Semi-Autonomous Robotic System for Remote Trauma Assessment

Trauma is among the leading causes of death in the United States with up to 29% of pre-hospital trauma deaths attributed to uncontrolled hemorrhages. To address this problem, we developed a semi-autonomous robotic system capable of assessing trauma using 2D and 3D image analysis and enabling remote Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) en route to the hospital for earlier trauma diagnosis and faster initialization of life saving care.

The assessment begins with the robot autonomously sweeping over the patient to record several point cloud images, which are stitched together to construct a 3-Dimensional image of the torso. 2-Dimensional RGB images are also collected during this process for the detection and localization of the umbilicus and wounds. The 3D image along with the position of the umbilicus are used to autonomously estimate the FAST scan locations. The robot autonomously positions the ultrasound probe at a point close to each FAST scan position, before a remote physician assumes control to perform the assisted tele-manipulated ultrasound scan with haptic feedback. A Graphical User Interface assists the remote operator in switching between FAST scan positions and help with the tele-manipulation.

The system accurately calculates FAST scan positions of an ultrasound phantom using the measured phantom size and position of the umbilicus. It also accurately detects and localizes gunshot wounds on the patient’s torso to help the physician avoid them during tele-manipulation using Artificial Potential Fields (APFs). A radiologist successfully completed a remote FAST scan of the phantom using the system with improved image quality over manual scans, demonstrating the feasibility of the system to virtually bring a physician inside an ambulance for pre-hospital trauma assessment of a patient.


  1.  Fleiter, T., Krieger, A., Saeidi, H., Mathur, B., Schaffer, S., Topiwala, A., Kam, M. System and Methods for Remote Trauma Assessment. (Patent Pending) U.S. Non-Provisional Application No.: 16/714,134 


  1. Mathur, B., Topiwala, A., Saeidi, H., Fleiter, T. & Krieger, A. Evaluation of Control Strategies for a Tele-manipulated Robotic System for Remote Trauma Assessment, 2019 Proceedings of the Conference on Control and its Applications. 2019, 7-14.

  2. Mathur, B., Topiwala, A., Schaffer S., Kam M., Saeidi, H., Fleiter, T. & Krieger, A. A Semi-Autonomous Robotic System for Remote Trauma Assessment, 2019 IEEE 19th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering (BIBE), Athens, Greece, 2019, pp. 649-656.



  1. Best Paper Award at the 19th IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering, Athens, Greece, 2019