Sunday, February 17, 2013

FPGAs Advance Medical Imaging

Field Programmable Gate Arrays and other computing elements can improve imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography.

Optical Coherence Tomography is a promising diagnostic tool that could have applications in many different medical fields. The technology takes advantage of the latest computing hardware architectures and is used to create medical instruments tat can detect cancer and other conditions in a safe, simple and effective manner.

How does OCT work ?

This noninvasive imaging technique provides subsurface, cross-sectional images of materials. To create an image OCT uses a low power light source and corresponding light reflections. It measures light in a way that is similar to how ultra sound machines measures sound. When the light beam is projected into a sample, much of the light is scattered. A small amount reflects as a collimated beam, which can be detected and used   to create a very detailed image.

Critical Computing Elements

FPGAs enable flexibility, helping explorers to innovate new ideas  and reduce risk in the system development process. FPGAs are reconfigurable through software . This advantage enable a designer to save the development time by demonstrating hardware-based processing while preserving the option of
World's first 3D OCT system

reprogramming the FPGA to accommodate the modifications that are required after initial specification.  FPGAs have grown rapidly in popularity for medical applications. With regard to medical imaging , FPGAs are primarily used in the detection and image construction.The detection application involves embedded systems, with real time performance requirements and significant hardware  interface challenges.Image reconstruction on the other hand , is similar to high-performance computing problem.

The use of GPUs has also ramped up significantly for scientific research.

The above pictured is simplified schematic of time domain OCT system. OCT images relies on the interference of light reflected from a sample and reference mirror to produce an image.

Cyberdyne's HAL Robot

The HAL suit augments muscles movement to empower elderly, injured and immobile.

While climbing mountains and helping disabled are fine persuits, Cyberdyne's HAL robot suits has found an even nobler occupation.: helping patients from rehabilitate and debilitating nerve and muscle illness.

Cyberdyne's HAL robot begins at hospital trials

Cyerdyne has been develping and testing its HAL suit and various exoskeleton technology for service and health care industries. These technologist are built to solve real-world mobility issues, one human at a time. It works by detecting weak bio-electrical signals from patient's muscles which drive small motor and power units.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Brain Controlled Robotic Arm

Jan Scheuermann cannot use her limbs to feed herself, but she has been gifted with a robot arm that does things for her with the use of her mind.
Jan Scheuermann controlling her robotic arm
  She is the first person in the world to demonstrate that people with severe handicap can work on mind controlled robot arm with seven axes of movement. This technology which interprets brain signals to guide a robotic arm, has enormous potential that we are continuing to explore. Scheuermann brain was implanted with two electrode grids, which has 96 tiny contact points for brain areas that control rights arm and hand movement. The electrodes pick up neurons firing to activate arm movement.

   The next step for the work will be to include feedback potential in the interpret sensations like grip strength from the arm.