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Future surgeons may use robotic nurse, 'gesture recognition'
Date:2/3/2011

said.

Wachs is developing advanced algorithms that isolate the hands and apply "anthropometry," or predicting the position of the hands based on knowledge of where the surgeon's head is. The tracking is achieved through a camera mounted over the screen used for visualization of images.

"Another contribution is that by tracking a surgical instrument inside the patient's body, we can predict the most likely area that the surgeon may want to inspect using the electronic image medical record, and therefore saving browsing time between the images," Wachs said. "This is done using a different sensor mounted over the surgical lights."

The hand-gesture recognition system uses a new type of camera developed by Microsoft, called Kinect, which senses three-dimensional space. The camera is found in new consumer electronics games that can track a person's hands without the use of a wand.

"You just step into the operating room, and automatically your body is mapped in 3-D," he said.

Accuracy and gesture-recognition speed depend on advanced software algorithms.

"Even if you have the best camera, you have to know how to program the camera, how to use the images," Wachs said. "Otherwise, the system will work very slowly."

The research paper defines a set of requirements, including recommendations that the system should:

  • Use a small vocabulary of simple, easily recognizable gestures.
  • Not require the user to wear special virtual reality gloves or certain types of clothing.
  • Be as low-cost as possible.
  • Be responsive and able to keep up with the speed of a surgeon's hand gestures.
  • Let the user know whether it understands the hand gestures by providing feedback, perhaps just a simple "OK."
  • Use gestures that are easy for surgeons to learn, remember and carry out with little physical exertion.
  • Be highly accurate in recognizing hand gestures.
  • Use intuitive gestures, s
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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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