Smart glasses legality during Autonomous mode

Our team is currently experimenting with using custom smart glasses as a form of driver feedback. They would allow drivers to view data such as match time and shooter rpm while simultaneously looking at the robot. Would it be legal for drivers to wear the glasses during autonomous mode given that the glasses only read data from our robot?

G5. Says that “During AUTO, DRIVE TEAMS may not directly or indirectly interact with ROBOTS or OPERATOR CONSOLES unless for personal safety, OPERATOR CONSOLE safety, or pressing an E-Stop.” I personally think that wearing the glasses won’t count as interacting with the OPERATOR CONSOLE since no commands are sent from the glasses, however I am not sure that robot inspectors and referees would agree.

Smart glasses are a wireless device, correct? See H1.


Sorry that I didn’t give details. We are making custom glasses using a tiny screen, so in essence it is just a fancy hdmi screen with no wireless, plus some lenses and mirrors. Because of this, I am mainly concerned about G5. Would proving that the device cannot be used to control the robot be enough to legally use wear it during auton?

G5 says that you cannot interact with your Robot nor your Operator Console. The glasses being plugged in become part of your Console.

Also, are they safety smart glasses?


You can’t be touching any part of the control console during autonomous, passive or not.

Either put the glasses on as you step up for Teleop or make a plug (that’s what we’ve done in the past to avoid having to switch from safety glasses) to connect the glasses when you step up.


Custom made glasses would be a hard sell to anyone who is checking for safety glasses on the drive team.

Safety Glasses Requirements

Lightly tinted Yellow, Rose, Blue, and Amber tints are FIRST approved. Reflective lenses are prohibited, your eyes must be clearly visible to others. The use of anything other than ANSI-approved, UL-Listed, or CSA rated eye protection is prohibited.

FIRST Inspires › frc


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Ah, but if you customized safety glasses to make them smart … that’s what I think the OP is talking about now.

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Thanks everybody for the helpful responses. Since we really don’t want to waste time putting on glasses, we might need to develop a HUD system instead, but limited FOV and lense distortion would be very hard to overcome.
From a technical standpoint the glasses would be much easier to build, so I’d like to ask whether it is possible to request for a rule change to allow wearing feedback devices during autonomous, or to make the transition between auton and teleop longer(like about 5 seconds), so that drivers can put on devices without wasting time?
I feel that since the intention of G5 is “During AUTO, let the ROBOT do its thing”, wearable devices don’t go against the purpose of the rule as long as they are only for feedback. Since they are already hard enough to develop, probably they shouldn’t be further discouraged by an effective time penalty after auto?

Some teams install an auxiliary monitor on a pole so it is at eye level.

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Last year we did exactly that but the experience was suboptimal. Because the robot is far out, while the monitor is close, drivers cannot focus their eyes on both simultaneously. For example, if our driver is reading the screen, the robot would look like two blurred robots rather than a single clear image.
With a HUD or smartglasses we can use optics to make the image “suspend in the field” so drivers can view clearly displayed data without hindering their view of the robot

Maybe use the driver station or an auxiliary monitor during Auton. It should only take a few seconds to put on your smart glasses as Teleop starts.

You can write to FIRST to request a change in the rules.

Ready Player One in real life? Nice!

What about one of these? it’s magnetic so you can grab it at the start of teleop and slap it on real fast before you start driving

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Looks pretty good! If other solutions fail we would probably try it.

The ability to create something like this would probably be out of the reach of most teams, I would think. And I’m not real clear on how the benefits would outweigh the trouble of developing a system like this. That being said, I think it sounds like a really neat concept.

I’m not so sure FIRST would be willing to allow any kind of connection during auton. (But it never really hurts to ask I guess) The rule is a nice easy way to insure there’s no funny business going on. Anything less would probably end up with like 12 rules, 48 Q&As, and 150 diffrent threads about it on CD. And teams would still try to abuse it.

You could maybe try to demo it at offseason events to show off the capabilities. If you get enough teams talking about it and wanting to do it FIRST might be more willing to make a change.

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We just noticed that we missed a simple solution to the delay: our operator doesn’t have anything to do at the start of the match so he can simply help our driver plug in the cable :rofl: Using this solution I think the current rules would no longer be a problem. Thanks for reminding me how good the current rule is in terms of simplicity and fairness. I guess we don’t need to ask the Q&A anymore :grinning:


If I were thinking of cheating during Auto, one of the first things I’d think of is some sort of eye tracking to augment my autonomous path planner…

If a team is able to do that, shouldn’t that be promoted so that students can learn those things. The point of FIRST is to teach and have fun, then to compete and have exciting competitions.

Yes, the rules are against it but I don’t think that they should hold us back from teaching our students other useful technologies. I mean, technically you could use the webcam on the driver station to do eye detection, right? It is up to the teams so keep themselves in check to a certain degree.

We (1876) used ViewFines in past seasons without problems, and the drivers loved them. There is some training involved that the drivers look through the glasses for macro situations, then switch focus to viewfines for detail. Our experiences:

  1. We always asked during the driver meeting, and the driver was wearing them when asking. (To avoid confusion with VR glasses)
  2. The standard viewfine frames are not safety glasses, so to avoid this we had a 3D printed piece with a magnet mounted to safety glasses, the driver would then just slap on at the start of teleop
  3. The driver did not wear them during auto mode, plenty of time to step up and slap on when teleop begins
  4. Get a HDMI extension, or a longer cable. The standard cable is too short.
  5. Keep them charged.
  6. Very useful to display status, like lifter fully extended, etc. so the driver does not need to look away from the field
    I would recommend keeping them attached and looking for a way to slip them on the driver, plugging in during a match would be very stressful, and if there is a problem, the match goes downhill fast. That’s our experience, hope it helps.