creating your own HUD YAAAAY!!!

i bought a .75" x .5" x .5" color camera and a transmitter set. the idea behind it was that we could receive a wireless signal of exactly what our robot was doing even if it was across the field (i checked and i have a screen shot of the exact paragraph that allows it saved to my computer). we can even attach it to the arm and see exactly what were doing. anyway the problem of viewing the picture came up. i didn’t want our driver to have to look down at the control board just to see what hes looking away from and LCD TV screens are expensive (about $200 a pop for a decent quality one if its a good deal). i thought about maybe using a LCD monitor but the converters were even more expensive than the TVs. so… i thought back to the military and then i came up with HUD (Heads Up Display). the only problem is i couldn’t find a screen small enough (at least one that fit my budget). i turned to the old faithful PC mod sites (these are actually better than robot sites if your looking for anything involving cool electrical components) and i came across the PUSTOM (i know really bad name :smiley: ) 2.5" x 2" screen, they even have built in speakers and i could buy two of them for half the price ($45 each if you look hard enough) of a LCD screen. they use PAL (the UK voltage) but ultimately run fine on a 12 volt battery (which is good because you can’t use a AC outlet on the field) unless of course you like electrical fires in which case by all means use a outlet. the video signal should be the same but ill let you know when i get it. Any way ive got one on order from Europe. I’m mounting it onto a helmet (a skater one i think. they look cooler :cool: ) and I’m including a pic and a link if your interested. I’m curious about your thoughts on the subject :confused: .

In the past I’ve always thought there was a rule that you could have a wireless camera if you clear it with FIRST and if it is not used to aid the driver during a match. I’d like to see the specific section of the rules that you believe allows it.

EDIT: I really thought there was a rule or Q/A disallowing this sort of thing but now that I look I can’t find it. Does anyone know of a rule that specifically allows or disallows it (for the purpose of driver feedback)?

be careful using this at competitions though, there are very specific rules about broadcasting a signal during competitions,
the rule in question (for 2005 but will probably continue on because of the nature of the rule) is

<R94> Any decorations that involve broadcasting a signal to/from the robot, such as remote cameras, must
cleared with FIRST Engineering prior to use. Teams may not use 900 MHz camera systems.

that is located in section 5 of the 2005 FRC manual

yeah that would be the rule it does not say that drivers cant use it and i was carefull to get a transmitter that did not go on the 900 mega hertz range. however if you know of a rule from last year that says otherwise i would be very interested so as not to get a sudden nasty surprise.

There is a rule, or Q&A that very specifically says you cannot be receiving the feed from any camera systems on a robot, in the driver’s station. If you were to do so, it no longer is a “non functional decoration” and must follow all the other rules.

It’s fairly clear why you can’t do this–it puts other teams at a competitive disadvantage. This is exactly the same as trying to use a walkie talkie/cell phone in the driver’s station to communicate with someone with a better field of view up in the stands–it isn’t allowed.

Even if nobody can find the specific rule, unless something major happens that the rules change next year (They probably won’t) you won’t be allowed to use your “HUD” in competition.

Here’s the rule:

<R53> Custom Circuits may not: Be used for wireless communication, such as sending or receiving a signal to and/or from the alliance station

but thats to say that any sensor that transmits info to a driver cant be used. this is different than a person in the stands in that its a electrical equipment on the robot. also what would be the purpose of having a rule that alows camera that transmits a signal to be used but not allow you to recieve the signal? it gives no advantage since its off the shelf and can be used by anyone plus if you follow the extra component tree it fits in allowed electrical components.

See my above post for the quoted rule.

The purpose is that the feed from the camera goes to the AV guy, who can choose to put it on the big screen, or I assume one could be recording the feed to a computer/VHS tape/etc, at the AV station.

which would be pointless because then the driver could see it and use it to his advantage! also look at my further commentary i added. also that seems impractical as the operator would have to be ABLE to pick up the signal my transmitter operates on 2400 megahertz

I’m not sure how you’d get an advantage in the situation I posed. If you’re referring to the feed being on the screen, it’s a non issue. In something like 14 matches in 2003 at Sacramento, we had a camera on our robot, and they probably showed the feed from it on the screen for less than 20 seconds total. Of that 20 seconds, it was all completely useless from a strategy standpoint. You couldn’t even see anything well when it was on the screen.

Basically, I think a camera on the robot is utterly pointless, unless it’s something high quality like a camcorder than you can watch your matches on after the fact, and even then it doesn’t seem very useful, since it’ll be jarred around constantly, probably breaking it, and taking up valuable weight.

This reminds me of potentially (key word: potentially) the greatest robot design we had ever thought of. In 2004, we had seriously considered (even got to the points of determining how to actuate it and rough dimensions and soforth) a robot design that would sit in front of the opponent alliance station, telescope some poles out and drop some curtains to block the whole view. If they couldn’t see, they couldn’t score. Putting GP aside, it was the ultimate winning strategy. That is, until we remembered there was a video screen.

Anyway, the FIRST video screen is a legal and fair display because it is random between views of different robots and of the field. It doesn’t keep any one view for very long at all.

Anyway, I don’t think there is a good argument that a camera is not a “custom circuit”. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it and maybe it isn’t but the “spirit of the rule” is that FIRST doesn’t want any data coming to the drivers other than through the IFI radio modems.

the camera is a high resolution color camera that ive dropped ten feet with no problem except a scratch and this argument is pointless becuase the new set of rules hasnt come out and certian judges allow things that others would red flag. is all speculative. anyway if it gets flagged i just wont let the driver use it and it will still be fun. its just i dont see what problem it would cause since it isnt something anyone could do for $50 its not like a more powerfull motor it has no effect on your robots physical aspects.

You mean inspectors. Judges give awards, not enforce rules.

Anyhow, it would be cool if we were allowed to have such a thing because it would be more like robots in the real world that do more precision type tasks, but if the rules stay the way they have been, I’m thinking all you’re going to be able to do is get a cool view for bystanders in the pit or stands, etc.

your right its the inspectors :smiley: . i think that two things wil come into play.

one: the fact that their are two specific rules that overlap yet disagree with each other.

two: what inspector you get. our inspector allowed us to mount high intensity neon lights to the bottom of our bot. why: becuase they looked awsome. the problem: they could easily be used to “blind” other robots CMU cameras. it really depends on what the inspector thinks is an unfair modification and if someone on another team goes to the judges to complain.

Judges have nothing to do with enforcing the rules. Most of them don’t even know the intricacies of the rules.

If you continue to develop this, I would hope you do it only for the sake of knowledge, and not to try and use it during competition. Any half decent inspector would never allow a robot with such a system on it to pass, and if they did, you’re knowingly breaking the rules (and being “Un-GP” since everyone loves that phrase so much).

It has nothing to do with changing your robot’s physical aspects. It presents a team with an unfair advantage. That’s why a team can’t bring out a step ladder for their coach to stand on and watch the match from about 6’ higher (yeah, it’s a safety hazard too). That’s why you can’t use any device to allow communication with any team members outside of the alliance station. There’s plenty of rules like these that have no effect on the robot itself, but put other teams at a competitive disadvantage.

Sometimes I wish I could put one of those full size cinematic film cameras on the robot. Then I could make some kind of feature film or something, but with my luck, it would be illegal. :rolleyes:

but agian your compairing apples to roated cow tung. im using equipment readily available to anyone. all the examples you give are people being used to an advantage. im using a readily available sensor to have a different perspective. and NO i wouldnt be knowingly cheating since i feal that the rules are contradictory in nature and i would resent any implication of that statement if i wasnt sure you were using that statment as advice. this is like if someone used a CMU cam to find and move balls in last years game you would also be angry?

Just because something is available to everyone doesn’t mean it’s allowed. There are certain things you just cannot have or use for certain purposes. Also, unfortunately what you “feel” the rules are isn’t necesarrily the way FIRST “feels” the rules are.

Anyway, the heart of the matter is what I said before. FIRST doesn’t want the drivers getting any feedback that is not coming through the IFI radio. It is part of the game/design challenge.

If you could somehow use the camera to seek out targets, it is possible you could have an auxiliary circuiot that could process what the camera sees, and then send that info to the RC so the RC can make a desicion to “seek” out that target or not. That would be legal. But any feedback directly to the driver without first going through the RC is not allowed. For example, you could not have an independent LED/LCD display that receives data from some encoders with wireless interfaces (if there were such a thing) in your driver station that tells you the RPM of your drive motors. The camera is no different.

Note: I do think it is a really cool idea if FIRST ever did allow it and/or for experimentation/demos/etc.

Actually, you’re comparing two separate things. The CMU cam is a kit provided electronic device. It DOES NOT transmit anything to the driver’s station, which is what makes it legal, so no, I wouldn’t be mad if you used it in the manner you described.

It really doesn’t matter what you “feel” about a rule. A rule is a rule is a rule, and the rules say you are wrong. The rule you quoted says you may use a camera. The rule I quoted says you may not receive the transmitted data from such a camera in the driver’s station. I don’t understand what is contradictory about that.

It wasn’t an implication. I was telling you that if you somehow manage to sneak a camera on your robot, and receive images from it in the driver’s station, you are cheating

Cory it was never my intention to anger you if you wish to discuss this matter further feel free to email me at mechabunnyATgmailDOTcom but i would appreciate you keeping aggressive posts of this forum and on a more private chat method. as to me feeling about rules that pertains to the reference of me cheating. i cant be knowingly cheating if i believe the rules are open to interpretation but if it will placate you i promise to specifically mention the camera to our inspector and i wish to remind you that this whole conversation is speculative as we don’t know what the rules will be next year. I’m sorry for any feathers i may have ruffled. :frowning:

We had a Camera that the Discovery channel put on our last year at nationals for a show they did on us and 3 other teams.