The 2017 rules for Robocup Junior soccer open (standard weight) league state that each robot may only have one camera and, if the camera is wide-angle, the “lens/camera” must be “made by students” (section 8.2.2). We want to use a parabolic mirror with some sort of non-wide-angle commercial camera (USB webcam or pi cam) to achieve a panoramic view.
Is it permitted for the mirror be a commercial product (or to have been removed from one, such as a panoramic iPhone attachment) and, if not, would it be permitted for us to work with a commercial company to have them manufacture a mirror of our own design (or one designed in conjunction with the company’s engineers)? The assembly of the camera and mirror system would be done completely by team members.
The spirit of the first part of the first paragraph of the rule 8.2.2 is to ensure that commercial ominidirectional vision solutions cannot be used to provide an advantage, which may not be easily available to others due to many factors, most notably the high cost of such vision systems. Thus, any ominidirectional vision system that gets used needs to be “primarily and substantially the original work” of any team that may want to use it. As the rules further state, the teams needs to be able to prove that it is indeed their work.
In the scenario you describe both cases would be permitted in my reading of the rules, as both of them require substantial original work on the team’s side. In my personal view, the second option would be even more applaudable, as knowledge exchange with industry professionals may broaden the horizons of the team members even more, and there would be little doubt about the originality of the team’s work.
Hopefully, this answer helps to clarify the situation. If not, please feel free to ask some more follow up questions.