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  • Hanger, Polhemus to Develop 3-D System
May 2003
BETHESDA, Md., May 20 -- Hanger Orthopedic Group Inc., of Bethesda, and Polhemus, a producer of 3-D motion tracking systems based in Colchester, Vt., are jointly developing a laser scanning system for prosthetic and orthotic applications.

The 3-D motion-tracking laser scanner, developed by Polhemus and Applied Research Associates in New Zealand exclusively for Hanger practitioners, incorporates the same patented technology used by US armed services. Hanger is currently testing the scanner for various applications, including prosthetic sockets, cranial helmets, spinal jackets and custom orthotic braces.

The compact, portable laser scanner works by casting a fan of laser light over an object while a camera attached to a wand views the laser to record a cross-sectional profile of the object. The embedded motion-racking device determines the position and orientation of the scanner's wand, enabling the computer to reconstruct the full 3-D surface of the object with Hanger's proprietary CAD/CAM software. Moving objects can be scanned by attaching a small second receiver to the object in motion.

Hanger plans to launch the laser scanner system to all of its patient care centers in July.

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