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6DOF Explained

Aurora® sensors are defined as either 5DOF or 6DOF, and 3D Guidance® sensors as 6DOF, where degrees of freedom (DOF) describe the number of axes in which a rigid body (object) moves freely in 3D space.

Degrees of freedom are reported as translations and rotations. Translations (positions) on the X, Y and Z-axes correspond with the following motion: forward/back on the X-axis (surge); left/right on the Y-axis (heave); and up/down on the Z-axis (sway). Rotations on these axes provide orientation data: tilting side-to-side on the longitudinal/X- axis (roll); tilting forward/back on the transverse/Y-axis (pitch), and turning left/right on the normal/Z-axis (yaw).

How 6DOF Measurements are Obtained

With 6DOF sensors, all translations and rotations are reported. For 5DOF sensors, all three translations and two of the rotations are reported. Due to their sensor designs, Aurora and 3D Guidance obtain 6DOF measurements by different methods. For Aurora, two 5DOF sensors are fixed relative to each other inside one sensor. The Aurora calculates the 5DOF values for each, then combines and compares these values to determine all six degrees of freedom for the entire sensor.

With the 3D Guidance, the design of the transmitter and sensor allow 6DOF values to be achieved using a single sensor.

Although the Aurora and 3D Guidance solutions take different approaches to 6DOF tracking, the result is the same: via embedded sensors, the OEM host application knows if the medical instrument is ‘facing the right direction’ or ‘right side up’ during navigation (or if it’s not). This is particularly important when tracking OEM medical instruments (such as scopes or catheters) that may roll or turn as they move through tortuous anatomical tracts.

Aurora 3D Guidance

Compare our Aurora® and 3D Guidance® Electromagnetic Tracking Solutions

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NDI tracking and measurement products are general metrology components that can be integrated into customer products, research experiments, and/or as components of medical devices that require precision measurement and tracking. While NDI components and technology can be integrated into original equipment manufacturer (OEM) medical devices, they are not specifically intended for a given application and, as such, have not been developed or manufactured in accordance with medical device standards. It remains the responsibility of the OEM customer or end-user to determine and test the suitability of NDI components and technology for their intended use, including performing any required ethics approval, verification, and validation required to demonstrate suitability and compliance. System-level testing, certification, and validation are the responsibility of the original equipment manufacturer or the applicable end-user and should be completed prior to the use of NDI products or technologies in any application.