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Unread 03-20-2017, 06:59 PM
Tio Tio is offline
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Auto Gear placement using camera

Hello

We would like to use the camera to help guide the robot to place the gear in auto. We know how to use gyros and encoders to get close, but we would like to use the camera to guide the robot the last 3 feet. We are programming in Labview . Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You
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Unread 03-20-2017, 07:10 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

The screensteps have some pretty good documentation on vision processing. I can't speak to the LabView portion of your request, but you can learn a lot about the concepts in these articles:
https://wpilib.screenstepslive.com/s/4485/m/24194
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Unread 03-20-2017, 07:29 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

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Originally Posted by Tio View Post
Hello

We would like to use the camera to help guide the robot to place the gear in auto. We know how to use gyros and encoders to get close, but we would like to use the camera to guide the robot the last 3 feet. We are programming in Labview . Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You
You'll probably want one of those LED rings that all the cool robots are wearing (makes those retroflective patches pop).

Then you'll probably want to filter based on color, intensity and size.

After that, you're off to the races, just tell your robot to move to the target.

I don't want to discourage you but this is a tough problem to implement after the robot is in the bag. It is hard to do even with it out of the bag.

I wish you the best. And...

...I encourage you to pick it up again as a fall project. Finding retroreflective targets is a very common task in FIRST games. Put that arrow in your quiver and you'll get to shoot it some day.

Cheers,
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Unread 03-21-2017, 03:37 AM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

I echo Dr Joe's advice. Vision processing is best done as an off season project where the pressure is off. Tinker with it, learn the ins and outs an perfect the tech. Once you have it down pat then you have it in your arsenal of tricks and can use reliably when vision tracking is required.

I would advise teams not rush to use automation when a well trained manual or robot positioning technique will work just as well. It may be 'cool' but it also adds complexity. You need to think about what it gains you. In comp it can be one more thing that could go wrong. There is a lot to be said for simplicity. For 2017 4613 actively decided against using vision tracking for this very reason.
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Unread 03-21-2017, 03:59 AM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

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Originally Posted by Joe Johnson View Post
You'll probably want one of those LED rings that all the cool robots are wearing (makes those retroflective patches pop).
Here is a good LED that could be incorporated into your bot if you decide to pursue this:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/more.../attributes/15

Also, I don't typically work in LabView, but this may help: http://www.ni.com/example/6712/en/

Good luck!
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Unread 03-21-2017, 07:59 AM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

Vision algorithms are really hard to set up and get working without experience after bag day in the week or two before your competition. I would instead focus on making your encoders + gyro solution more repeatable. You should have no trouble getting to the peg consistently as long as you align your robot properly before every match.
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Unread 03-21-2017, 09:02 AM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Vision algorithms are really hard to set up and get working without experience after bag day in the week or two before your competition. I would instead focus on making your encoders + gyro solution more repeatable. You should have no trouble getting to the peg consistently as long as you align your robot properly before every match.
seconded.
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Unread 03-21-2017, 12:22 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Vision algorithms are really hard to set up and get working without experience after bag day in the week or two before your competition. I would instead focus on making your encoders + gyro solution more repeatable. You should have no trouble getting to the peg consistently as long as you align your robot properly before every match.
Thirded? We spent whole season working on vision using pixy. We did get pixy part working, but couldn't get aligning to peg to work reliably. We dropped pixy and just use encoders and gyro. We picked easy(repeatable) spots to place the robot on the field. Then practiced and tuned pid and auto commands until we could hang a gear reliably/repeatedly on any of the pegs. I was surprised how well it worked without using vision.

A few years ago during Aerial Assault season, I asked a team that could score two balls in auto what sensors they used to do that. Answer was only encoders on drivetrain(don't remember what/if they had on arm/grabber/launcher). I was amazed they didn't have some fancy sensor stuff on their robot.
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Unread 03-21-2017, 01:25 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

Since I don't know much about LabView, I'll tell you how my team did it.

Basically, we used the gyro to make specific turns to place the gear. (We start in the corner where the alliance wall meets the boiler/loading station)

With a bit of fiddling with angles and such, you should be placing a gear in no time! (We did this without encoders, but it will be much simpler with encoders.)
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Unread 03-21-2017, 01:37 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

I would also recommend using a cheap ultrasonic sensor to know when you are at the peg. This works wonders for the center peg and side pegs. If you rely on encoders, you may drop the gear too soon. With the ultrasonic, after we were aligned with vision (which wasn't that necessary), I just had it go forward at 30% speed until the ultrasonic reported back that it was within X inches. Really was helpful and our sensor only cost like 2 dollars.
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Unread 03-21-2017, 02:48 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

can you share the sensor make model and where I can buy
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Unread 03-21-2017, 03:02 PM
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Re: Auto Gear placement using camera

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Originally Posted by Tio View Post
can you share the sensor make model and where I can buy
There is a Maxbotics ultrasonic range sensor in the kit of parts. It's pretty easy to use.

I also recommend this one for a little more range.

There are VIs in LabView that work with them.
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