Request: Picture from camera on pole in driverstation

If anyone is using a camera on a pole in the driver station, could you please post a picture from the camera of what it sees, and also include how tall the pole is. Thanks,

This is aother team’s setup. I don’t know if they were allowed to use it for qual matches, I took this picture on practice day.

Thank you sir. could you estimate how tall their pole was from the top of the screen? Just an approximate.

The aspect ratio of the neutral zone in the picture is .23, the actual aspect ratio of the neutral zone is .51. Just taking that from the center line to the castle wall, I estimate that the camera was 12’ 3" above the floor.

Edit: I thought of a much easier way to figure this that doesn’t depend on the narrowness of the neutral zone. I extended the side limits of the field to the vanishing point for these parallel horizontal lines, which meet a bit above and to the right of the tower. As the top of the opposing tower is essentially 10’ above the carpet, I’ll revise my estimate to a few inches shy of 11 feet.

Team 5012 won the Creativity Award at the Los Angeles Regional for creating a camera-on-a-pole system to view the field. Not sure how big their monitor was thought!

Won the Creativity Award in LA, banned in Orlando as a “safety hazard” by the head ref.

Hey GDC, settle this one?

They already have:

That doesn’t mean all implementations of tall cameras are OK. Maybe the one in Orlando was unsafe??

According to the teams I asked, the ref ruled any pole above the driver station was illegal no matter how it was constructed or mounted. I’m not sure how accurate this info is however, is anyone who went to the event willing to update us on what happened?

With all the hard hits to the driver station wall during the match, especially auto, I can see why an official would deem it unsafe.

That’s why you attach to the velcro on the driver station

Haha. True. But a 10 foot pole may put a little too much lever action on that velcro if it sways.

I think 5012 left their pole collapsed and on the ground during AUTO, so after that they are free to hold it upright during the rest of the match.

Anyone who saw their set up close up is free to correct me.

I agree, there are some camera setups I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole (pun intended). However, the head ref went solely on height (which is correlated to effectiveness here) without any discussion of actual design.

(For the record: 4901’s camera was mounted to a retractable aluminum painter’s pole. That pole was then mounted inside a 2’ or so length of 2" PVC, which was then fit inside a drain fitting that used the screw mounts (backwards) to attach it to our controller board. Our drive team members could actuate it up and down from a standing position after placing it on the shelf. It would take active malice to make that become a hazard.)

This is what we experienced.


Any idea how we get a true ruling from FIRST? Doesn’t sound right if a team wasn’t allowed just because it was above driver station height.

From what we were told at Orlando, we would be allowed to use ours, but would receive a foul if it deflected a boulder back onto the field.

It shouldn’t matter if the refs deem it unsafe, if the Q&A has clarified its allowed that should be the ruling.

Q&A saying it’s allowed* doesn’t matter if it’s unsafe. Safety considerations always overrule anything Q&A says.

*The Q&A ruling even said camera poles should be designed and used with safety in mind.

Under what rule did they justify that?

It was also discussed by the LRI’s on Tuesday night, specifically suction cup mounting to the polycarbonate and that was also ruled legal. I would hope HQ would come out with something about what is and isn’t safe seeing as this is being enforced very differently at different events.

Having seen how ridiculous and, IMHO dangerous, this has become first hand, I truly hope a limit is put in place. I do see the tactical advantage they provide.

My suggestion is, set the limit no higher than the top of the tower.

You will see everything you need to see, but the safety level is well within an acceptable range.