Here’s how the technology is described in the patent filing:
An omnidirectional camera apparatus configured to facilitate omnidirectional stereo imaging is described. The apparatus may include a first convex mirror, a first camera disposed at the first convex mirror, a second convex mirror, and a second camera disposed at the second convex mirror. The first convex mirror and the second convex mirror may be arranged such that a first mirrored surface of the first convex mirror and a second mirrored surface of the second convex mirror may face each other. The first camera may capture imagery reflected off the second convex mirror. The second camera may capture imagery reflected off the first convex mirror. A method of calibrating an omnidirectional camera apparatus is also described.
Essentially, this technology is for “robotic eyes” that can sense objects and other robots around it, just like human eyes. This technology will be useful for when a robot is inside or in a crowded area where the wireless sensors and GPS tracking tools may become hindered by interferences.
Optical sensors would allow for the roaming droids in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to avoid other fellow robots in the area. Disney specifically mentioned in the patent that there would be many droids in an indoor/outdoor area:
Robots may be used for entertainment, utilitarian, and/or other purposes. A plurality of robots may be deployed in an environment and programmed to carry out one or more tasks. A plurality of robots in such a scenario may be referred to as a “robot swarm.” It is often desired for the robots within the swarm to be “aware” of each other.