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Applications of Inertial Navigation System in Medical Engineering

Applications of inertial navigation system in medical engineering and its related sciences are widely developed, and still the research is in progress in these areas. Since for most of devices in medical engineering determining the velocity, position and attitude including Euler angles are essential, the inertial navigation systems are inseparable parts of these devices.  Figure 8 shows synthetic gloves that have the ability to recognize and simulate the hand gestures that can be used for assisting robots to help disabled patients. In this project, an inertial measurement unit including accelerometers and gyroscopes measure accelerations and angular velocities of artificial hand. The main part of this project is Arduino microcontroller. Inertial navigation algorithms are programmed in Arduino microcontroller in order to determine the parameters of inertial navigation such as position, velocity and attitude.

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Figure 8

In Figure 9, another example of application of inertial navigation systems in medical engineering for people with severe physical disabilities is shown. Some patients with spinal cord injury are only able to move their heads. Figure 9 shows a controllable wheelchair for these patients. In this project, some accelerometers have been installed on a hat which is installed on the patient’s head to detect the left, right, back and front motions of patient. These commands are transmitted by accelerometers to a servo motor wich can control the motions of wheelchair.

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                                                                                                                    Figure 9

As another example, an endoscopic system for imaging the internal organs of the human body is shown in Figure 10. In this system, one accelerometer and two gyroscopes are used for guidance, navigation and control of endoscopic device.

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                                                                                                               Figure 10

Inertial navigation systems also can be used in other applications of medical engineering such as surgical robots and intelligent patient beds. It is predicted that due to the development and advancement of technology, the applications of inertial navigation systems in medical engineering will be increased.

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