PhotonVision Beta Release and Call for Beta Testers

PhotonVision is happy to announce the upcoming beta release of our integrated, open-source computer vision solution for FRC. We’ve done a complete rewrite and redesign that emphasizes speed, usability, and reliability; features include:

  • A completely redesigned UI that makes tuning faster and more intuitive, with extra usability features for beginners like tooltips on most options and embedded offline docs. Try out a live demo of the new UI here! If you have any feedback on the UI feel free to fill out this feedback form.
  • A new vendordep called PhotonLib that does all the network tables interfacing, parsing, and math for you! No more copying and pasting long code snippets! It also makes sure that all parts of the vision update are guaranteed to be from the same timestep. You can read more about PhotonLib here.
  • Complete backend and frontend rewrite with an emphasis on better code quality, long-term maintainability, and reliability (we now have pretty comprehensive unit test coverage!)
  • A completely redesigned camera calibration backend and frontend to support dotboard and chessboard calibration along with the ability to view the reprojection error of each snapshot after calibration. You can now remove snapshots with high reprojection errors and view the standard deviation and mean!
  • GPIO/PWM support for LEDs and new hardware configuration system makes it easy to get LEDs working on lots of different types of hardware.

We will release to a limited number of beta testers sometime in the next couple of weeks so we can prepare for a larger release to the general public. If you’re interested in being a beta tester, and you have a working Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 and a Pi Camera, Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000, or PS3 Eye then we’d love to have you!

Please fill out this application if you’re interested in beta testing and we’ll get in touch: https://forms.gle/Khi2kXtozRZHdz3Q7

Note: if you’ve signed up to receive Gloworm beta hardware then you’ll get information on how to access a separate beta testing program.

If you have any other questions or want to contribute to the code or docs join our Discord!

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And some screenshots too!

2D mode:

3D mode:

Camera calibration:

Settings page:

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Some people have asked (through different channels) for clarification on whether or not we’re open source if we’re doing a closed beta. The answer is yes, we are open source, it’s just that we’re not providing support in the beta period to people not in the beta (but you can still build PhotonVision yourself if you try.) Providing support when things are in flux can be very challenging.

If you want to try PhotonVision out without building it yourself, fill out the beta testing application! We’d love some more beta testers.

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WPILib does the same thing with a closed beta every year, even though we’re open source. We also do it to minimize duplicated bug reports and the impact of safety issues in new FPGA images (they’ve happened before).

I didn’t know closed betas were so alien to people. :thinking: I guess people are conflating the reasons software is closed source with the reasons people do closed betas.

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