Fast Vision-based Catheter 3D Reconstruction

Position: Research Scholar AND Research Fellow in Robotics and Haptics

Location: Harvard Biorobotics Laboratory, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, USA AND Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), Deakin University, Australia

Period: 2014 – 2015


Continuum robots offer better maneuverability and inherent compliance and are well-suited for surgical applications as catheters, where gentle interaction with the environment is desired. However, sensing their shape and tip position is a challenge as traditional sensors can not be employed in a way they are in rigid robotic manipulators. In this work, a high speed vision-based shape sensing algorithm for real-time 3D reconstruction of continuum robots based on the views of two arbitrary positioned cameras is presented. The algorithm is based on the closed-form analytical solution of the reconstruction of quadratic curves in 3D space from two arbitrary perspective projections. High-speed image processing algorithms are developed for the segmentation and feature extraction from the images. The proposed algorithms are experimentally validated for accuracy by measuring the tip position, length and bending and orientation angles for known circular and elliptical catheter shaped tubes. Sensitivity analysis is also carried out to evaluate the robustness of the algorithm. Experimental results demonstrate good accuracy (maximum errors of ± 0.6 mm and ± 0.5 deg), performance (200 Hz), and robustness (maximum absolute error of 1.74 mm, 3.64 deg for the added noises) of the proposed high speed algorithms.

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