Robotic assistance can be used to enhance traditional laparoscopic tools and facilitate complex procedures to be performed by minimally invasive surgery (MIS). With robotic assisted MIS systems, a stereo-laparoscope is usually used to provide the surgeon with a 3D view of the operating field. This device can also be used to infer information about the operating field such as 3D surface structure and motion of the soft-tissue by using computer vision.
Figure 1. A schematic of a stereo-laparoscope viewing observing the heart and an in vivo stereo pair.
Example of feature based tissue tracking on a beating heart - Tracker.zip ( MPEG4-V2 format, 720x576, 7.7Mb).