FRC Rules, and ideas; Flashlights...

So my team has been struggling to create a floor pickup system to grab frisbees from the ground.We have many ideas floating around, but we are having trouble on acuracy from the pits. So we had the thought that we could put a flashlight on our pickup mechanism, which is on the outside of the robots frame, so that the drivers can see the frisbees easily, and then pick them up.

So the question i pose top you lovely folks is, can you have a flashlight, laser pointer, etc on your robot?
And… if so can said device have an internal batery, or does it have to be connected to the robots main power source?

I would like some feedback, from all you lovely folk, please reply so that our designing process can quickly proceed.

Thank you alot from FRC team 2522 Royal Robotics.

Yes, you can use a flashlight. No, you cannot use a laser pointer. If you mount a flashlight, it has to be powered by the robot’s battery.

Look up videos of team 180 in action from last year if you want to see how flashlights can be used for targeting goals and game pieces. With any luck, Bryce will show up and give us some pictures as well.

A light on a robot extension wouldn’t be inherently illegal. You’d have to power the light off the robot battery, the only power source allowed. And follow all proper circuit rules. Also, the arm would have to be retracted inside the FRAME PERIMETER for the STARTING CONFIGURATION.

I don’t have the rules in front of me so take this with a grain of salt. THere is a rule specifically about allowable power sources. You would have to power the light off of the robot’s main battery through the power distribution board. As for lasers I think there is a rule about the class of laser and where it can be pointed. There are a couple of ideas for floor loading floating around on Youtube…Right after kickoff I know a number of people were talking about using impellers powered using a fisher price motor to suck the disks off the ground enough to catch them up on rollers.

I would suggest you look for a solution that has much greater tolerance. The last thing you need during a 2 minute teleop period is to have your team hunting around trying to line up perfectly on a frisbee using a wifi camera that has limited bandwidth.

This is just my opinion though…

R-34 for the battery…Can’t find the one about lasers…


From the rules (sorry that I’m bad at formatting):

“ R08
ROBOT parts shall not be made from hazardous materials, be unsafe, cause an unsafe condition, or interfere with the
operation of other ROBOTS.
Examples of items that will violate R08 include (but are not limited to):

D. Exposed lasers other than Class I.”

Yes, you can use class I lasers. 188 used a 3 laser array to aim last year, and many teams used flashlights.

Pardon me, I was under the impression that class I lasers weren’t even visible. Is there a process for proving that the laser you have mounted on your robot is a class I laser?

188’s lasers were clearly visible on the backboards from behind the driver station wall (across the field).

I may have jumped the gun a little bit in making that connection. I assumed that the rules from last year about lasers are the same as this year’s, and that’s not a safe assumption. I know for a fact that 188 had lasers on their robot last year that were visible on the backboard for aiming. I’m not sure about the inspection process, if someone from 188 sees this and wants to chime in that would be good.

Also, I just checked last year’s manual and the rule is the same. So it’s safe to assume 188’s lasers were class I.

For what it’s worth, it would probably be a lot easier to implement a flashlight, but both are legitimate options.

Quick Wikipedia search finds

A Class 1 laser is safe under all conditions of normal use. This means the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) cannot be exceeded when viewing a laser with the naked eye or with the aid of typical magnifying optics (e.g. telescope or microscope).

Would someone on 188 mind (laser :rolleyes:) pointing us in the right direction as to what lasers you used.

One other thing to keep in mind is that your light source cannot be a hazard or impair the vision of other participants. No mini-suns please!

I imagine one of those LED ring lights (typically for the Axis camera) should provide sufficient light (at least my eyes hurt when I stare at them :cool: )

It looks like they are out of stock on AM, but you may be able to make a “custom circuit” using the innards of an LED flashlight and connect it to your robot power.

You should have seen team 25. A Flashlight? How about a car headlight.

We use Fisher-Price motors… maybe a Power Wheels headlight??? :stuck_out_tongue:

Visibility depends on the light frequency, not the power level.

Lasers are legally required to be clearly marked by the manufacturer with their class (based on radiated power). This wikipedia article has pictures of the current standard labels. This is a good example of the older-style labels. Laser pointers are almost never class I.

If an inspector cannot tell from markings on the device that it is a Class I laser, you will have to show documentation to prove it prior to powering the device.