ROTATION ENCODING OF C-ARM FLUOROSCOPES WITH ACCELEROMETER
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Accurate, practical, and affordable pose tracking on manually operated C-arm fluoroscopes is a major technical challenge. Conventional tracking methods, such as optical cameras and radiographic fiducials, are hampered by significant shortcomings. Optical cameras are delicate, costly, and have a complex system setup that is easily susceptible to camera obstruction in cluttered operating room. Radiographic fiducials occupy a significant portion of the fluoroscopic imaging space. Using fiducials also requires segmentation that limits clinical use. In this thesis, an alternative form of tracking is proposed to encode the rotational joints of manually operated C-arms using a tilt sensing accelerometer for tracking the C-arm rotational pose. The technique is evaluated by affixing an accelerometer to a full-scale C-arm where a webcam is used as a substitute for X-ray imaging. Ground truth C-arm rotational poses were obtained from the webcam by tracking a checkerboard plate. From these rotational poses, a series of angle and structural correction equations were formulated that can properly relate the accelerometer angle readings to the C-arm rotational pose in real-time and compensate for systematic structural C-arm deformations, such as sagging and bending. Real-time rotational pose tracking of the primary and secondary joint rotations of the C-arm showed an accuracy of 0.5 degrees in the entire range of interest.