Simultaneous Stereoscope Localization and Soft-Tissue Mapping for Minimal Invasive Surgery
We address the problem of globally consistent estimation of the trajectory of a robot arm moving in three dimensional space based on a sequence of binocular stereo images from a stereo camera mounted on the tip of the arm. Correspondence between 3D points from successive stereo camera positions is established through matching of 2D SIFT features in the images. We compare three different methods for solving this estimation problem, based on three distance measures between 3D points, Euclidean distance, Mahalanobis distance and a distance measure defined by a maximum likelihood formulation. Theoretical analysis and experimental results demonstrate that the maximum likelihood formulation is the most accurate. If the measurement error is guaranteed to be small, then Euclidean distance is the fastest, without significantly compromising accuracy, and therefore it is best for on-line robot navigation.