Wheres the camera?

This is my team’s rookie year, and we thought we would receive an axis camera this year for the image recognition. It was not in either of the totes nor the KOP list but it was on the WPI website for being part of the hardware provided? http://wpilib.screenstepslive.com/s/3120/m/8559/l/90113-2013-frc-control-system-hardware-overview . Will we have to buy one on our own?

I believe it became a first choice item. I do not know the status on how many are in stock. Otherwise, yes, you will have to buy one.

Im sorry but whats a first choice item?


FIRST Choice is a program run by Andymark where you are allotted a certain number of credits to receive items donated by FIRST sponsors - i.e. they’re free; only cost is shipping. All teams received 200 credits, 100 when the system was opened and another 100 yesterday during kickoff.

FIRSTChoice login information can be found in your TIMS account after FIRST receives your registration payment.

You log in to and order the items here.

The camera is out of stock but there’s still plenty of stuff to snatch up.

The link you provided is to a site that discusses common FIRST setups, and as the camera was included in the KoP for rookies for the past three years and has its own wiring setup, it was mentioned there. You will, therefore as you inferred, have to buy your own or use a sponsor’s PDV to obtain it.

They are out of stock on first choice.

Why don’t they include the camera and certain other parts in the rookie kit anymore? Many rookie teams, like this one here, don’t know about FIRST Choice and it’s impossible for them to get something like a camera for less than normal value before it’s too late.

Remember that FIRST pays little, if anything, for the material stocked in the KoP. Most KoP supplies are donated by FIRST sponsors; the first variety of Axis cameras that were distributed were surplus following its discontinuation; the second variety was both part sponsorship, part surplus. Once Axis stopped donating, FIRST had no supply to give to teams.

As A rookie as well I am wondering what camera should we use, the new Axis M1013? or are their their other cameras that enable better use of the vision targets?

This question has already been brought up and discussed.

For lack of a definitive answer, I would recommend trying to purchase either the M1011 or the 206, for ease of troubleshooting. Barring that however, per Greg’s answer in that thread, try the M1013.

If you intend to use a camera with WPILib, I’d either purchase an Axis 206 or M1011 from an existing team, or purchase the M1013 through AndyMark or another retailer.

I say “if”, because you are able to experiment with the vision examples even without a camera. FIRST provided image files of the field targets to help get an example of how they work and the info they provide back to the robot. This allows you to learn a bit about the utility of the camera before investing in one. The other benefit of the camera, of course, is to give the driver an image feed.

If your team decides it doesn’t need either of these, you can spend the money somewhere else. Please don’t get me wrong. I think image processing presents a great learning opportunity for teams of all experience levels, and I’m sad to see it not be in the KOP, but I won’t declare it as a must have purchase either. I think one of the values of FIRST is to dispel the CSI style of pseudo-babble that poses as science, and I feel that the camera pretty quickly brings reality back into the picture. They are very useful sensors, but not magical.

Greg McKaskle

Thank you a bunch. We are on information overload here as rookies. Its really fun.

While staying on top of the barrage of emails can be a challenge, the Main Contact should have received many pieces of communication detailing the process for FIRST Choice over the past several months. That’s kind of like saying “it’s not fair that there are so many rules for the teams who don’t bother to read the manual.”

Greg>> FIRST provided image files of the field targets to help get an example of how they work

Hi, Greg, would you mind sending us a pointer to these sample image files? I am unable to find them on USFIRST.org or CD… Thanks! Billy.

Or are you referring the samples here?


Thanks. Billy.

If I remember correctly, FIRST Choice opened at noon ET on a school day. Because of how my team is run, with the student officers choosing what we spend our credits on, we were not able to assemble an order by that afternoon, by which time many of the hot-ticket items (cRio, Classmate, camera, Talons) had sold out at prices that seemed ridiculous (less than a roll of pneumatic tubing).

For the second round of FIRST Choice, (for which I saw nothing indicating more of those sold-out items were added to the pool), my team has traditionally not met on weekends. By the time we were able to access FIRST Choice, we felt the parts we selected were almost not worth the shipping we ended up paying for them.

It’s certainly understandable for a rookie team to have missed the “This item will only be distributed through FIRST Choice” or have caught that but missed the “Quantity: 10” or whatever on the FIRST Choice site, or to simply have not been able to use their credits in time to get those desired parts.

The scheduling and item availability on FIRST Choice was indeed a tricky prospect, but I think the existence of FIRST Choice was well-publicized and communicated.

If you keep reading (into either the LabVIEW section or the C++/Java Section), it will point to where the sample images are.

Got it, thanks a lot, Joe.

The LV images are stored at

C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\LabVIEW 2012\examples\FRC\Vision\Rectangular Target - 2013\images


C:\Program Files\National Instruments\LabVIEW 2012\examples\FRC\Vision\Rectangular Target - 2013\images

for a 32 bit OS.

Greg McKaskle