University Collaborator
Project Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Services Provided
Concept design, proof of concept prototyping, mechanical design, electrical design, design validation


Tangent collaborated with researchers at the University of British Columbia to develop a power assist device for the moving and positioning of mobile fluoroscopic x-ray c-arm systems. The device was required to provide x-ray technicians with a full linear multidirectional positioning system that required minimal physical effort.  Fluoroscopic x-ray c-arm systems offer several advantages in diagnostic imaging to assist minimally invasive surgical procedures, but the systems weigh several hundred pounds. The weight of the system

makes fine adjustment, transportation and storage difficult to manage.


Tangent's design team designed, prototyped and tested two holonomic drive systems that enabled full zero backlash bidirectional movement. The system used a novel optical handle design invented by Tangent to provide feedback on desired position and speed.  Initial prototyping was accomplished through testing of a small scale proof of concept prototype. The initial POC prototype was validated and scaled up to a full scale

pre-commercial prototype (with a c-arm).


The positioning system is currently ready for

pre-commercial trials, and has generated interest

in the automation of modern surgical suites. The development of this product was guided by Tangent's ISO 13485 registered quality management system.

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Quality Management

System Registered to

ISO 9001 ISO 13485