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ROPCA Ultrasound

Back ground

The Danish hospitals are experiencing increasing pressure on financial and resource in addition to increased expectations for quality of care and efficient operation. Interdisciplinary research and collaboration are vital to identify and implement an alternative course of therapy, which can ease the pressure on our hospitals and increase the quality of the treatment.

The aim of the project

The project wants to create an automatized medical ultrasound examination and interpretation robot – ROPCA Ultrasound (RU) – which can reduce the cost of ultrasound diagnostic and make it more available for patients.

RU will demonstrate how to use a robotic platform in the diagnostics and evaluation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The platform will ensure systematic and uniform method to perform ultrasound scans, thereby ensuring physicians the best possible starting point for the determination of treatment.

Such systematic scanning is not possible today due to inaccuracy in human performance. RU will address scanning of the patient by a new approach in medical automation. We will use Programming by Demonstration (PbD) to program the scanning motion of the robot.

Until now motion of the robots used in medical automation in the healthcare sector has been controlled by teleoperation, e.g. da Vinci Surgical System where every motion of the robot is controlled by the operator or it has been based on traditional robot control, e.g. Cyberknife where the robot moves based on sensor input. One exception to these approaches is robots in neurosurgery where the robots are used to provide a “safe zones” for the human motion.

By using PbD to encode the scanning motion of the ultrasound probe RU will be able to transfer the scanning skills from the highly trained medical doctors to the automatic solution.


In this way RU will have the natural motion of the human operator and in the same time be fully automated. This is the missing link to create high level of automation while preserving the human skills in the scanning.

The project outcome

The outcome of this project will be a robotic platform for automatic scanning of RA and DVT patients.


Work package leader: Thiusius R. Savarimuthu, Associate Professor, SDU Robotics, The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute


Lars-Peter Ellekilde, Associate Professor, SDU Robotics, The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute
Søren Andreas Just, Ph.D. student, Clinical Department
Pernille Vinholt, Ph.D. student, Clinical Department

Last Updated 26.02.2018