Optical Engineering • Open AccessPractical design and evaluation methods of omnidirectional vision sensors
A practical omnidirectional vision sensor, consisting of a curved mirror, a mirror-supporting structure, and a megapixel digital imaging system, can view a field of 360 deg horizontally and 135 deg vertically. The authors theoretically analyzed and evaluated several curved mirrors, namely, a spherical mirror, an equidistant mirror, and a single viewpoint mirror (hyperboloidal mirror). The focus of their study was mainly on the image-forming characteristics, position of the virtual images, and size of blur spot images. The authors propose here a practical design method that satisfies the required characteristics. They developed image-processing software for converting circular images to images of the desired characteristics in real time. They also developed several prototype vision sensors using spherical mirrors. Reports dealing with virtual images and blur-spot size of curved mirrors are few; therefore, this paper will be very useful for the development of omnidirectional vision sensors.