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Optical Measurement Systems

Optical 3D measurement systems in the close-range infrared field deliver reliable position data. Applicable in numerous fields of our customers, they are widely used in the medtech sector – from diagnostic to surgical applications. They are developed and produced at our headquarter in Canada.

Our optical measurement systems are very accurate and are integrated by our medtech customers into their application specific systems when the surgeon operates with rigid instruments. Markers are attached to these instruments which are detected by the camera through their reflection. The position of the instrument is illustrated on a medical image. This enables the surgeon to navigate the instrument in real time and to reach the required location. Due mainly to its easy integration, this measurement system has been established on the market for years and is used by many medtech companies.

Principle of Operation

  • Optical markers are affixed to rigid objects (3 markers for spatial position determination)
  • The cameras of the 3D measurement system specify a measurement range and capture the marker positions within this range
  • The system transmits the position and orientation data to the application software, which processes it according to the application requirement, e.g. for visualization


  • Real-time 3D measurement (position and orientation)
  • High accuracy of the optical measurement systems
  • Larger measurement range than EM systems
  • Easy setup in practice
  • No radiation risk from the measurement system because infrared measurement technology does not pose a health risk
  • Different product variants allow for an application matchd approach (video camera, higher measurement rate and specific camera for radiotherapy)
  • NDI’s Polaris Vicra® is a perfect fit when it comes to interventions which need a smaller measurement volume. This camera can be easily integrated into the OR/ treatment room and contributes to the confidence of the surgeon with its high accuracy.

Our customers’ fields of application for optical measurement systems


Reaching the tumor safely and quickly: by position determination of neurosurgical tools with reference to pre-operative brain images.


Achieving optimal prosthetic fit: by position determination of orthopedic tools, including robot arm in knee endoprosthetics.

Spine surgery

Positioning spinal implants accurately: by position determination of surgical tools.


Avoiding damage to healthy tissue during radiation: by pre-positioning the patient in a linear accelerator and detecting their motions.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation more effectively: through the navigation of the magnetic coil better outcomes can be achieved in applications like depression treatment.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Improve Robotic-Assisted Surgery: through the Polaris Vega® XT which has a significantly higher frame rate and precision that allows for an anatomic specific placement of implants and therefore a longer life of these.

Polaris Vega® and Vicra® compared

Compare productsPolaris Vega®Polaris Vicra®
Product image
Max. measurement size3 m³0.35 m³
3D volumetric accuracyup to 0.12 mm RMSup to 0.25 mm RMS
Max. number of markers25 tools, up to 6 markers per tool15 tools, up to 6 markers per tool
Max. measurement rate60 Hz / 250 Hz20 Hz
OptionalStandard, Video camera--
Product rangeconvenient for various medical interventions that are analyzed afterwards, for surgical robotics and other interventions that need a high frame rateconvenient for various medical interventions with a small measurement volume

To find out more, please go to the website of our headquarter
Northern Digital Inc. →