An Extensible Platform for EMT Experiments
Electromagnetic tracking (EMT) procedures become increasingly more relevant in the domain of image-guided surgery (IGS). Electromagnetic tracking (EMT) is a promising navigation tool for situations in which line-ofsight is blocked. This is due to the fact, that under such circumstances, usual approaches like optical tracking fall short. While there are some actual applications in medical environments today, unfortunately none of them are embedded into widely adopted surgical procedures. Drawbacks that arise with the utilization of electromagnetic navigation are still preventing it from being integrated in certain medical therapy. Therefore problems and limitations need to be challenged. To approach the drawbacks in general, the idea was to create an extensible graphical user interface that acts as a platform for any kind of experiments involving EMT. The software ultimately aims to offer a universal platform where the user can connect a selection of electromagnetic tracking devices and is able to interact with them via various visualization widgets for specific types of applications. Thereby time will be saved writing custom software to interface with tracker systems while providing support for certain general necessities occurring in the area of tracking. This thesis presents the first iteration of the software. This first iteration is completely build from the ground up with no previous reference point. After an overview is given for the chosen development software, frameworks and tracking hardware, the key features of the platform that were achieved are shown. In its current state, the software allows the user to connect to a commercially available tracking system and get a real-time sensor data. The user can choose to either visualize the data in a 3-dimensional scene or save a set amount of measurements to a text file. In addition to that, a detailed dive into the exact implementation of certain features is provided. Moreover, a number of tests will be introduced to evaluate the performance of the basic tracking procedure and its visual presentation. Finally, further development of such a platform should help accelerate the goal of optimizing electromagnetic tracking for various areas to eventually help overcoming current limitations of EMT and profit from all its promising possibilities.
Darmstadt, TU, Bachelor Thesis, 2020