- onboard laser?

So, my question pertains to

If I just tape a laser pointer to my bot that only turns on when I press the button on it is that legal?


  • Erik

Just don’t use it at Portland when I’m sitting in the stands, OK? :ahh:

P.S. If it’s not against the rules it should be…

Refer to the Parts Use Flowchart on page 14 of section 5 to determine if it is legal.

I would say no, citing the first question the flowchart asks:

“Is the part a safety hazard or likely to damage robots, the field, or interfere with the humans or the controls?” --> YES --> No!! It may not be used.

If I understand its purpose correctly: to determine where your cannon is aimed. I don’t understand why you don’t tape it on and remove it when it is needed. Regardless of whether or not a robot accidentally turns it on, you might break it.

The section that you are pointing to has nothing to do with laser pointers. In the past, laser pointer were deemed harmful additions, in that you cannot control where the beam is being directed and might cause vision loss in a competitor or observer. If you follow the flow chart in section 5, Robot Rules, “Is the part a safety hazard or likely to damage robots, the field, or interfere with the humans or the controls?”, answer yes and the part may not be used.

Essentially this comes from the following in section 5,
<R31> No devices or decorations are permitted on the robot that are intended to jam or interfere with the
operation of the vision system (i.e. changing robot color to confuse opponent’s vision system).

Why not just fit a flashlight to an end of a pvc tube? If you have a bright enough light/ make it like orange or something it is normal non-interfering visible light…

if you are in fact using it to aim, one could plausibly have the robot do some math for you using the angle that the CMU cam is at (my team programmer says that it does that this year) and do some trig using the height of the target the CMUcam follows and how far your robot shoots to have the robot light up a fire at will light on your control area. Or, even better, you could have a robot that fires at will when a shitch is flipped once it checks that it is within the correct angle ranges for the ball to go in. (again, the angles (verticle and horizontal) are returned to you by the CMUcam)

Why not just fit a flashlight to an end of a pvc tube? If you have a bright enough light/ make it like orange or something it is normal non-interfering visible light…

I don’t know about you, but if someone’s flashing a flashlight in my eyes, I’d get kind of distracted.

I should have been clearer for the purpose. First of all it would be mounted about 2in above the ground. It would never be on during the operation of the robot. The point of it is to aim the robot PRIOR to atonomous. Their is no safety hazard as it is pointed so low, just on the field to align the bot prior to driving.

So I pose it again, anything illegal?

If you consider the laser part of the robot it would not pass the acceptable parts flow chart because it is a safety concern. If you say it’s not part of the robot than it would violate G11: it would be an alignment device. Therefore, although the laser is not explicitly banned, your robot might be arbitrarily moved by the head referee. Doing something that violates a rule with the hope that you won’t get caught violates gracious professionalism.

Actually, the laser qualifies as a MECHANISM. One of the PARTs in that mechanism is the laser battery. This battery is not allowed, because it is an energy source.

It’s all in the manual, pretty clearly.

Not to mention the fact you can’t “tape it to the robot” like you say, without violating <R33>.


If you were to power this mechanism through the robot battery, then what?


[quote=<R02>]Energy used by FIRST Robotics Competition robots, (i.e., stored at the start of a match), may only come
from the following sources:
• Electrical energy derived from the onboard 12V and 7.2V batteries[/quote]

[quote=<R51>]The only legal main source of electrical energy on the robot is one of the two 12v DC non-spillable lead
acid batteries provided in the Kit of Parts, or a spare of the same part number.[/quote]

If you were to include the laser pointer as a part of the robot with its internal battery it would violate <R02> and <R51>.

I don’t think you can answer Yes to this question.

I would say mounting a laser pointing away from your robot would be considered unsafe.

[quote=<R58>]Inputs to custom circuits may be connected to the following sources:
• Branch Circuit breaker outputs
• Speed Controller or Relay module outputs
• PWM, Relay or Digital Outputs on Robot Controller
• Switches, Potentiometers, Accelerometers, Sensors, and other additional permitted electronics.[/quote]

I would say that if the light source was safe, and didn’t effect the vision targeting system than it would be considered a custom circuit and could be connected with respect to <R58>.

One should note that there is such thing as an “eye safe” laser, which transmits at a frequency that doesn’t harm the eyes because it is absorbed by the cornea rather than being focused on the retina. As long as such a device is used in good faith (you know, as in it isn’t green and it isn’t shone on the other drivers), none of Mike’s above cited rules appear to be violated.

Does what you have in mind violate <G11> at all?

<G11> Alignment Devices - Alignment devices (templates, tape measures, lasers, etc.) that are not part of the ROBOT may not be used to assist with positioning the ROBOT. Teams that use external alignment devices to position their ROBOT will have their ROBOT arbitrarily repositioned by the head referee.

If it doesn’t violate that, is affixed to the robot with something other than tape, does not have an internal battery, is safe to the eye, won’t throw off other robots (by color, frequency, etc) … then I would say it’s alright to have.

In any case, once Q&A is back up, I’d ask FIRST.

Well some one got it I think, their is a battery so no dice.

We have just decided to use a gun scope.

If I understand you correctly: you want to use a gun scope to align your robot once you place it on the field before a match; you can’t! Rule <G11> explicitly forbids you from using ANY device for aligning your robot at the beginning of the match.

It says that alignment mechanisms that aren’t part of the robot are illegal. If it is attached to the robot, then by rule G11 it would be legal.

Yes, you are correct: a gun scope is allowed on a FIRST robot per the 2006 Parts Use Flow chart, if the cost of the scope is under $400 and the total cost of non-kit parts are under $3,500.

However, let’s not “lawyer” rule <G11>. The intent of rule <G11> is for teams to quickly place their robots on the field without going through elaborate alignment methods. This means not using devices attached or unattached to the robot who’s specific purpose is to align the robot. The kit of parts has been supplied with an abundant amount of sensors so that specific robot placement is unnecessary.

I’m not on the game committee, I’m not from FIRST. If you don’t buy my answer you can ask FIRST for a clarification and more specifically the intent of rule <G11>.