GoPro Legality?

Our team has ordered a gopro hero 3 and want to take video during our matches. We know it is legal, because we have seen multiple teams’ footage from them. The gopro has a wifi option, where you can take pictures wirelessly and such. We want to know if it is legal or not to use this wifi option, as it may interfere with comms on the field.

It is not legal to have the wifi option on on field or in the pits.

Okay thank you

However you can use non-wifi and non-bluetooth (no communication, self contained) device to record video. If you have it on your bot let the inspector and referee know about it. Teams cannot setup any sort of communication/network other than FMS is not allowed.

I guess you can have iPhone on the bot.

I would not assume that one item is legal because someone else used it. At the DC regional, we made sure that the inspectors knew what version GoPro camera we used. They told us that the GoPro Naked we had on the robot was ok. (The question of GoPro Hero 3 was not addressed.)

Go to the official Q&A to get questions answered. A442 addresses GoPro directly.

We use a GoPro “Naked” version, an earlier version with zero WiFi capability. Quite capable camera, especially with a 32 GB chip and extra battery pack added on. This gives us more than 4 hours of capacity in both video storage and power.

As the GoPro Naked provides 1080P resolution, I do not know how someone could distinguish the video produced by a GoPro Naked from the video produced by a GoPro Hero 3.

1 Like

GoPros are great tools for documenting your team and spreading the word of FIRST, so congratulations.

As stated, the WiFi will need to be off. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that it is attached (or with) the robot when it gets weighed (and sized, if you’re putting it in a location that would impact that). Also, be sure to include it in the BOM that you provide to the inspectors. These are minor things that are easy to overlook, but it’s best to leave no extra questions for the inspectors.

we have a GoPro Hero 3 on this years robot and pay close attention to not hit the WiFi button, the camera gets turned on when the robot is set on the field and that’s when we start recording (edit the video down later) we keep the camera and all its mounts attached to the robot during inspection and weighing.

This year our robot featured a GoPro Hero2 with no issues after talking to referees and inspectors. That said we purchased the Hero2 specifically for the fact that it does not have built in WiFi. Robot and coach views are great sources of footage to use in promotional videos for your team.

At the Portland regional we asked for permission to place a Go-Pro camera on our robot and were denied. We finally compromised and were allowed to temporarily mount the camera on our robot cart and take video of the robot riding the cart to the field. We were not using WiFi, our robot was well within weight with the camera attached, and the inspectors did not have a problem with it. However, the field team had concerns and decided not to allow it. As with anything, be sure to ask, and be prepared to accept any ruling by the officials.

We were allowed to have ours on during qualifying matches at West Michigan, but were told to take it off during Eliminations (due to the wifi capability).

What rules did they tell you it violated? It’s a legal “non functional decoration” on your robot. Provided the wifi is off it emits no signals that are any more consequential than those that come off the wires of a BB550.

I wish there was some sort of consistency in how rules are being enforced this year. I’ve found the GoPro footage to be incredibly useful in PR for our team and it’s silly that teams are being told they can’t put one on their robot.

Did they express what their concern was?

Using an on-board camera should be legal as long as all other rules are also followed. see here,

In some cases I can understand FTA’s or officials requesting that you not use them because they are not familiar with how these cameras function. But assuming you are able to show that they meet all other rules I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to use one.

For those of you looking to cite a Q&A that allows you to use a Go Pro:

Interpret as you may, but it seems like as long as you’ve got the weight and the camera is not transmitting signals to and from the robot/itself, you’re good to go.

There is a wide range of experience level with the inspectors. (This is not a criticism after all they are volunteers & there are always more experienced people they can go to.) The best way to deal with this is to know the rules & be able to show what section of the rules allow the camera. If the camera has questionable options like, wifi, you should be able to demonstrate how to keep them off. Ultimately the LRIs decision is final though.

Interestedly it is theoretically possible to use a wifi camera by reading the rules & pre-planning.

Any decorations that involve broadcasting a signal to/from the ROBOT, such as remote cameras, must be approved by FIRST (via e-mail to [email protected]) prior to the event and tested for communications interference at the venue. Such devices, if reviewed and approved, are excluded from R62.

We’ve been running two GoPros on our machine, one older version and one Hero3 Black edition. We only ever had issues in Boston where one overzealous inspector was concerned about the WiFi option, stating that a frisbee could hit the camera and activate the option… A brief conversation with the head inspector allayed his concerns and there were no further issues. Just be sure to have the camera (s) installed during weigh-in and inspection. Our two other regionals, GTR East and GTR West there were no issues aside from a confirmation from inspectors that the wireless capability would not be used. They have given us some absolutely awesome footage! - Be sure to watch in 1080p!

Shouldn’t the gopro have to be powered off the battery per r34. Or is there another rule that lets you power it off the camera battery

R34 directly covers a camera powered by its internal battery.

Joe is correct…
Exception: Batteries integral to and part of a COTS computing device or self-contained camera are also permitted (e.g.
laptop batteries), provided they’re only used to power the COTS computing device and any peripheral COTS USB
input devices connected to the COTS computing device and they must be securely fastened to the ROBOT.

It is legal to use a GoPro, but using the wi-fi feature is illegal.
Team 20 is also considering mounting a GoPro on our robot, as well.