pic: Three Trackballs?

Oh, the OUTSIDE ones! I was thinking of the normal field walls. You’re right, those don’t have any visible. I’d say that’s so refs, spectators, and camera people have a clear view with no chance of reflection.

You’re both correct. The center wall has larger diameter pipes, and the reflective panels are laced in place with substantial cable ties. The look reminds me of leathercraft projects from childhood day camps (moccasins?). The bases for the uprights are covered with carpet pieces. The thing is a bit of a nuisance to assemble, and the cable ties are a nuisance when taking it down, but it looks to me like the greatest nuisance for the field crew is keeping the carpet pieces securely taped down. One robot in San Diego ate one of the carpet pieces, along with the sticky tape, and got “indigestion.”

The bases of the outer walls are placed outside the normal side rails of the field. The outer walls have no polycarbonate panels, and have smaller diameter pipes than the inner walls. They also require little or no maintenance during the competition.

From the differing construction, I conclude that the purpose of the center divider is to prevent both trackballs and robots from crossing the center of the field, so it has to be strong enough to withstand lots of rough treatment. But the purpose of the outer fences is merely to keep the trackballs from escaping. So they are neither as robust nor as impermeable as the center divider.

Furthermore, I suspect that the GDC knew very well what the effect of reflective panels would be. After all, they DIDN’T use the stuff on the corner panels. :wink:

the reflections on the opposite end of the field are extremely distracting. When driving into the other corner its like going in blind. During a practice match I ran into our own partners, who I didn’t see, that were trying to pick up the ball.

Oh well, just another element to the game.


The corner chainlink panels – wasn’t that so the IR can go thru it? But I agree GDC must have seen (or not :wink: ) how the center panels act. But I don’t think they purposely designed it that way: they probably figured it would be part of the game – a classic “it’s not a bug – it’s a feature!”

I would think if the middle row of panels were removed and another horizontal bar put in would be a better alternate – do not cross or you will get entangled (or get your parts sliced off!) might be enough of a punishment. I’m thinking of all those robots that tangled up in the overpass.

The sonar can still bounce off the bottom panels, either the inside wall or the outer wall. After all, the outside wall is low anyway.

Last night I tried standing in front of our drivers as they practiced. They got annoyed until I show them those photos. “Oh yeah…” Then we tried the “use the force Luke” approach – close your eyes and use verbal commands only. Good thing our Robo-Coach has those hand-signals…

Oh, the OUTSIDE ones! I was thinking of the normal field walls.

Methinks that hat is on too tight EricH :slight_smile: ; but I did fear my “the outside outside ‘protector’ walls (if you follow me)” didn’t quite emphasize which I meant.

Oh man…that’s just…ridiculous

Couldn’t they have made the top two out of the chain link fencing they used on the Robo-Coach stations? Or chicken wire, even? There are better ways to keep robots from going through without killing the visibility and putting teams at a disadvantage.

Could they have? Yes, of course. But then we would probably be complaining about robots getting caught in the fencing/chicken wire instead of visibility. I am sure the GDC considered their options, and decided that (even with its flaws) the Lexan was the best choice for drivers, spectators, and robots.

i can’t remember what the stuff’s called, but i know that somewhere, i’ve seen a type of plastic that lets you see through at any angle, and just plain refuses to reflect or refract light.

i’ve used the stuff at a tech museum (OMSI) where i volunteer, and it’s a pain, since the only part of it that you can see are fingerprints on the serface :yikes: whenever we use it, we have to wash it in windex so that it doesn’t look like there are fingerpeints floating in mid air…

i think it’s the same stuff they use in stop-motion movies when they have to make something appear to fly :smiley: :] :] :]

if FIRST had been able to use that stuff (which is just as strong as lexan) instead, itwould be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier to controll the bot on the lane you currently can’t see… lols…


Remember that if you are in your home stretch and you should poke an appendage through the proposed perforated lane divider, you would have generated a 10-point penalty for breaking the plane. The lane divider is directly above the lane marker.

I noticed something in the animation today - there doesn’t appear to be any panels in the lane divider. Whether this was an oversight, the initial field design, or just too hard to animate, I wouldn’t know.