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Polaris Series

The Polaris® optical tracking solution gives medical simulator manufacturers exceptionally accurate and reliable 3D tracking of simulated medical tools (via attached markers) over a large measurement volume. The Polaris emits infrared light to wirelessly detect and track a tool’s position and orientation in all six degrees of freedom. Trusted by surgeons worldwide for performing computer-assisted surgery and therapy, the Polaris represents the ideal technology for replicating those same procedures in an interactive, virtual environment for surgical training and surgical rehearsal.

The position and orientation of each medical tool is tracked and displayed within the simulation software in real time. Data integration occurs seamlessly and instantly, providing uninterrupted tool interaction. The Polaris enables a closed-loop system for real-time haptic feedback of tool use, allowing for quantifiable evaluation of the trainee’s surgical technique and performance. When combined with actual CT or MRI scans of patients, the result is a surgical simulation system that provides a training experience that’s highly accurate and true to life.

System Components

The flexible Polaris solution is comprised of different hardware components that can be configured for different medical simulator form factors and integration specifications. The large measurement volume provided by the Polaris Spectra® is especially beneficial for larger, fixed medical simulation systems, including the surgical theatre itself.

  • Polaris Spectra®: for simulation environments that require a large measurement volume.
  • Polaris Vicra®: for simulation environments that require a small, targeted measurement volume.
  • Host USB Converter: acts as a communication link and power source for the Polaris Spectra or Vicra and the host computer.
  • System Control unit (SCU): provides the interface between the Polaris, tools (markers), and host computer.

 Technical Specifications

Hybrid Polaris Spectra® Passive Polaris Spectra® Polaris Vicra®
Volumetric1,2 Pyramid: 0.25 mm RMS Extended Pyramid: 0.30 mm RMS2 0.25 mm RMS
AAK 0.35 mm RMS 0.35 mm RMS
95% Confidence Interval Pyramid: 0.5 mm Extended Pyramid: 0.6 mm 0.5 mm
Maximum Update Rate3 60 Hz 20 Hz
Operating Temperature4 10C° to 40°C 10°C to 30°C
Measurement Volume Polaris Spectra Measurement Volume Polaris Vicra Measurement Volume
Data Communication Interface
Interface USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatible, RS-232 or RS-422 with SCU USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatible USB 1.1 and 2.0 compatible
Maximum data rate 1.2 Mb per second 1.2 Mb per second 1.2 Mb per second
Tool Types Passive, active wireless, active Passive, active wireless Passive, active wireless
Maximum number of tools Up to 15 wireless tools (maximum 6 active wireless) with a maximum of 32 passive and 32 active markers in view and up to 9 additional active tools Up to 15 wireless tools (maximum 6 active wireless) with a maximum of 32 passive and 32 active markers in view Up to 6 tools (maximum 1 active wireless) with a maximum of 32 passive markers in view
Maximum number of markers per tool 6 single-face/20 multi-face for passive or active wireless tools; 20 for active tools 6 single-face/20 multi-face for passive or active wireless tools 6 single-face/20 multi-face for passive or active wireless tools
Tool change Automatic for active; software controlled for passive and active wireless Software controlled Software controlled

Legal Disclaimer
NDI tracking and measurement products (listed below) 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 use of NDI products or technologies in any application.