Floor field is placed on

Does having your field on a carpet affect your robot performance if you were to switch to hard floor? Thanks.

Probably not by much, but if you need to decide to put your field on carpet or hard floor I would recommend a hard surface since most competitions are in gyms.

I wouldn’t think that it would change anything at all, really. Without taking into account negligible acoustics, the tiles should act as a perfect barrier to any floor and keep robot performance the same.

(Note: This is based on our carpet, your carpet may be different) For us, we found that there is a drastic difference, in performance of the robot, between placing the field and tiles on carpet compared to placing the field and tiles on a hard floor. If you are planning to place your field on a carpet, I would suggest making a wooden platform. With us, we decided to get 4x8’ wooden sheets and make a wooden floor with two layers of sheeting. We found it to work quite well with simulating a hard floor, and it allowed us to eventually raise the field on a budget.

+1, the carpet sinks a little when your robot drives over it, and it performs pretty differently. I’d definitely place it on level and hard floor if at all possible. Good luck!

As a counter point… teams often struggle at state and worlds due to the use of new (much softer) field tiles. They find autonomous turns are affected and much more friction (motor fatigue) caused by wheels sinking into mats a bit more (think of how much harder it is to run on sand). We have actually tested on slightly softer subsurface to better repro the conditions on newer mats (since we cannot buy new ones).

I have always assumed that the difference was that your home tiles are dusty and the new Worlds tiles aren’t. I haven’t measured them in any rigorous way, but I’ve never particularly noticed firmness differences between old and new tiles. Time to figure out way to test this, as this is, after all, an engineering program. :slight_smile:

Just for clarification; Isn’t all fields at worlds sprayed with anti-static spray, which would wetten, and potentially soften the tiles?

It would be pretty neat to get or make some testing equipment to measure some of the attributes of different fields. Coefficient of friction, firmness, any number of things. Even better to take it a step farther and program autonomous programs to take special parameters of the field which you would measure and input before every match, allowing it to tweak itself to suit a stickier field on the fly.

A Dr. Seuss contraption like this could be used to measure the squishiness of foam tiles. A spring loaded plunger and a ruler to measure how far into the foam it pressed. If the foam is a cloud, it won’t compress the spring at all. If it is stone, it will compress it completely. Then the firmness will range between the two extremes.

It’s called a durometer:

Most antistatic spray will dry after about 3 minutes IIRC

That is very cool. I bet someone can assemble a spring loaded plunger and a gauge for less than $675. May not report the in the exact SI units that this thing does, though.

NBN year our bot was > 30lbs. (we were a power lifter… took two members to place on the field). It sure seemed like it at the time. I’d love to see that testing. I’d really be surprised if the foam does not lose its “sponginess” after being compressed thousands of times.

Fyi… to simulate a softer mats we put low pile towels under a section of tiles…

I’ve never noticed that much of a difference between old tiles and new tiles, assuming no holes or chunks are missing. Perhaps the difference is more easily seen in autonomouses which use timed movements? In that case I would say the solution would be to use a more accurate movement method, not to replace the tiles.

As for the OP, yes it would make a difference, especially if the carpet is soft. I have two layers of plywood screwed together to form a solid base for my field at home. I feel like it was more important last year because of the tall stacks that couldn’t really handle much tilt.