Robot POV: A potential new dimension to spectating?

After seeing many of the Robot POV videos posted on the forum, an idea comes to mind. Imagine an event where the robots on the field all had network cameras that were connected to the AV system. Teams at regional’s with their AXIS Camera or GoPro could opt in to having robot POV as part of the field camera coverage.

Watching the many webcasts has shown large differences in the quality and number of cameras. Some events had single viewpoints from midway in the audience with low visibility. Some had cameras by the feeder station (very nice). But imagine a match that could show a robot shooting frisbees or blocking another robot from the point of view of the robot in real time on the big screen while the match happened! Robotics has the unique possibility of having camera angles not seen often in spectator events. The kit of parts in previous years even came with a network camera (AXIS).

Now, the specifics of such a setup are where I am not as clear. I don’t have much experience with A/V, but I suspect that with some work this kind of setup could be plausible.

However, another issue I see is the restrictions on wireless communication on the field. With the newer bandwidth limits and the restriction of non-FCS Wifi on the field, it might not be possible without approval from FIRST but it could be more plausible for an off-season event. Perhaps if camera data was transferred through a different router via Ad-hoc? I am not as clear as I should be on the Wifi rules. I would love some more insight on the idea from more experienced parties. Thoughts?

I don’t know if transmitting high quality video would be possible with the current field setup but if it required a special setup to augment the current routers, it would be a cool thing to do for very special occasions like divisional eliminations or something.

They did this for the 2011 MSC Broadcast, and yes, it was awesome. I’m not sure the exact setup they used, but it was not done live, so that’s an obstacle. But yeah, it really adds to the effect and is awesome and cool. The issue is the transmitting required from that/possible effects it might have on the field. Also the question of how the weight of the cameras/mountings would go in inspection.

This is an interesting idea. For the Connect A Million Minds FIRST Robotics Invitational we will once again be making a (2) DVD copy of the webcast for each of the teams. The crew that did the editing for us last year was very good. I will inquire about the possibility of incorporating some robot perspective video recorded from some of the robots. Don’t know if it will be feasible, but it does sound like a cool idea.

How about using higher quality cameras on other bands like 900Mhz and 5.8GHz? Teams could be required in the rules to put a mounting bracker on their robot for a camera, and the regional would supply the cameras.

We recorded some POV footage on our robot using a GoPro 2 camera. The video is very high definition, and I’m doubtful the current FMS would be able to handle any kind of live stream. The recorded and stored video is very cool, though.

This video contains some of the POV footage we recorded at Troy last weekend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnDLFystS1Y

Love the idea. Much easier to use this video in post instead of live…stressing the FMS network any further would be unwise, given issues some teams have had with cameras this year.

You’re reminding me to throw a GoPro on our robot for our next regional. We’re close to 120lbs so might just have to be for some practice matches :slight_smile:

MetroSports here in KC has been showing eliminations (or parts of them) a few days/weeks after the KC regional for a few years. During Logomotion, they got some POV footage from 1986 and cut it into their match footage, which was delightful.

I’d agree that for webcast/big screen purposes we don’t really have the bandwidth, but it is a great addition to any broadcast that has the option of post-production, and I’m enjoying the footage folks are posting here. I’m hoping our media team will bring the GoPro to Razorback. We’ve got the weight for it, last time I checked.

FIRST could always utilize a dual-band wifi connection and/or an AC type wireless system (Gigabit wireless speeds). For example…

http://www.linksys.com/en-eu/products/routers/EA6500

That alone should solve a LOT of bandwidth issues.

FMS currently utilizes 5Ghz 802.11n…sure, adding a second network purely for video could work, but means additional hardware and configuration/setup time. Time is already a premium at events.

I’m hoping we’ll see 802.11ac become the FMS standard next year.