RobUSt-An Autonomous Robotic Ultrasound System for Medical Imaging

Filip Suligoj*, Christoff M. Heunis, Jakub Sikorski, Sarthak Misra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Medical ultrasound (US) systems are widely used for the diagnosis of internal tissues. However, there are challenges associated with acquiring and interpreting US images, such as incorrect US probe placement and limited available spatial information. In this study, we expand the capabilities of medical US imaging using a robotic framework with a high level of autonomy. A 3D camera is used to capture the surface of an anthropomorphic phantom as a point cloud, which is then used for path planning and navigation of the US probe. Robotic positioning of the probe is realised using an impedance controller, which maintains stable contact with the surface during US scanning and compensates for uneven and moving surfaces. Robotic US positioning accuracy is measured to be 1.19± 0.76mm. The mean force along US probe ${z}$ -direction is measured to be 6.11±1.18N on static surfaces and 6.63±2.18N on moving surfaces. Overall lowest measured force of 1.58N demonstrates constant probe-to-surface contact during scanning. Acquired US images are used for the 3D reconstruction and multi-modal visualization of the surface and the inner anatomical structures of the phantom. Finally, K-means clustering is used to segment different tissues. Best segmentation accuracy of the jugular vein according to Jaccard similarity coefficient is measured to be 0.89. With such an accuracy, this system could substantially improve autonomous US acquisition and enhance the diagnostic confidence of clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67456-67465
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biomedical imaging
  • medical robots
  • object segmentation
  • path planning
  • robot control
  • UT-Gold-D


Dive into the research topics of 'RobUSt-An Autonomous Robotic Ultrasound System for Medical Imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this