Could the field be ice?

I just was thinking about this years game and did a double check with the FIRST page Regional event stats showing that there will be at least 6 Official FIRST fields this year. I came up with the 6 fields by checking to see how many regionals are max per weekend and saw that during weeks 3, 4 and 5; 6 fields wil be needed for regionals. Thus i am thinking that with the rumor of “Dry Ice”, a plastic material that does not damage from skate blads, yet replicates ice’s pysical properties with out needing the 32 degree F temperature, will not be used for a full field, or even half a field. I think if it is used it will be a small spot, like the HDPE was used in this past years game. I think that if a replica plastic ice is used for much of the field it would be HDPE, Nylon or Teflon due to its much lower costs then the “Dry Ice”. But due to the HIGH DAMAGE that these materials would recieve from robots over 3 days, I DOUBT that there will be any “replica” ice over the field this year!

P.S.~ What are all your thoughts

I dont understand, what point are you trying to make? :confused:

I am sorry, i forgot to make my main point. That with at least 6 fields, and prob a few extras for if one gets damaged largely, that they prob wont be using a large amount of a very expensive material…

I wouldn’t bet as much money on fake ice as I would on large goals that are higher than normal (they wont move either).

Normal = since 2000 the goals have been about the height of the robots. I’de expect goals this year that make you reach up high.

Okay but what is normal?

According to Clark…

FIRST is too prepared for the game to make goals higher than a person can empty. Remember, the people setting up the field are volunteers & they can’t risk somebody getting hurt by climbing a ladder to empty the goal. I’m not saying the goals won’t be high but they have to be easy to fill & easy to empty. I like the Dry Ice idea, I think we’ll see something in the future with this surface. Slippery steps or a steep carpeted incline may be part of this game.

Height doesnt matter… the goals in 2001 were ~7’ if my memory serves me correctly, and they could just be tipped on their sides and emptied. I think the real key is if theyre high, they cant be really heavy.


Tipped they were. Also shattered some were when tipped (by robots off the bridge, not that we ever did that…)

Real ice will not be used. The entire field will not be HDPE, FIRST got a lot of ‘field is expensive’ feedback at the forums, and is aware of teams having difficulty rasing the money to just compete.

I do see surfaces other then carpet though what they will be, my forsight is not perfect.


Any luge fans out there?

Bing! Lightbulb. They could use really thin lexan that’s attatched (like by glue) to something underneath (like plywood). You don’t need it to be very thick this way. The lexan would be plenty durable and it wouldn’t cost much since it is so thin. It could be like the same thickness lexan as what’s used in RC Car bodies. What about that?

EDIT: Awww, heck. Even some thin sheet aluminum would still be slippery. And it could be fitted in the same manner as the lexan described above. Battlebots arenas have a metal floor don’t they?

the cost of polycarbonate is not fully dependant on the size and thickness. Due to the polymerization process in which it is formed, that is one of the price dependents. Thus even if its say for the argument 1/16" lexan, that is still pretty expensive per 4’x8’ sheet and does not bond well to many items.

Aluminum and lexan are really not that slippery. There were teams with plenty of traction on the HDPE, I dont think finding traction on polycarb or aluminum would be very tough.


Rather than editing the post I made I’ll just add on. The goals I were thinking of would most likely resemble those of the 1997/1998 years. They were tall, but made from tubes and the objects that were placed on them would merely be taken off rather than dumbed out of a “bucket type” goal.

I think the question is more accurately about how many different types of surfaces will the robots need to run on.

A type of tread or method of traction is relatively easy to find for a single surface. The problem is finding a solution(s) for a range of surfaces. Last years game is a perfect example of this. Things that worked for the carpet were not always very good for the HDPE, much less the copper mesh.

Just some thoughts


677 Team Lead

Back to the abnormally sized scoring containers for a second… even if they were really tall, and not able to be knocked over easily, there could always be a door at the bottom secured in such a way that it would be very difficult for a robot to open and gain acess to. Just as long as it was quick and easy for the field people to reset the field. I don’t remember the year, but there was a game with a huge centralized goal with ladders going up to it. It couldn’t be tipped over, but the balls could be squeezed through the bars on the side.

Wasn’t there some feedback that it was too easy to take points away from the other alliance rather than score points for yourself from the last game? Maybe they will use huge goals that don’t move arround to encourage teams to focus more on scoring rather than preventing the opposing alliance to score.

If they seriously made the entire field ice, or even extremely slippery then I could just imagine the lawsuits when some kid with a jumpy lawyer for a parent slips when getting the robot off the field and takes some nice bot to the face. for liability reasons I think ice fields will probably never happen. however maybe there could be some type of slippery area on the field like last year, maybe even coating the ramp just to make it hard to climb.