Virtual Odometer for GE 9900 X-Ray Machines

GE Healthcare designs real time fluoroscopy machines used throughout hospitals, especially in operating rooms. Currently, the engineers at GE are seeking to improve the lifetime of their C-arms, but do not have enough data on how the C-arm is really used in hospitals. They would like to know which joints are used, how these joints are used, and how often they are used in order to better design the C-arm. The system we designed allows for precision tracking of the Orbital (the joint of greatest interest to GE Healthcare), Flip-flop, L-arm, and Wig-wag motions. The system will not interfere with any C-arm movements. 

The design is defined by two modular systems, each with its own power, sensors, and memory. A Rotary encoder, for each system, tracks the Orbital and Flip-flop joints while an inertial measurement unit monitors rotations of the L-arm and Wig-wag joints. Data can be removed from each device via SD card. Future work could include adding a sensor to the wheels to measure their rotation, and distance sensors could track the transverse and vertical movements. To extend the life of the system, sleep code could turn off certain sensors when they are not in use.

Currently, GE Healthcare technicians will be able to quickly and easily attach the system to C-arms operating in hospitals around the world. After about two weeks, the system can be detached, recharged and moved to a new C-arm. The data collected from various machines will represent the use of the C-arm joints, and clearly communicate which joints can be improved. With this data, GE Healthcare engineers can see which joints need improvement enabling them to create longer lasting machines.

School Year (term): 
GE Healthcare
Team Name: 
Neal Bangerter
Team Members: 
Breanne Engebrecht, Michelle Bywater, Marsie Trego, Michael Larsen, McKay Noll

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