Abstract. Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) has recognized benefits of reduced patient trauma and recovery time. In practice, MIS procedures present a number of challenges due to the loss of 3D vision and the narrow field-of-view provided by the camera. The restricted vision can make navigation and localization within the human body a challenging task. This paper presents a robust technique for building a repeatable long term 3D map of the scene whilst recovering the camera movement based on Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). A sequential vision only approach is adopted which provides 6 DOF camera movement that exploits the available textured surfaces and reduces reliance on strong planar structures required for range finders. The method has been validated with a simulated data set using real MIS textures, as well as in vivo MIS video sequences. The results indicate the strength of the proposed algorithm under the complex reflectance properties of the scene, and the potential for real-time application for integrating with the existing MIS hardware.
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