Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

William R. Hamel

Committee Members

Richard D. Komistek, G. V. Smith


The Tracking Fluoroscope System (TFS) – patent pending serial number 60/606,480 – is a robotic platform designed to follow a patient's natural, uninhibited walking motion and obtain full-range-of-motion x-ray videos of a patient's ankle, knee, or hip. The video data can be used to analyze dynamics within the human body and develop mathematical models of the joints. The TFS can also be used to study artificial implants under various conditions in order to design more effective versions. Similar systems could be used to aid surgeons in artificial implant procedures. Athletic motions could be analyzed to design more effective sports equipment or aid in rehabilitation.

The objective of this thesis is to present the evolution of the mechanical design of the TFS, analyze different strategies for the fluoroscope system, discuss safety concerns, and present future design improvements. Anthropomorphic, geometric, speed, acceleration, inertial, electrical and budgetary constraints have all influenced the mechanical design ofthe TFS. These issues are presented in detail. The TFS weighs approximately 454 kg,can move at a maximum speed of 2.2 m/s, and operates in close proximity to humans.Therefore, many safety concerns are presented as well as suggestions for future designimprovements and alternative applications.

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