Workaround for the Kinect?

I know there have been multiple threads, but I haven’t seen (I may have missed it) anyone suggest using a wireless USB.

This particular one uses 5VDC, which would be perfect for the robot. I think I am missing something however? I think it is okay rule wise (as long as we get approved) but will it entirely work on the robot?

One D-Link DAP-1522 is the only permitted device for communicating to and from the Robot during the match. All
signals must originate from the Operator Console and be transmitted to the Robot via the official Arena hardware.
No other form of wireless communications shall be used to communicate to, from or within the Robot (e.g. radio
modems from previous FIRST competitions and Bluetooth devices are not permitted on the Robot during

So, probably not.

What about this rule? It wouldn’t be directly connected to the cRIO


Any decorations that involve broadcasting a signal to/from the Robot, such as remote cameras, must be approved by FIRST (via e-mail to prior to the event and tested for communications interference at the venue. Such devices, if reviewed and approved, are excluded from Rule [R55].

So, what is a decoration?

I would imagine this it includes everything from LEDs to other cameras, based on the wording of the rule


Any decorations that involve broadcasting a signal to/from the Robot, such as remote cameras

Also in R84

Examples of prohibited wireless systems include, but are not limited to, active wireless network cards and Bluetooth devices. For the case of FRC, a motion sensing input device (e.g. Microsoft Kinect) is not considered wireless communication and is allowed.

Having been on a team that actually used a camera on the robot as a decoration prior to the cRio switchover, I can attest to this: they are very stingy about what is considered a decoration, and it appears they have a strict definition of decoration that revolves around non-functionality. We were allowed to put a camera on as decoration and record what went on in the robot (we actually stored to onboard memory for retrieval after the match), but every single judge wanted to make absolutely sure we weren’t using it for real-time driving, because then it wouldn’t be a decoration anymore (this was before video was allowed back at the driver station - that has since changed, but their definition of decoration has not). Since that is what you’d be doing with the wireless system, it couldn’t be logically defined as a decoration, and so wouldn’t fall under the jurisdiction of [R67], meaning [R55] all the way. Sorry - no wireless USB for you.

How were you using this video? For strategy/analyzing how your robot was working/anything like that? Or for a marketing/PR standpoint? If it’s the former, it is still not a non-functional decoration because it gives you an edge over the other teams.

[R05] Any non-functional decorations included on the Robot must not affect the outcome of the match and must be in the spirit of Gracious Professionalism.

Also for the OP:
…When reading these rules, please use technical common sense (engineering thinking) rather than “lawyering” the interpretation and splitting hairs over the precise wording in an attempt to find loopholes. Try to understand the reasoning behind a rule.

It was most definitely for PR use. It was mounted in such a way that you could not see much of the robot, and, the manipulator rarely entered frame.


If you’re using the original cRio, what could be done is take a USB-to-Serial chip and hook the USB up to the RS-232 port and start a serial connection.

Those plug into a computer’s USB connection and provide a serial port. You want something that goes in the other direction. I don’t think you’ll find one that’s any simpler than something like a USB-host-equipped Arduino or similar embedded microcontroller.