2012 FRC Infared Legality

To get to the bare bone question… is it legal to have a 12v DC panel of infared LED’s on your bot, as well as an infared filter on your camera to assist in target tracking?

Infrared emitters are legal. I saw a team that had a grid of infrared LEDs on their robot last year. You just cant have any lasers on your robot.

There is something I need to say here. Actually two things.

  1. Last year’s rules do not apply to this year.
  2. It might be a good idea to ready the blue box following [R08], particularly line D. Lasers are legal if they’re Class 1, or completely enclosed in a COTS part.

That said, an IR emitter would be counted as a custom circuit, and subjected to custom circuit rules as well as general robot rules. I would probably figure that it is legal, because I can’t find anything saying it isn’t.

Thanks guys! Any idea on lense over the 206?

Again, I haven’t seen anything in the rules against putting a lens on it.

The camera is not one of the components on the “do not modify” list.

I have no personal experience with the innards of the Axis 206, but it’s been reported that the image sensor has an integral IR filter. If that’s true, you’ll probably still be able to detect IR, but it won’t be as bright as you expect.

I can tell you from much experience that the 206 detects infrared juuuust fine. IR emitter + IR filter = lots of beautiful white dots where the retroreflective tape is, and lots of black where it isn’t. Makes the 2009 and 2010 days of trying to distinguish colours an unpleasant memory.

Maybe I should have waited for you to get the answers to these questions before I took apart my night-vision goggles and dropped off the IR lights at the BotShop!
Oh well, I’m sure I can put it back together if we can’t use them on the robot…

Word of warning, cameras that have pickups that are subject to IR washout, generally add some form of IR filter to remove that which the camera is most sensitive to overexposure. Your IR may be of just the right frequency as to be in the middle of that filter. If you find your results are less than what you expected, this might be the cause.

The FRC Q&A also says there is no rule against using IR LEDS like this (of course it has to comply with any other robot rules)