Cancer research involves measuring
tumors. This measurement is presently done using calipers to
measure two perpendicular widths through the center and assuming
that the tumor has a known ellipsoid shape.

This procedure is neither accurate, nor precise. In order to
mitigate the lack of precision, labs often require a single person
to do all the measurements for some experiment, reasoning that any
idiosyncrasies in their method would remain consistent
throughout.

Existing Solutions & Limitations

Companies have
introduced
scanners that use known light patterns and computational
retrofitting to the observed pattern to obtain accurate 3d
profiles of the tumor

Unfortunately, these solutions are expensive (definitely
>1000$ for the machines; we figured our solution was significantly
cheaper than that lower bound, so didn't bother looking further.)
Plus, they are quite complicated, and we wondered whether
something simpler would work.

Our Solution

We've developed a simple solution that uses individual needles
to take point measurements of the height of the tumor at multiple
points in a grid, and then multiplies them by the area of each
grid square, giving the tumor volume along with a maximum error
that is well understood from the study of approximations of
definite integrals.

Pictures of the 3d models, as well as the schematic for the
circuit to poll the keys in the measurement needle are given
below. This page will be updated with more detailed notes and
videos soon!