Intelligent Autonomous Camera Control for Robotics with Medical, Military, & Space Applications

Case ID:

Currently, during robotic surgery the surgeon must interrupt the operation and shift controls to move the camera arm of the robot, causing a distraction for the surgeon.  Researchers from Wayne State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the School of Medicine have jointly developed a new method for camera movement based on internally tracking (via kinematics of the robot) the locations of the end-effectors and automatically moving the camera arm to follow and zoom into the region where the surgeon is working.  The system can be configured to ensure that the tracked end-effectors are always visible in the camera image, regardless of operator movements. 

This camera tracking system also acts as a safety feature.  During standard robotic surgical procedures, surgeons can lose sight of their instruments.  If a surgeon blindly tires to locate them, there is risk of harming the patient if an inadvertent collision occurs.    

Furthermore, this technology can have applications beyond the medical field, where robotics are used to perform delicate tasks. 


Commercial Applications:

o    Reduce the time, complexity, and amount of staff needed in minimally invasive robotic surgeries

o    Similar benefits could be achieved by applying the system to robotic military and space operations


Competitive Advantages:

o    Surgeons can continuously be focused on the surgery, while the camera arms follows movements without any manual intervention

o    Camera tracking acts as a safety feature since the instruments will always be in the field of view


Patent Status:

     patent pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Robert Olson
Wayne State University
Abhilash Pandya
Michael Klein
Ajay Mudunuri
Alex Cao
Luke Reisner
Brady King
Syed Ali