View Full Version : Laser targeting?

07-13-2008, 04:51 PM
I was just playing with a low power laser pointer attached to my Vex to see how it would appear in the video cam. It's looking pretty good- bright dot, visible 12-15' away from camera (on my shaded screen porch, not sure how the environment compares to arena brightness).

Anyway my question is, will a low power red laser be permissible in the arena, given the possibility of reflections into the audience viewing area? I haven't seen this addressed in any of the discussion so far, so I wanted to throw it out there...

07-13-2008, 05:00 PM
i remember something somewhere about smoke in the arena lighting up the beams of the lasers...

Other than that, I can't help :veryhappy:

07-13-2008, 05:01 PM
Yes, it would look cool with some smoke, but harder on the pilot!

07-13-2008, 05:49 PM
Reflected laser light isn't going to hurt anyone.

Although direct light (e.g., a robot pointing directly into the audience as it moves through the course) could be a nuisance. I don't know of any 5-25mW lasers that actually can do any real occular damage.

07-13-2008, 05:51 PM
these pointers are all < 5 mW too

07-14-2008, 03:09 AM
you should be fine red laser pointers are not as bright as the green ones and anything under 10 mw shoud be fine. but if your using a green laser i would not look into anything over 5 mw because green is like 50 brighter so it will do alot more damage looking into a green laser pointer than a red.
but ya a red 5 mw laser should be no prob.
just a quick qustion ive been wanting to hook up my laser pointer as well but to my bioloid robot.
did you program the robot to turn it on and off or are you doing it by hand. if the robot is doing it then how did you do it?

07-14-2008, 03:31 AM
Ground pin to one side of the switch. Signal pin to the other side of the switch. Turn the pin on.

If your laser has too much current draw (check the ratings on your microcontroller) you may need a relay.

Most of my little laser pointers run on 4.5v. They seem happy enough at 5v from a controller, but if you're paranoid, you can put a pullup resistor in and save smoking either your laser or a pin on your controller.

07-16-2008, 01:44 AM
A laser pointer would help a lot with targeting but could it temporarily blind the pilots? I'm sure that a laser pointed into a wireless camera would obscure the vision of the pilot looking at his monitor. This could almost be used as a weapon could it not?

07-17-2008, 03:44 PM
Honnestly if someone can keep a laser long enough in the middle of the tiny lens of the camera while the two bots are shooting AND moving, I think he deserved the right to do it. :p

I don't think the camera will be blinded for long. And I think most people will put protective lexan or plastic, that will stop some of the laser.

07-17-2008, 03:56 PM
I've played with shining the laser into the lens of my webcams, and one of my cheaper digital cams and you see a lot of flare, but so far no damage to the CMOS sensors, not even 'trailing' or ghosting. I don't think there's much potential of damage to the cam itself, tho it may make the camera begin to react for white balance and exposure depending on your settings. For getting reliable Roborealm recognition of the target color and shape, i'd think you will need to lock those down anyway.

07-17-2008, 04:34 PM
I've obnoxiously blinded our security camera installations with laser pointers over the years, both CMOS and CCD. Depending on the lens and cover, you can go from ~50&#37; occlusion to 100%, but I've never seen it damage a camera either, so I agree with you completely, Milw.