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Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on

Issue 3 • Date June 2008

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): C1 - C2
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  • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics publication information

    Page(s): C2
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  • Guest Editorial Introduction to the Focused Section on Mechatronic Systems for MRI Applications

    Page(s): 265 - 267
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    This Focused Section contains 14 papers (11 regular and 3 short papers) that describe recent research in robotic and mechatronic systems for MRI applications in four categories of actuators, systems, sensing technology, and human-machine interface. View full abstract»

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  • Comparison of MRI-Compatible Mechatronic Systems With Hydrodynamic and Pneumatic Actuation

    Page(s): 268 - 277
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    The strong magnetic fields and limited space make it challenging to design the actuation for mechatronic systems intended to work in MRI environments. Hydraulic and pneumatic actuators can be made MRI-compatible and are promising solutions to drive robotic devices inside MRI environments. In this paper, two comparable haptic interface devices, one with hydrodynamic and another with pneumatic actuation, were developed to control one-degree-of-freedom translational movements of a user performing functional MRI (fMRI) tasks. The cylinders were made of MRI-compatible materials. Pressure sensors and control valves were placed far away from the end-effector in the scanner, connected via long transmission lines. It has been demonstrated that both manipulandum systems were MRI-compatible and yielded no artifacts to fMRI images in a 3-T scanner. Position and impedance controllers achieved passive as well as active subject movements. With the hydrodynamic system we have achieved smoother movements, higher position control accuracy, and improved robustness against force disturbances than with the pneumatic system. In contrast, the pneumatic system was back-drivable, showed faster dynamics with relatively low pressure, and allowed force control. Furthermore, it is easier to maintain and does not cause hygienic problems after leakages. In general, pneumatic actuation is more favorable for fast or force-controlled MRI-compatible applications, whereas hydrodynamic actuation is recommended for applications that require higher position accuracy, or slow and smooth movements. View full abstract»

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  • Motion Generation in MR Environment Using Electrostatic Film Motor for Motion-Triggered Cine-MRI

    Page(s): 278 - 285
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    This paper proposes a new methodology of biomechanical modeling for visualizing tissue deformation, combining an electrostatic film motor and tagged cine-MR imaging. The electrostatic film motor has a simple structure, is easily controlled by open loop, and its MR-compatibility has recently been verified. Tagged cine-MRI is an established process for measuring deformation of active objects. The newly proposed methodology enables the application of cine-MR imaging to passive objects. The electrostatic motor is used to create deformation on passive soft samples inside an MR scanner, the internal deformation of which is visualized by tagged cine-MR imaging. The force applied on the samples is measured by a force sensor fabricated on shielded strain gauges. The impact of the developed system on the MR imaging is verified through SNR evaluation. Then, the proposed methodology is applied to visualizing deformations of a gel sample and a human upper arm to verify the applicability of this methodology in biomechanical measurements. View full abstract»

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  • Evaluation of Electrorheological Fluid Dampers for Applications at 3-T MRI Environment

    Page(s): 286 - 294
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    This paper evaluates the use of electrorheological fluids (ERFs) within a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment. ERF is a semiactive variable impedance material, which could be used as an alternative type of resistive force/torque generation or in combination with other actuators as a damper/clutch to modulate the output force/torque of the actuator. In this paper, an ERF damper/brake is introduced and its magnetic resonance (MR) compatibility is examined at a 3-T MR imaging environment by measuring the output performance of the damper and the SNR of the MRI images. The experimental results showed that damper's resistive force generation while positioned within the MRI is almost the same as that in normal operation. The signal-to-noise investigation was performed both with a phantom and human. The results indicated that the ERF damper did not affect the MRI images when it was operated over 30 cm away from the MRI's RF coil. We hope that the synthesis and tables presented in this paper can facilitate the choice of ERF brake actuation principle to various applications in an MR environment. View full abstract»

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  • MRI-Compatible Pneumatic Robot for Transperineal Prostate Needle Placement

    Page(s): 295 - 305
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (859 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide high-quality 3-D visualization of prostate and surrounding tissue, thus granting potential to be a superior medical imaging modality for guiding and monitoring prostatic interventions. However, the benefits cannot be readily harnessed for interventional procedures due to difficulties that surround the use of high-field (1.5T or greater) MRI. The inability to use conventional mechatronics and the confined physical space makes it extremely challenging to access the patient. We have designed a robotic assistant system that overcomes these difficulties and promises safe and reliable intraprostatic needle placement inside closed high-field MRI scanners. MRI compatibility of the robot has been evaluated under 3T MRI using standard prostate imaging sequences and average SNR loss is limited to 5%. Needle alignment accuracy of the robot under servo pneumatic control is better than 0.94 mm rms per axis. The complete system workflow has been evaluated in phantom studies with accurate visualization and targeting of five out of five 1 cm targets. The paper explains the robot mechanism and controller design, the system integration, and presents results of preliminary evaluation of the system. View full abstract»

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  • LPR: A CT and MR-Compatible Puncture Robot to Enhance Accuracy and Safety of Image-Guided Interventions

    Page(s): 306 - 315
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    Image-guided percutaneous interventions are common procedures used for diagnosis or therapeutic purposes. The clinical demand for such interventions is growing since they are minimally invasive. To increase the quality of the operations and provide optimal accuracy and safety to patients, puncture robots may be very helpful. This paper presents a new robotic architecture designed to perform abdominal and thoracic punctures under computer tomography (CT) or MRI guidance. Innovations concerning the robotic architecture, materials, and energy sources are described. Segmentation and registration algorithms have been developed to localize the robot on images coming from CT or MRI devices, and a specific control loop is used to verify the movements and the positioning of the robot. The results of the initial experiments made under CT and MRI environments are presented. View full abstract»

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  • A 3-DOF MR-Compatible Device for Magic Angle Related In Vivo Experiments

    Page(s): 316 - 324
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    The "magic angle" effect consists of the increase in signal intensity observed at a tendon or cartilage in a magnetic resonance image, when the tissue is oriented at an angle of approximately 55deg with respect to the main magnetic field B0. The exploitation of this phenomenon is often used to assist diagnosis of tendinous and other diseases, although practical difficulties derived from positioning target tissue at the desired orientation inside closed-bore scanners has made this exploitation hard to implement. A 3-DOF MR-compatible mechatronic system has been developed to position a variety of limbs at the magic angle inside a closed- bore scanner, actuated by a custom-developed pneumatic air motor. The system is capable of locating the desired anatomy with high accuracy, and is designed to position the target tissue at a minimal distance from the isocenter. The compatibility of the system is demonstrated, producing negligible artifacts and an insignificant reduction in signal to noise of the image. Preliminary clinical trials scanning the Achilles tendon of healthy volunteers prove the functionality of the device. An increase in signal intensity of up to 21-fold has been recorded in the tendon at the magic angle. View full abstract»

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  • Active Vibration Control of Gradient Coils to Reduce Acoustic Noise of MRI Systems

    Page(s): 325 - 334
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    Lorentz-force-induced vibrations in MRI systems cause significant acoustic noise levels during scanning, the main acoustic noise source being the vibrating gradient coil. In this paper, a novel active vibration control technique is presented to reduce vibrations of the gradient coil, and hence, achieve a reduction of acoustic noise during scanning. The active vibration control technique uses seismic masses that are actuated by means of piezo actuators to create forces on the gradient coil counteracting its vibrations. Using four seismic mass actuators, a vibration reduction of 3-8 dB at resonance frequencies is achieved, giving an overall vibration reduction of 3 dB for a typical field gradient (FE)-echo planar imaging (EPI) gradient sequence, as substantiated by measurements. Using eight actuators, an overall vibration reduction of 5 dB is predicted for this sequence. View full abstract»

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  • Sensors for Applications in Magnetic Resonance Environments

    Page(s): 335 - 344
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    This paper analyzes sensing methods compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI) reported in the literature, and presents the three generations of MR-compatible force/torque sensors we have developed for robotic systems to interact with human motion. Conventional sensors such as camera-based measurement systems, strain gauges or commercial force/torque sensors, and optical encoders may be used, if placed sufficiently away from the imaging region and equipped with adequate shielding and filtering in order to minimize electromagnetic interference caused by electric cables, the transducer, and electronics of surrounding equipment. However, electromagnetic interference can be avoided by using light transmission over optical fibers, in which case sensitive and noisy electronic components can be placed outside the MR room, and the MR compatibility issue is restricted to the used materials. Good performance can be obtained with sensing elements made from materials adapted to the location of use, combined with reflected or differential light intensity measurement over optical fibers. We have developed various force and position sensors based on this principle, ranging from MR Safe (for a definition and discussion of the terms MR Safe and MR Conditional, see Gassert , IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Mag., pp. 12--14, May/Jun. 2008) milled polymer probes to MR Conditional assemblies combining beryllium copper blades with a polymer body, as well as smaller aluminum probes realized through a combination of milling and electric discharge machining. It appears that, in contrast to actuators, good performance is not in tradeoff with MR compatibility. View full abstract»

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  • Sensing Glove for Brain Studies: Design and Assessment of Its Compatibility for fMRI With a Robust Test

    Page(s): 345 - 354
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    In this paper, we describe a biomimetic-fabric-based sensing glove that can be used to monitor hand posture and gesture. Our device is made of a distributed sensor network of piezoresistive conductive elastomers integrated into an elastic fabric. This solution does not affect natural movement and hand gestures, and can be worn for a long time with no discomfort. The glove could be fruitfully employed in behavioral and functional studies with functional MRI (fMRI) during specific tactile or motor tasks. To assess MR compatibility of the system, a statistical test on phantoms is introduced. This test can also be used for testing the compatibility of mechatronic devices designed to produce different stimuli inside the MR environment. We propose a statistical test to evaluate changes in SNR and time-domain standard deviations between image sequences acquired under different experimental conditions. fMRI experiments on subjects wearing the glove are reported. The reproducibility of fMRI results obtained with and without the glove was estimated. A good similarity between the activated regions was found in the two conditions. View full abstract»

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  • Human–Machine Interface for Robotic Surgery and Stereotaxy

    Page(s): 355 - 361
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    While considerable technology has been integrated into the operating room, until recently, the actual performance of surgery has seen relatively few changes, relying mainly on hand-eye coordination. This paper outlines the development and composition as well as the requirements and reasoning that lead to the human-machine interface on neuroArm, a telerobotic surgical system. A critical component of the system was the workstation, where information was provided to and received from the operator. The surgeon controls the robotic system using two force-feedback hand controllers based on visual information from a stereoscopic viewing device and two liquid crystal displays. Two touch screens allow the user to monitor and control the settings of the robot and to view and manipulate 3-D MR images. Audio feedback from the surgical site and the operating room staff is also provided by a wireless communication system. The workstation components were chosen not only to recreate the sight, sound, and touch of surgery but also to facilitate the integration of surgeons with advanced imaging and robotic technologies. View full abstract»

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  • The Interconnection of MRI Scanner and MR-Compatible Robotic Device: Synergistic Graphical User Interface to Form a Mechatronic System

    Page(s): 362 - 369
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    MRI scanner and magnetic resonance (MR)-compatible robotic devices are mechatronic systems. Without an interconnecting component, these two devices cannot be operated synergetically for medical interventions. In this paper, the design and properties of a graphical user interface (GUI) that accomplishes the task is presented. The GUI interconnects the two devices to obtain a larger mechatronic system by providing command and control of the robotic device based on the visual information obtained from the MRI scanner. Ideally, the GUI should also control imaging parameters of the MRI scanner. Its main goal is to facilitate image-guided interventions by acting as the synergistic component between the physician, the robotic device, the scanner, and the patient. View full abstract»

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  • MRI Compatibility of Silicone-Made Contractile Dielectric Elastomer Actuators

    Page(s): 370 - 374
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    Actuators based on dielectric elastomers, a specific class of electroactive polymers, appear to be suitable candidates for new MRI-compatible technologies, due to their intrinsic material properties and working principle. This paper presents the first investigation into the MRI compatibility of a recently developed linear contractile actuator made of a silicone elastomer. The apparent absence of any degradation of both the actuator electromechanical performance in the MRI environment and the quality of images acquired from a phantom demonstrates the MRI compatibility of the actuator. These results suggest the suitability of this soft actuation technology as a possible new entry in the class of MRI-compatible mechatronic systems. View full abstract»

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  • Robotic System for Closed-Bore MRI-Guided Prostatic Interventions

    Page(s): 374 - 379
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    This paper reports on the development of a new closed-bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compatible robotic system for image-guided prostatic interventions: ablation, brachytherapy, and biopsy. The first stage of development addresses only laser-based ablation. The robot actuators are ultrasonic motors. The first physical robot prototype was manufactured and tested in the MRI with an ablation tool. The tests covered magnetic resonance (MR) compatibility, tool visualization, and robot control accuracy. Robot tip position error is less than 2 mm at points closer than 0.5 m to the isocenter. A method to control ultrasonic motors for MRI-compatibility is reported. View full abstract»

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  • System for 3-D Real-Time Tracking of MRI-Compatible Devices by Image Processing

    Page(s): 379 - 382
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    Real-time processing of MRIs is reported as a method of 3D tracking of mechanical devices within the field of view using passive microcoil fiducials. The specific implementation described makes use of two scan planes for full 3D tracking of a 5-DOF manipulator arm used for prostate biopsy under image guidance. Real-time tracking was observed with a maximum update rate of 0.42 frames per second for a maximum probe velocity of 10 mm/s. The localization of fiducials had a mean error of 0.36 (plusmn0.17) mm (p < 0.02), leading to a mean error in the needle tip position of 2.6 (plusmn0.3) mm (p < 0.05). View full abstract»

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  • A Bristle-Based Pipeline Robot for Ill-Constraint Pipes

    Page(s): 383 - 392
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    This paper presents the study of a pipeline robot based on a bristle mechanism. The bristle mechanism shows great flexibility and makes the pipeline robot to be able to work in ill-constraint pipes, which were previously considered as unpiggable or uninspectable. The working principle of pipeline robot is illustrated and the bristle mechanism is given in-depth analysis. Bristle traction force model is set up and the approximate calculation of bristle traction force based on Euler buckling theory is also described. The approximate calculation is conducted and simulated by using one single bristle. A laboratory experiment of bristle traction force is carried out and then the experimental result is compared with the calculation result. The experimental result shows the validity of bristle traction force model. Field trials of brush pipeline robots are also conducted in ill-constraint pipes and trial results show the flexibility and adaptability of the bristle mechanism. Future work and key issues in the research of brush pipeline robots are discussed at the end of the paper. View full abstract»

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  • Population-Based Uncalibrated Visual Servoing

    Page(s): 393 - 397
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    This paper introduces the implementation of a recently introduced method suitable for visual servoing. The method is based on the generalization of secant methods for nonlinear optimization. The difference with existing approaches related to visual servoing is that we do not impose a linear model to interpolate the goal function. Instead, we prefer to identify the linear model by building the secant model using population of the previous iterates, which is as close as possible to the nonlinear function, in the least-squares sense. The new system has been shown to be less sensitive to noise and exhibits a faster convergence than do conventional quasi-Newton methods. The theoretical results are verified experimentally and also by simulations. View full abstract»

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    Page(s): 398
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    Page(s): C3
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Aims & Scope

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics encompasses all practical aspects of the theory and methods of mechatronics, the synergetic integration of mechanical engineering with electronic and intelligent computer control in the design and manufacture of industrial products and processes.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Okyay Kaynak
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Bogazici University
34342 Istanbul, Turkey
okyay.kaynak@boun.edu.tr