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Robotic System Enables Minimally Invasive Virtual Autopsies

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 11:45am
Virtopsy Project

The Virtopsy project, a multi-disciplinary project that involves forensic science, diagnostic imaging, computer science, automation technology, telematics and biomechanics, aims to develop new techniques to improve the outcome of forensic investigations.

The system consists of an industrial six-axis robot with additional extensions (i.e., a linear axis to increase working space, a tool-changing system, and a dedicated safety system), a dual source CT scanner with equipment for CT angiography, a digital photogrammetry and 3D optical surface-scanning system, a 3D tracking system, and a biopsy end effector for automatic needle placement.

This video presents a new approach in the field of minimally invasive virtual autopsy for a versatile robotic system that is able to perform three-dimensional (3D) surface scans as well as post mortem image-guided soft tissue biopsies.

The presented second prototype of the Virtobot system at the University of Zurich features automatic toolchange, increased accuracy as well as several workflow improvements.

Using the Virtobot, the surface-scanning procedure could be standardized and accelerated. The biopsy module is accurate enough for use in biopsies in a forensic setting.

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