History and Original Ideas
of Omnidirectional Vision Sensors

The history

[1970]

The original idea of the omnidirectional vision sensor has been initially proposed by Rees [1]. In the US patent [1], Rees proposed to use a hyperboloidal mirror to capture the omnidirectional image which can be transformed to normal perspective images.

[1990]

Yagi and Kawato [2] made an omnidirectional vision sensor using a conic mirror.

[1991]

Hong and others [3] made an omnidirectional vision sensor using a spherical mirror.

[1993]

Yamazawa and others [4] made again an omnidirectional vision sensor using a hyperboloidal mirror.

[1997]

Nayar and Baker [5] developed an ideal omnidirectional vision sensor using a parabola mirror and a telecentric lens.

The omnidirectional vision sensor using a hyperboloidal mirror can generate an image taken from a single view point in combination with a standard perspective camera.

However, it has a demerit that one of the focal points of the hyperboloidal mirror has to be set on the camera center.

This demerit makes it difficult to design the omnidirectional sensors. On the other hand, the imaging system proposed by Nayar and Baker does not have such a demerit.

Further, the imaging system is superior in acquisition of non-blurred images and it can eliminate internal reflection with cylindrical or spherical glass which supports the mirror since it uses a telecentric lens.

[1997]

The imaging system developed by Nayar and Baker is ideal but it is difficult to make it small since the system uses a telecentric lens. Ishiguro and others [6, 7] developed low cost and compact omnidirectional sensors using spherical and hyperboloidal mirrors with two ideas as follows.

Our ideas

In order to make low cost and compact omnidirectional sensors, we have eveloped the following two techniques:

  1. Eliminating internal reflection of the cylindrical glass with a black center needle. With this imaging method, we could use precise cylindrical glass to support the mirror and as the result, we could acquire precise omnidirectional images. We are applying for a Japanese Patent on this idea.
  2. Making the mirror from metal. By using metal, we can easily make any kinds of shapes of the mirror. We have developed original methods to shave metal and coating it for making precise mirrors.

References

  1. D. W. Rees, Panoramic television viewing system, United States Patent No. 3, 505, 465, Apr. 1970.
  2. Y. Yagi and S. Kawato, Panoramic scene analysis with conic projection, Proc. Int. Conf. Robots and Systems, 1990.
  3. J. Hong, and others, Image-based homing, Proc. Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, 1991.
  4. K. Yamazawa, Y. Yagi and M. Yachida, Omnidirectional imaging with hyperboloidal projection, Proc. Int. Conf. Robots and Systems, 1993.
  5. S. K. Nayar and S. Baker, Catadioptiric image formation, Proc. 1997 DARPA Image Understanding Workshop, pp. 1431-1437, 1997.
  6. H. Ishiguro, T. Sogo and T. Ishida, Human behavior recognition by a distributed vision system, Proc. DiCoMo Workshop, pp.615-620, 1997. (in Japanese)
  7. H. Ishiguro, Compact omnidirectional sensors and their applications, M & E, Kougyou-Chosakai, March 1998. (in Japanese)

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