.2%. The phantom experiment indicated that the method could assist the RUS in the real-time calibration of both force and angle during an examination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Information Systems
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering