Do we really need HDPE?

It looks like the HDPE is 0.25" thick. The field drawings show, for example, the scoring platform as HDPE on top of a 0.25" plywood on top of some two-by-fours (1.5"x3.5"). This adds up to the 2" height.

Of course, with 0.5" plywood on top of the two-by-fours, I also get the 2" height.

Is it worth the extra $$ for the HDPE to cover my field elements?

Driving over HDPE is definitely different than driving over wood. It’s not so much about the height of the platform as it is the coefficient of friction of the material. You may also want to note that HDPE is used on the tote chute as well. I would definitely recommend getting at least a small sheet of HDPE to cover part of your scoring platform and the bottom of the tote chute to make your practice field a bit more realistic.

You will want to get HDPE for the SCORING PLATFORM to accurately simulate driving on it, but wait until the GDC answers this Q&A question to know what finish to get.


I’m pretty sure there is a mathy way to figure out if the robot will drive on HDPE but if you want to have drive practice that ever involves touching the scoring platforms then it would be nice.

Of course they answer it right after I post saying to wait for it.

so the scoring platforms have a textured surface? that’s good to know.

Hmmmm. All the photos and videos make it look glassy. I guess if your robot can drive on smooth, it can drive on “orange peel,” but that may be a poor guess!

Yes. At least the field in Manchester had textured surface on the sides. I don’t recall the top though I think it all looked like the same material to me.