"VenousPro operates by imaging and mapping in real time the 3D spatial coordinates of peripheral forearm veins to robotically direct a needle into the designated vein. To develop an advanced prototype for initial human testing, we needed to address three main challenges. First, our device needed to be safe, which meant we needed repeatability and deterministic execution. Second, the device had to be highly portable to work in a plethora of clinical environments. Finally, the system had to meet the rigor of FDA evaluation. Before selecting NI technology, we considered several different programming environments and hardware interfaces.
As the complexity of our design and the size of our engineering team increased, we realized we needed a reliable integrated development platform. We applied for, and received, support from the NI Medical Device Innovation Grant, which provided us with custom NI hardware solutions, LabVIEW, and the NI Training and Certification Program. We built our second-generation prototype using CompactRIO for a rugged, embedded, high-performance platform to control the robotic device. We converted our The MathWorks, Inc. MATLAB® code into LabVIEW, and developed an intuitive user interface. We thought the process would take three months, but it only took three weeks because of the flexibility and modular design of the LabVIEW environment. As a result, we completed our prehuman in vitro proof-of-concept testing ahead of schedule.
The core of the device (Figure 2) comprises five I/O modules on the NI cRIO-9025 real-time controllers, including four NI 9514 C Series modules that direct a four DoF miniature robotic arm and one NI 9401 C Series digital I/O module that provides eight channels of bidirectional communication. Also central to the CompactRIO system are three linear stages that connect to the RS232 port to provide XYZ positioning, two GigE Vision cameras with enhanced near infrared sensitivity that connect through an Ethernet hub, and one handheld ultrasound probe that connects a USB. We built the “brains” of the VenousPro from the extensive library of mathematics, robotics, and machine vision tools available in LabVIEW. We used a queued state machine architecture to deterministically control the sensors/effectors on the CompactRIO controller, as well as the user interface (Figure 3) on the host machine.
During real-time execution, images are acquired from the GigE Vision cameras and the ultrasound probe. The processing pipeline employs advanced algorithms from the NI Vision Development Module and the 3D position and velocity information extracted from the images is communicated to the CompactRIO motion control modules at 20 frames per second. The CompactRIO system then directs the robotic needle manipulator. The device uses kinematics, PID, and path planning VIs in the NI LabVIEW Robotics Module for functions such as correlating joint angles in the robotic arm with the 3D Cartesian coordinates of the needle tip. It also uses the NI LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module to predict future positions based on current velocity profiles through a Kalman filter. Complex mathematical operations on large arrays are accelerated using the NI LabVIEW Multicore Analysis and Sparse Matrix Toolkit."
"Alvin Chen is a co-founder and the lead engineer of VascuLogic, where he has helped to develop the first three prototypes of the VenousPro(TM) automated venipuncture device. In addition to working at VascuLogic, Mr. Chen is also a National Institutes of Health Graduate Research Fellow at Rutgers University, where he will receive his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering. Mr. Chen’s background is in computer vision, machine learning, and medical robotics. VascuLogic, LLC is an early stage medical device company based in New Jersey, U.S.A. Its mission is to develop and commercialize image-guided medical technologies that significantly improve the accuracy and safety of venous access"
The VenousPro system driven with CompactRIO hardware and LabVIEW software.