Vision-based real-time position control of a semi-automated system for robot-assisted joint fracture surgery

  • Giulio DagninoEmail author
  • Ioannis Georgilas
  • Payam Tarassoli
  • Roger Atkins
  • Sanja Dogramadzi
Original Article



Joint fracture surgery quality can be improved by robotic system with high-accuracy and high-repeatability fracture fragment manipulation. A new real-time vision-based system for fragment manipulation during robot-assisted fracture surgery was developed and tested.


The control strategy was accomplished by merging fast open-loop control with vision-based control. This two-phase process is designed to eliminate the open-loop positioning errors by closing the control loop using visual feedback provided by an optical tracking system. Evaluation of the control system accuracy was performed using robot positioning trials, and fracture reduction accuracy was tested in trials on ex vivo porcine model.


The system resulted in high fracture reduction reliability with a reduction accuracy of 0.09 mm (translations) and of \(0.15^{\circ }\) (rotations), maximum observed errors in the order of 0.12 mm (translations) and of \(0.18^{\circ }\) (rotations), and a reduction repeatability of 0.02 mm and \(0.03^{\circ }\).


The proposed vision-based system was shown to be effective and suitable for real joint fracture surgical procedures, contributing a potential improvement of their quality.


Medical robotics Fracture surgery Robot-assisted surgery Vision-based control Real-time control 



This is a summary of independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)’s Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Giulio Dagnino, Ioannis Georgilas, Payam Tarassoli, Roger Atkins, and Sanja Dogramadzi declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

An approval by an ethics committee was not applicable.

Informed consent

Statement of informed consent was not applicable since the manuscript does not contain any patient data.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio Dagnino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ioannis Georgilas
    • 1
  • Payam Tarassoli
    • 2
  • Roger Atkins
    • 2
  • Sanja Dogramadzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Bristol Robotics LaboratoryUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK
  2. 2.Bristol Royal InfirmaryBristolUK

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