Well my hat is off to our world champions… congrats. But this year in our journey i have found problems. as some of you know our team used vision, for auto. one of the few teams who actually got it working. But for some reason FIRST did not ban green from the game our anywhere around it, i think that because they did not do this they pretty much ripped our chance of making it farther in the finals in our division and maybe further in the championship. in the first match of our division finals the announcer for curie had green hair and pretty much an all green shirt on our camera was programmed to find all shades of the vision green because the lights going on and off changes but anyways my team asked him politely to move until autonomous mode was over, he did move but not far enough the camera picked him up drove forward turned to him and pretty much tried attacking him, we had so much power behind our robot that it slammed into the side and finally our manipulator flipped up over the side and snapped the steel cable for our arm then the ref wanted to give us a penalty for slamming other robots when they come after us first. i know that there is nothing that can be done but, next year if FIRST uses the camera our in the future they need to ban that certain color from around the field because it could really hurt another team our it just might get some one hurt. so please go to first and let them know something must be done not to let this happen again. though there was a lot learned by using the vision but it come to be more of a disadvantage than anything, beside the national award that we received i think that FIRST also needs to reward the more advanced robots more points for all of the hard work i don’t think what is available is enough. Once again i am sorry to not use a lot of punc. i don’t like for some reason using it while i am typing but thank you and great season and see you guys next year.
I won’t comment on your pronunciation to much extent, though it was hard to follow.
I find it interesting that you mention the green. There has been quite the good amount of discussion about it in the past, and it seems that people came to a general consensus that green was ok. I wish you wrent’ forced to expereince this, but please try to look at it in the sense that now that you understand your robot’s ability to put a good deal of power into its actions and that you programmed it accurately, that in the future you may need to deal with adjusting this kind of programming on the fly.
If that announcer hadn’t been standing there, something else green would have. I wish you luck in the future, and I hope you won’t look at this as a cause for you not continuing to a certain level. There are many more factors than a match with an issue in the effect of winning competition.
Our program was so close… then the lighting on the field came up. Wow… talk about inconsistent. By the time the robot found the green it would go up then cast a shadow on it because of the lighting changing the color. :rolleyes: Okay, after a few rounds of loosing the chance to cap we get the numbers and then we find out that shadowed yellow also picks up the tan in the volunteer’s shirts… by the time we figured all of this out we had no real time to actually DO the capping…
I got to personally witness this event from about 10 feet away and when I saw 66 slam into the wall I knew that something must have gone wrong. After the match I heard from one of our mentors what had happened and I felt really bad that this had to happen to you guys during the finals. You had an awesome bot and a great autonomous. Its too bad you had to have it happen then but the only thing you can do with the situation is to try and learn from it and get even better, which I am positive that you guys will pull off.
I’m sorry to hear that the setup around the field caused you trouble, but the situation you encountered was an issue that could have been anticipated and solved by your team. Even if the announcer had not been wearing green, there could have easily been green being worn by people in the stands, or by other team members standing near the field, or even other robots painted green.
I was watching that match from the side of the field. It was very unfortunate. However, I have to ask you one question: when it was clear something was wrong with your autonomous mode, why didn’t your human player step off the pad and disable your robot?
next year if FIRST uses the camera our in the future they need to ban that certain color from around the field because it could really hurt another team our it just might get some one hurt. so please go to first and let them know something must be done not to let this happen again
I don’t think it’s fair to blame FIRST for this, nor do I think FIRST should have banned the color green around the field. They gave teams a very nice “out” this year by allowing them to disable their robots by having a human player step off the pad. Again, what happened in that match was very unfortunate, and I’m not trying to sound ungracious or unprofessional, but I don’t think FIRST did anything wrong by not banning the color green around the field.
You guys came the closest when the only other team in Archimedes tried to cap the center goal and your vision tetras collided. That was heartbreaking!
I commend you for your efforts with the vision system.
Actually, had I known of your problem with green around the field, I’d have suggested our solution. We anticipated this based on something we read in the rules about distractions off of the field being our problem. We angled our camera so that it was staring at the floor about 3 feet in front of the robot. At that angle, the tetras and/or goal colors were still seen at the top (bottom in the T packets) of the camera’s view. The color would have had to be inside the field wall or on the floor outside for us to see it. Hair would not have been a problem (unless your announcer, like Archimedes, did a head-stand on the field).
Can you tell me your match numbers? I’d like to download SOAP 108’s videos of them to see you all in action.
You can download our videos from my BitTorrent server at http://ldeffenb.dnsalias.net:30049. Look for the ones dated for the Championships. if you prefer SOAP’s videos, we were in matches 5 (which they don’t have right), 24, 42, 57, 71, 80, and 89. Match 80 is the one to watch as we go head-to-head with 624 also trying for the vision cap. Their miss caused our miss. Such is life…
Lynn (D) - Team Voltage 386 Software and Coach
PPS. The Tiki Trophy thread has a posting as to what caused our failure to cap. And we aren’t blaming anyone on the field for any of it.
My guess is that the HP didn’t step off the pad because they didn’t want a 30 point penalty.
Although I agree with you to an extent, it was just another obstacle that you had to overcome.
As a television engineer I have worked with cameras for over 25 years. Glib comments about “it’s just another item you have to work around” don’t help. Our attempts at getting anything useful out of our camera system were utter failures.
I watched 66 at GLR I was impressed.
From reading the forums here they are one of only about 4 teams that had a camera system that worked at all. That’s four teams out of about 1000. Other comments in the forums here lead me to believe that the numbers for calibrations were at best inconsistent.
Looking at the playing fields with the skills I have learned shading cameras lead me to conclude the only way to get a good set of calibration numbers was to put your robot out there and do it yourself. This was not accounted for.
In the rules, and question and answer system mentions about programming for interference from colored objects. It was also stated that deliberate color schemes and clothing that sole intent was to confuse the vision system were against the rules.
So bottom line hat’s off to 66 and the other teams that went down the vision system road.
In my opinion the match should have been replayed as the announcers clothing, although maybe not deliberate, clearly interfered with a vision system.
Like last year First clearly had high hopes for some kind of robot vision. The teams that had the best luck with vision last year clearly limited what they used the IR system for.
Maybe in the future there can be time on the field set aside for Teams to do the calibrations for future vision systems. My suggestion would be lunch on Thursday, First come first serve.(Pun intended) After all whining with out offering a solution is not a GP thing to do.
I was the announcer on Curie field. There was only one time that I was approached, it was during the playoffs. When I came over to your team to see how we could remedy the situation I was told that it was not me but a field reset crew member that had a green collar on his shirt. As the collar was the same color as the green tetra, I asked him to tuck it inside his T-shirt which he did immediately. The fact was that you did not even come out to play that game. I was also told by another member of your team later that you were locking onto the volunteer passes that they were wearing.
It seems that there was a little confusion on your team as to why your vision was not working. I do laud you for giving it a go but please don’t attack others when you are not sure of why you had problems. If you ask anyone there, they would tell you that I would do whatever necessary to help teams and not be a hindrance. I WANT to see teams succeed.
It’s not a glib comment - other teams (mine included) anticipated this problem and successfully solved it. Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see any questions on this forum of how to solve it or I would have explained what we do. Part of engineering is anticipating possible problems and incorporating solutions into the design. One suggestion was already made (point the camera at the ground). Our solution was to have the camera look only at the exact locations that tetras should have been found and use the virtual window function of the camera to further restrict it’s view. We did not have a single problem with our vision system at the Championship. We successfully tracked the tetras and goals in every single match we played using the calibration values that FIRST provided. Since our software knew which spots the tetras were located in, we could intelligently decide which one to attempt to pick up, and in the cases where we knew that we couldn’t pick up either of them (due to the robot’s design and not having enough time) we instead would drive over to the autoloader so that it was ready to go when driver control started.
Other comments in the forums here lead me to believe that the numbers for calibrations were at best inconsistent. Looking at the playing fields with the skills I have learned shading cameras lead me to conclude the only way to get a good set of calibration numbers was to put your robot out there and do it yourself.
We used the provided numbers at the regionals and Championship and they worked perfectly. I remember hearing after Week 1 regionals that some teams had trouble with the numbers, but I haven’t really heard anything like that since. Did other teams have trouble with the numbers in Atlanta?
It was also stated that deliberate color schemes and clothing that sole intent was to confuse the vision system were against the rules.
… In my opinion the match should have been replayed as the announcers clothing, although maybe not deliberate, clearly interfered with a vision system.
Are you suggesting that the announcer was deliberately trying to confuse the camera with his clothing? I’m sure you’re not, but FIRST made it clear that they would not go so far as to restrict people from wearing green or anything like that.
That’s not the way I heard or saw it. I was the ref on scorer’s side Blue end. After 66 slammed the wall late in the Qs, we removed anything green from the table behind me - that’s where the robot aimed, right at me, not at Steve. It did no good. The robot came my way again. We then thought it was the green shirt on the auto load attendant and asked him to vacate next time during autonomous. A short time later the head ref told me that 66 had feedback showing that their video targeted my badge (maybe in concert with my hanging Thunder Chicken). That made perfect sense; it always works to blame the ref.
The odds of capping the center goal with a vision tetra were slim to none. As evidenced by that fact that nobody pulled it off. If we re-played every match that went without success, we’d still be trying to finish up the regionals.
i honestly think team 66 coulda been a STRONG contender in the finals… you guys seriously are one of my top 5 teams ! . . team 1596 felt your pain when your cable broke… as it happened to us at GLR (our third match), and recabling it not a fast easy thing (am i right or what!),
also wasnl;t the yellow/black caution tape giving you guys problems? … i think that first did not do enuf this year for those colors… in autonomous i think all should clear away with those colors…!
GO TEAM 66! hope to see you guys again at great lakes next year as you guys are AWSOME!~ and hopefully we can add to that 66:67 alliance !
My initial reaction what was happening on the field at Nationals was a bit angry I must admit. I didn’t like how things were going and just how all of a sudden things went downhill.
But, being a humble FIRST participant, I rethought, reconsidered, and said to myself, “Hmmm, we could’ve gotten around this.” Unfortunately, experience at past regionals told me that such actions were unneeded, and thus, I and the team was sort of blinded to this possibility that we would have to do such a thing.
Between these 2 thoughts, I can’t really say how I feel about what happened, but I am definitely sure about the following:
- We tried, and I’m happy to be able to say that.
- We got close, and was even successful 3 times in practice and once officially at GLR.
- We gave something for everyone to see, and added to the suspense of the game. With that in mind I’ve had a recurring thought about what would happen if we actually capped center or side consistently. May be that suspense would have been lost, the excitement diminished, and the curiosity of ‘when will they get it right’ would have gone extinct. It would be an expected, normal event. I even saw a referee give a very animated reaction when we got close at nationals. So, it was REALLY fun to see it work like this.
- Very few others were doing this, so it was a real treat to see at least one robot go after something green.
- Due to all of this, we recieved the Delphi “Driving Tomarrows Technology” award, which I am eternally grateful to FIRST for giving. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Even though green objects outside the field led the robot to terminal damage, things happen, and it isn’t the end of the world, thank God. I hope all who saw us enjoyed our little stunt of sorts, and I end my 3 cents there.
what actualy makes it interesting is that it was more like 4 out of 1650 teams total and 360ish at nats.
calibration values were utterly dismaying. every field was wrong. the lighting was horrible–not only inconsistent, but also one sided and not omnidirectional. the former made ugly shadows on the field which messed with the color recognition, and even had the ability to cast a shadow over the lens from the robot itself. in order to accomodate for the crap values, we simply demanded a calibration on archimedes field–nothing else to do.
and i brought up a few things about distractions at the drivers meeting on thrusday (i stayed till about 815, waay after the meeting, to talk to the judges). little was accomplished and the judges explained that little could be done about the yellow caution tape on the field and the bad lighting. something DID get their attention, though. i mentioned that in order to get the camera to recognize the yellow on the field, shadows in the hues and saturations had to be accounted for. interestingly enough, the TAN shirts of the field volunteers were a perfect target if the robot so chose. its sad that it took that much calibration to get it to work correctly, but archimdes head referee allowed for one less distraction on the field–the volunteers were required to stand behind the drivers boxes and away from the field during autonomous (this is why i talked to the head ref before every match if a few of you are wondering. i had to remind him) and then they could resume play.
the green was bad in some cases, and its too bad that not only did the hex values for the colors they gave us for the vision tetra differ from what was used in the competition, but there was little support for those whos sole purpose at competition was to cap in autonomous AT the competition. considering the new hurdles thrown at us at nats, one might go so far as to think that FIRST had completely forgotten, or even worse, stopped caring about us select teams. slightly discouraging. slightly. tis the case.
vision is the next big thing on robots–not color maybe, but some sort. this is the 101 for those interested. a starting platform, so to speak. next year will use the cameras again; im sure of it. i just hope they realize the completely unthoughtful mistakes they made this year regarding the use of it.
First off, I would like to commend team 66 for their fantastic autonomous mode. In my eyes, they had the best vision seeking auto mode in the nation. Wait, let me correct that… best vision seeking auto mode in the world.
What I do not understand is why some people are blaming team 66 for this incident. Why is it their fault that the camera locked onto the button of a person on the sidelines??? Had FIRST kept their lighting the same from regional to reagional, day to day, even hour to hour, then team 66 would not have had to program it so that the camera picked up all shades of green. Had the lighting been consistant, I am confident that this never would have happened, and I believe that they would have CAPPED THE CENTER GOAL ON A REGULAR BASIS. Thats how good they were.
66- I feel your pain, and all I can say is that things just arent fair sometimes. You guys did a fantastic job this year, and I’m glad that I was able to see your autonomous mode cap a goal in actual competition.
Let me preface this by saying -
To team 66 (and to others that attempted vision): Congratulations on your successes and near successes. Using the vision system this year was a huge leap of faith and to get it to work is commendable.
I don’t think that anyone is blaming them. I think that people are just pointing out that the environment was what it was and that it should have been taken into account.
Why is it their fault that the camera locked onto the button of a person on the sidelines???
In all honesty, there was no reason that the camera should have been looking 5 feet off the ground for a vision tetra.
As has been mentioned above, there are ways that this could’ve been avoided.
Had FIRST kept their lighting the same from regional to reagional, day to day, even hour to hour, then team 66 would not have had to program it so that the camera picked up all shades of green.
That’s a really absurd statement. Did you happen to notice that the entire roof of the Georgia Dome was blacked out? That probably cost them a pretty penny so that they could at least give teams that were using the vision system a fighting chance. That seems like a lot of money so that a few could show their stuff.
Granted the lighting was very different between the practice field and the dome, which was different from the regionals, but FIRST at least tried to help by giving us calibration values.
all I can say is that things just arent fair sometimes.
Really? I thought that they were perfectly fair. Each team had the same opportunity to get the vision system to work. I didn’t see one team having an advantage over another at all.
I think that you have to agree that for all that was tried in vision systems, many teams didn’t understand the variable nature of field lighting and white balance. At three regionals and the nationals, lighting was variable and different from either side of the field. I saw the vision tetra go black at one regional when viewed from the player station. You understand the intricacies of color matching with different light sources and know that the camera supplied just didn’t have enough tweaks to get 100% but the majority of teams did not. I would be surprised that FIRST paid for the black out drape just to help out vision seekers based on regional results. It could have been more easily (cheaply) handled with lighting at the player station and would have been more easier to control the variations from field to field.
There were enough tools to compensate for most problems but they take memory and code to implement. Vision was not as easy as it appeared for the CMU project in a small room. I think it was a good exeercise for auto mode but would have liked to see the camera in the hands of teams in September. If we are going to use it next year, we should be told now, so some learning and testing can be performed. We don’t need to know the game to do that just that the camera will be included and what the color(s) will be. I would like to see the same colors used next year so teams can build on what they already know.
For those who didn’t try but would like to in the future…Green for you isn’t the same green for a camera. Your brain gets in the way and can tell a lot about what is out in front of your eyes. A camera cannot make those decisions and the same color in slightly different light looks like a compleely different color to a camera. Green can be black or white or even blue under the right lighting conditions.