M Industrial Design is working closely with Touch of Life, as we develop their medical procedure simulators in a low cost, optimized package. These leverage their prodigious 3D graphics simulation experience and datasets of the human body.
The OPUS Mini Medical Skills Simulator was designed to provide virtual reality based instruction of ultrasound guided needle procedures, for a variety of physician specialties. The Mini accomplishes this by integrating two haptic force feedback handpieces. Both handpieces are coupled to a 3D graphics simulation of an entire human body displayed on a large monitor, and can be viewed with immersive stereoscopic eyewear.
The OPUS Mini provides the most anatomically accurate depiction of virtual patients possible in full 3D. Its database is derived from real anatomy from the Visible Human Project® and other high-resolution photographic datasets.
The trainee can dive deep into the simulation to perform a procedure in a risk-free virtual environment, while the Mini tracks and records their performance and provides sophisticated feedback on his progress.
M Design faced several challenges in the design, engineering and production of the Mini. We were tasked with creating a pleasing form inside a tight footprint, with an aggressive timeframe and budget.
The delicate simulation wands required dock stations to be readily accessible. While docked, their locations in virtual space are quickly recalibrated for each procedure. In addition to the two haptics force feedback devices, a power supply, electronics, connectors, and wiring needed to be enclosed in a rugged yet appealing housing that could be easily transportable. The dual haptics arms exist in the field of operation of the medical procedure, and there can be no interference with the housing or the tool tips connected to the haptic arms within the confines of the work envelope.
MID’s design created a sleek and memorable form while satisfying a demanding functional brief. Because the units are produced in limited quantities, M Design was able to provide additional cost and timing benefits to Touch of Life by developing the Mini to take advantage of current rapid prototype tooling and production methodologies. The enclosure and other structural parts were cast in UL-rated urethane in our onsite prototype lab. Painting and finishing were also accomplished in M’s AQMD approved auto-capable paint booth. The entire project, from concept, design development, to full production units were completed in just a few weeks and within budget.
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