The “OwlVision” project is a continuation of the “FRCVision” project created by WPI, the creators of many software libraries for the robot. It is a ready to use image for the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost Single Board Computer, allowing teams to stream video from a camera on their robot to the Driver Station.
We modified the image to incorporate GSteramer, an open source “pipeline-based multimedia framework that links together a wide variety of media processing systems to complete complex workflows”.
GStreamer allows us to utilize the native H.264 encoding of the Logitech C920 camera, which utilizes much less bandwidth than traditional video compression methods.
After implementing these changes in our own robot, we were able to achieve a 1080p, 30fps, 300ms latency video stream from our robot to the Driver Station, while still remaining under the 4mbps bandwidth limit imposed by FIRST. This is a huge improvement to the 480p, 15fps, 500ms latency video stream provided out of the box by the FRCVision image, which is the highest we could achieve while adhering to the strict bandwidth limit.
The OwlVision project is fully open source, allowing for other teams to view and modify the image as they see fit. We also provide a ready to use image on our team website.