Competiton Field Pics

Our field arrived yesterday, and we installed it this afternoon. I know that without it we were not able to go much further design-wise. I expect that some others may be in the same position, and I thought that some pictures might be helpful.

Note that the cubes are surprisingly light and have a fair degree variance.

–Bill Wiley
ACME Robotics, VRC Team #12

Great Pictures Bill, can we get some pics of a weight sitting on the cubes, so we can get an idea of how much the cubes will deform.

I would equate the foam’s consistency roughly to pink insulation foam. Stiffer than packing styrofoam. We haven’t done destructive testing yet, so I don’t know what the breaking point is, but I don’t expect the VEX materials to massively deform the foam unless they catch a corner of the cube or something.

So if they do deform, they might not return to their original shape??

Cool thanks Bill.

I think the high variance in the shape of the cube will likely cause a lot of teams to choose a more flexible conveyer design this year.

Based on the description of the foam used in the cubes (and I haven’t actually touched a competition cube, so I don’t know how accurate I am) I can suggest that teams looking to get their hands on one ASAP contact a local kayak shop (or outdoors store) to ask if they have Minicell foam. (You can also order it online… just google “minicell”). If you have a choice you are looking for the stuff with a density of about 2 lbs/cubic foot (imperial measurements… so much less efficient than metric…) I got one square foot (4" thick) at our local Mountain Equipment Co-Op for $18. Not a great deal, but it cut up nicely on the bandsaw to make lots of cubes and we’ve given them away to some local teams to help them get their design started.


I was thinking more along the lines of a corner breaking off. They should return to their original shape, unless they’re squeezed so hard they are crushed.

we just got out field kit on friday, and I have to say I think it would take a great deal of stress to crush or deform one of these cubes. Again, our team hasn’t done destructive testing either, but I’d have to agree that the only possible (and I use the word possible very loosely) damage that could be done to a cube would be a corner breaking off…even that seems unlikely to me…
they definitely can be mushed around a bit though (yeah I know, a very technical term there…mushed :-P) and it’ll be cool to see how teams take advantage of that flexibility…

Ok how about this for those of you when you squeeze the cubes between your fingers to they depress more than 1/2in or do they retain their shape to the point that you barely dent them?

Also here are some pictures taken today of Cranbrook Robotics VRC field. The robot is the 2008 VEXellent FTC bot.

This is ALWAYS a good design practice. I recommend everyone builds some flexibility into their designs to account for field variances (which are well defined.)