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Actin® for Surgical Robotics


Actin® is a generic software control architecture and simulation framework that is ideal for surgical robot development and deployment.  Originally developed for NASA, and used by well know medical device manufacturers, Actin supports real-time control and simulation of complex medical robotic systems. Its patented algorithms support advanced features needed for all aspects of surgical robot development.


Comprehensive Simulation:

Actin’s kinematic simulation provides tools for:

  • Workspace Analysis—determine the maximum reachable workspace for a robot.
  • Kinematic Parameter Optimization—determine optimal parameters for a robot for a desired workspace.
  • Base Positioning Optimization—determine optimal placement of the robot for a target procedure.

Actin’s  dynamic simulation supports analysis of the robot dynamics, including torques, motor inertia, friction, and more, in order to facilitate detailed design decisions. Applications include:

  • Actuator Sizing.
  • Vibration Analysis.
  • Robot Controller Design and Analysis.

High-DOF Control:

  • Developed from the ground up to control high degree of freedom (DOF) systems.
  • General inverse kinematics will work with any robotic arm without change in code.
  • Actin’s control algorithms can account for velocity, acceleration, and jerk limits.

Remote Center of Motion (RCM) Control:

  • Supports mechanical and virtual RCM.
  • Mechanical RCM is easy to control, but limits the workspace.
  • Virtual RCM uses software to impose the RCM constraint.  This supports larger workspaces and the opportunity to use the same robot for more varied procedures.

Collision Prevention and Avoidance:

  • Best-in-class algorithms for collision prevention and avoidance.  
  • Continuous computation of proximity to collision that stops the system if a collision is imminent.
  • Optimize configuration of the arms to dynamically avoid collisions. The laparoscopic arm, for instance, might move its elbow joint out of the way of one of the surgical arms while maintaining the camera position.