Bumper Colors Messing with Vision

Our team colors are yellow and black, and we want to be able to take advantage of the new bumper rules and use yellow for our bumper colors. However, we are afraid our yellow may confuse other robots who’s vision system is looking for the color yellow (yellow totes).

Does anyone know of any rules which cover this? We have been unable to find anything…

Look at R8-C.

There are no rules saying that teams must use the vision tape for their tracking.

Please guys, don’t ‘guess’ and answer rules related questions like this. You may steer people down an incorrect path.

There is every likelihood that the team will be asked to recolor or remove their bumpers if they interfere with a robot’s vision. Making your bumpers the same color as the game piece is a bad idea.

It is a bit of a stretch to say R8 prohibits yellow on a robot. Unless it gets interpreted to be a specific effort to interfere. I would ask Q&A to be sure though. It will take a little work to phrase the question in such a way that you get a useful answer since GDC tries to stay away from specific judgements.

On the other hand you do not want your alliance partner trying to pick up your robot & stacking it during autonomous. (There are no rules that prohibit this) & it is not likely an opposing alliance robot will even see you bumpers with its camera.

Yeah, those red and blue bumpers we’ve been forced to use the past several years definitely were not the same color as game pieces…

The GDC seems to be answering many more questions this year than they have in the past.

Even questions like this.

I’m just happy some teams are asking those thought provoking questions…

Something that was brought up on /r/frc was the idea of making a bot that would search the forums and when it seems something like “hey rule bot, what is rule R8?” it would post a comment stating the rule. I think this would be very cool to have on either or both Chief delphi and /r/frc. Anyways.

R8 is as follows:
ROBOT parts shall not be made from hazardous materials, be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition, or** interfere** with the operation of other ROBOTS.

And in the examples it states:
C.
Any devices or decorations specifically intended to jam or interfere with the remote sensing capabilities of another ROBOT, including vision
systems, acoustic range finders, sonars, infrared proximity detectors, etc. (e.g. including imagery on your ROBOT that, to a reasonably
astute observer, mimics the Vision Guides)

An valid arguement exists to make yellow bumpers if your team color is yellow and another color and you want bumpers to say, prevent frame damage.

Vision Guide, to my understanding, is implied that it is the retro reflective tape on the yellow tote, and note the yellow tote itself.

My interpretation of the following rule is that it is legal to have yellow bumpers. If it interferes with someone’s vision (as it would ours if they were the exact same shade of yellow, I think…), I think the appropriate, GP action would be to not have bumpers for that match. And bumpers are low to the ground, so if it’s going to interfere with a team’s vision, it would be your teammate’s, so you’d want to not handicap your own team.

It is very gray in the fact that in the rule, it doesn’t matter if it is intended or not, but in the example it explicitely states that it must be intended. Due to this ambiguity, I would definitely ask the Q&A.

In LabView, there were three vision examples this year. One tracks the retroreflective tape. One tracks the Yellow of the yellow tote. One tracks the FIRST Logo on the totes & cans.

Recommendation: Don’t use yellow if you think it could interfere with your alliancemates vision system. Alternatively, keep ducttape on hand to cover it up if it is an issue.

Keep in mind the only time vision for the yellow totes will likely to be useful is in autonomous. The only thing useful to do with them during teleop is to put them on the divider. Probably fairly simple to position your robot where it will not interfere.

In 2005, I was a field reset volunteer on Curie. That was the year of the green vision tetra, so there were several robots programmed to seek/track green.

My team shirt had a green collar that protruded above my volunteer shirt. During one match a robot locked onto me during auto. Another volunteer graciously pulled me out of the way of the robot’s arm just before it could whack me. After that match, the field supervisor had me take a break to remove the team shirt. The team rightfully complained that a field fault (my attire) had interfered with their auto. I can’t remember if they got a replay; probably they didn’t. I felt pretty bad about having caused the problem.

Imagine how you’d feel if your robot caused a similar problem for an alliance partner.

Even though NI released code that tracks the tape, color, and logo, I still feel the only vision guide is the tape. Again, this is my interpretation of the rules. I could be way off. I made the mistake of tracking the tape last year. I’m pretty sure we were the only team to do that. But we had a cool triangulation code that me and a friend are trying to get published, so it wasn’t for nothing. Moral of this story: my judgment is not good.

The NI example looks for yellow and for a carpet color, either red or blue, that are in appropriate relative locations to one another. It also scores the yellow object on size, aspect ratio and profile. If you take photos, it is easy to run them against the code and see how they score. Or post photos and I’ll run them.

Of course teams can change the code to simplify it, change the importance of various scores, or they can make it even more specific to how their robot wishes to align with the tote. I hope many will do this, as the examples are intended as just that, examples or inspiration, and not necessarily as solutions.

Since yellow bumpers will hurt your own alliance, it is certainly worth being creative about the design and usage of that color or solutions for when there is an issue. Since your team already has solutions for bumper swapping, perhaps you want an “away game” bumper in case an alliance wants you to use it.

Greg McKaskle

Keep in mind that it is your own alliance robot that will be confused and not score, so even if there is no rule it is still a very bad idea.

I suggest, don’t make it yellow. You might mess with cameras.

How about for one year, using a bright orange instead of yellow? It might look close enough to the eye, but not to cameras.

And if there’s that person who asks “Dude, why are your bumpers orange?”, just say “They’re yellow, but FIRST made us add red Invisibility cloaking because all of the other robots couldn’t stop staring at our awesomeness!”