Does My FRC Camera Work?

Updated Mar 12, 2019

Reported In


  • FRC Software
  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)

Issue Details

I'm working on testing the vision system on my FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) robot. I'd like to test my camera's hardware to make sure it's working properly with it connected to my PC, and I've heard that NI Measurement and Automation Explorer (NI MAX) can help.

How can I use NI MAX to test my camera? 


If you have LabVIEW installed, you can test your camera using the NI Measurement and Automation Explorer, or NI MAX. Here's how to access and test your camera from within NI MAX:

  1. Plug your camera directly into your PC
  2. Open NI MAX, and under My System, expand Devices and Interfaces. Click on your camera in the list.
  1. Click one of the acquisition options along the top of the window, to determine whether your camera hardware is working as expected.
    • Snap will take one test image
    • Grab will start streaming test images until clicked a second time
If the Grab or Snap functions work, the camera's hardware is working properly. Use the Camera Compatibility Test tool to verify what settings your camera needs to use, in order to send images back to your Dashboard.

If you do not see images with either the Grab or Snap function, check the following:
  • Is there any physical damage to the camera, its cable, or its connector?
  • If there is a lens cap, is it covering the lens?
  • Do you have the correct camera selected?
  • Can you see the camera in any other software (Skype, Debut, Windows Camera, etc)?
If none of these steps work, there is a high likelihood that your camera may need to be replaced.


Additional Information

If you would like to access or change specific camera properties, the most common ones will be shown on the Acquisition Attributes page. The rest are available under the Camera Attributes tab.

For more information about troubleshooting vision issues for FRC, further troubleshooting steps can be found on this page.