Minimally invasive surgery performed both robotically and manually are increasing in adoption at a dramatic rate. As surgery systems continue to advance across a broad scope, the inherent technical requirement for spatial awareness data will only increase. For example, Renishaw’s Neuromate and Accuray’s CyberKnife both require the precise location of fiducial markers to operate. Surgeons performing teleoperations will benefit from the availability of high-quality, real-time, auxiliary sensor information that enables the extension of their dexterity and spatial awareness. Providers will also deploy cost-effective user input systems for simulation programs designed to train aspiring and established healthcare professionals on using state-of-the-art medical tools.
To advance this field and to provide simulation inputs for training applications, we have constructed a robust, scalable, highly-customizable, and non-intrusive system for dynamically tracking magnetized objects by taking advantage of well-characterized magnetic field properties. Ultimately, this extremely low-cost proof-of-concept prototype serves as a foundation for exploring this approach to tracking surgical instruments and devices in the medical industry.