Mixed reality interfaces for achieving desired views with robotic X-ray systems

Benjamin D. Killeen, Jonas Winter, Wenhao Gu, Alejandro Martin-Gomez, Russell H. Taylor, Greg Osgood, Mathias Unberath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Robotic X-ray C-arm imaging systems can precisely achieve any position and orientation relative to the patient. Informing the system, however, what pose exactly corresponds to a desired view is challenging. Currently these systems are operated by the surgeon using joysticks, but this interaction is not necessarily effective because users may be unable to efficiently actuate more than a single axis of the system simultaneously. Moreover, novel robotic imaging systems, such as the Brainlab Loop-X, allow for independent source and detector movements, adding complexity. To address this challenge, we consider complementary interfaces for the surgeon to command robotic X-ray systems effectively. Specifically, we consider three interaction paradigms: (1) the use of a pointer to specify the principal ray of the desired view, (2) the same pointer, but combined with a mixed reality environment to synchronously render digitally reconstructed radiographs from the tool’s pose, and (3) the same mixed reality environment but with a virtual X-ray source instead of the pointer. Human-in-the-loop evaluation with an attending trauma surgeon indicates that mixed reality interfaces for robotic X-ray system control are promising and may contribute to substantially reducing the number of images acquired solely during ‘fluoro hunting’ for the desired view or standard plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1135
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering: Imaging and Visualization
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • C-arm positioning
  • X-ray
  • mixed reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mechanics


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