This paper presents an endoscopic vision framework for model-based 3D guidance of surgical instruments used in robotized laparoscopic surgery. In order to develop such a system, a variety of challenging segmentation, tracking and reconstruction problems must be solved. With this minimally invasive surgical technique, every single instrument has to pass through an insertion point in the abdominal wall and is mounted on the end-effector of a surgical robot which can be controlled by automatic visual feedback. The motion of any laparoscopic instrument is then constrained and the goal of the automated task is to safety bring instruments at desired locations while avoiding undesirable contact with internal organs. For this ”eye-to-hands” configuration with a stationary camera, most control strategies require the knowledge of the out-of-field of view insertion points location and we demonstrate it can be achieved
thanks to a sequence of (instrument) motions without markers and without the need of an external measurement device. In so doing, we firstly present a real-time region-based color segmentation which integrates this motion constraint to initiate the search for region seeds. Secondly, a novel pose algorithm for the wide class of cylindrical-shaped instruments is developed which can handle partial occlusions as it is often the case in the abdominal cavity. The foreseen application is a good training ground to evaluate the robustness of segmentation algorithms and positioning techniques since main difficulties came from the scene understanding and its dynamical variations. Experiments in the lab and in real surgical conditions have been conducted. The experimental validation is demonstrated through the 3D positioning of instruments’ axes (4 DOFs) which must lead to motionless insertion points disturbed by the breathing motion.