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lumpen5
04-06-2010, 02:33 PM
I thought it might be fun, advantageous and look kinda cool to have Nomous (my mech) outfitted with laserpointers. Are laser pointers ok for competition? Can someone recommend a low power level of laser for a pointer?

Thanks

gdubb2
04-06-2010, 02:49 PM
They are fine for use in the competition, but there are issues.

Several of us tried laser pointers last year. They are almost impossible to keep track of with only the camera view. I used things from Walmart, they were bright, but when viewed in the camera, they sort of blended into the background. With the camera I was using then, the laser dot was not the bright red you would expect, but white to pinkish.

Good Luck
See ya in a couple of weeks
Gary

darkback2
04-06-2010, 03:41 PM
You might consider a more powerful laser with a cross hair filter on it. That way it might be a bit more visible.. You may also want to set up some sort of visual cross hair on your monitor so that you have some indicator as to where to look when trying to figure out what you are aiming at.

MECHMASTER
04-13-2010, 02:18 PM
green lasers are quite visible

Connor
04-13-2010, 03:13 PM
I don't think we should allow green lasers.. too powerfull.. We have viewing windows in the bottom of the arena for kidz.. I don't think a laser in the eye will go over too good with the parents.

Thanks, Connor.

Stobs
04-13-2010, 03:38 PM
What would be the maximum allowable laser? [Edited:] Would the limitation(s) be by wattage per type of generation, by wattage in general or by some other factor(s)? I know that we can't and shouldn't use lasers to inflict damage, but getting into robotics involves a number of factors and not least among them is simply the "coolness factor" - and a laser toting Mech seems pretty cool to me even if it is for looks! :)

DresnerRobotics
04-13-2010, 03:43 PM
We don't have a rule regarding that (yet).

It can't be too powerful or we run the risk of being a danger to the crowd. On the other hand, these mechs are rarely holding still and/or pointing at the crowd too much, and there's a 3' tall solid border along the bottom so we might be good regardless.

Common sense is a must here; don't bring a DeathStar class laser and we'll be fine.

Connor
04-13-2010, 03:57 PM
We don't have a rule regarding that (yet).

It can't be too powerful or we run the risk of being a danger to the crowd. On the other hand, these mechs are rarely holding still and/or pointing at the crowd too much, and there's a 3' tall solid border along the bottom so we might be good regardless.

Common sense is a must here; don't bring a DeathStar class laser and we'll be fine.

I just know that green lasers are BRIGHT.. they hurt my eyes just with the reflection off of a white wall.

Stobs
04-13-2010, 05:20 PM
Fair enough, and thanks for the quote from Tyberius

darrellt
04-14-2010, 11:23 AM
Green lasers are much more powerful, but they are also much less eye safe. If a 5mw red laser flashes across your eye it will not do any permanent damage, but a 5mw green laser could, because the eye is more sensitive to green light. For spectator safety I think we should be very cautious about green.

Stobs
04-14-2010, 12:17 PM
I hate to say it, but with that I have to figure it was a silly inquiry on my part. If it's ill advised for whatever reason to implement a laser that's powerful enough to be harmful (unintentionally of course!), or destructive (unwanted), then why bother going partway there? When I get advanced enough to build a biped from scratch I'll consider what's possible and practical then. Thanks for the feed back people.

lnxfergy
04-14-2010, 12:52 PM
As Gary said, lasers probably also just aren't the best bet -- of those who used them last year, I think we all went to a software-based target on our screen, that we can tune in. The laser dot just doesn't fall on enough pixels in the camera to be visible (especially if you are capturing smaller images and scaling them up)

-Fergs

cdop
04-15-2010, 03:10 AM
well my idea would be to add a fog-machine with a vent (to dispense the fog) to the arena.
so it wont be dense fog, just a little.
that would make even cheap, low power <1mW red laser-pointers visible and maybe usable for targeting.
at least it would be a cool effect for the audience.

MECHMASTER
04-15-2010, 07:43 AM
Thats a good idea cdop, but would the fog damege the mechs?

darrellt
04-16-2010, 01:59 PM
If there was fog, I would vote for the dry ice kind that sticks to the ground. Would be total nerdgasm to see the little mechs wading through the fog with lasers etc. Probably need to work out some of the more more important things like getting everybody walking gracefully first though.

webgeek
05-26-2010, 10:02 PM
Sorry, this is an oldish-post but I saw some stuff I wanted to respond to.

I just know that green lasers are BRIGHT.. they hurt my eyes just with the reflection off of a white wall. And that CAN/DOES cause damage to your eyes. The reflection off a white surface is surprisingly intense.


If there was fog, I would vote for the dry ice kind that sticks to the ground. Would be total nerdgasm to see the little mechs wading through the fog with lasers etc. Probably need to work out some of the more more important things like getting everybody walking gracefully first though. Heh, fog in most fog machines uses a mixture of water and glycol. If there is a lot of fog or it's been running for a while it does coat things with a thin slightly sticky film. To make the fog "sink" to the ground, you can chill it using a cooler and some dry ice. I do this for Halloween every year and it works well. Getting enough fog for a laser to really show up though takes more than you might think and you have to have VERY still air. Works vastly better indoors than outdoors. I have two fog machines, one cheap one and a pretty good one I got off eBay. They are fun to play with, but likely very impractical and I KNOW I don't want my electronics getting coated in glycol.

Now dry ice fog has a similar problem - if you use hot water to get a lot of fog you also end up getting a lot of water vapor condensing on everything. This is obviously bad for electronics too :)

-Mike

DresnerRobotics
05-26-2010, 11:45 PM
Were actually going to be banning green lasers from the competition entirely. They're too much of a risk- and a software reticle on your HUD works better anyway.

Spartan001
05-27-2010, 09:01 AM
How would you add a software reticule to your webcam?

lnxfergy
05-27-2010, 10:06 AM
How would you add a software reticule to your webcam?

We just draw a set of crosshairs in your HUD display. Most bots have the guns/cameras locked in the same orientation all the time. Set your bot a few feet away from a sticky target, aim using the default crosshairs, see where you actually hit, move the crosshairs a bit, and then re-aim and test. Repeat until your crosshairs actually show where you will hit.

This really does work better, because the laser dot is so small it tends to fall on very few pixels (and thus, when the camera JPEGs the image, those pixels tend to disappear).

-Fergs

gdubb2
05-27-2010, 10:07 AM
Depends on the way one displays the image from the bot's camera. I use RoboRealm, it has a nifty module for thingies like that. Others use custom written programs in Python or something and add it in that way. See Upgrayds thread on his IPMechCam.

Gary