low cost playing field

Seeking some advice… I have close to a grand to spend and instead of purchasing the official playing field/tiles, I was thinking we would make the ‘low-cost’ field. This would leave us w/ plenty of money for elements as well as some replacement/extra parts.

Does anyone else use the ‘low-cost’ field? I plan on haing some community/school competitions using this field. Will it hold up?

Also, does anyone know where i could purchase the official Elevation elements?

thanks for your help. You guys have been great!


My partner in STEMRobotics.org has one he takes all over the place. It’s held up well, it’s easy to move and set up. He’s been pretty happy with it.

Gladstone Secondary (home to 15 VEX teams) has a field they made in wood shop out of plywood and painted in school colors. It looks and works great. For competitions they use it as a practice field.

You might send an email to sales@vexrobotics.com about the Elevation game kits.

Thanks! I called and they directed me toward the robotevents website. I made a post there. I really want a set. Thanks folks.


On the low-cost part of this topic, does anyone know of a good substitution for the foam tiles? PTD is looking for something similar to them for a practice field and eventually a motion-capture friendly surface.


If you can make any sort of a personal connection to a store like Lowes, and you are able to make a really effective pitiful, sad, puppy/kitten face then you can sometimes get the tiles at cost from them. That makes the cost far less painful.

I am unaware of an inexpensive substitute that has the right color and other physical properties. Concrete, tile/linoleum, etc. can be substituted for a full field of tiles if a handful of real tiles are used to confirm that turning, other driving, and line-following all will work OK on a field fully populated with tiles.

PS: If you want to be all boring and stuff, you could tell a store about the fantastic invest they can make in their community by discounting the tiles for you. Robotics programs educate students. Educating students well at tacts new businesses. New businesses mean new salaries and employees. Salaries and employees mean new customers.

I think I just need a college that can give me some form of grant to run a team.

Seriously, Brevard Community College sucks!!! I’m switching to Valencia at the end of this term and moving to Orlando. Valencia actually has some form of active college clubs, maybe I can add robotics to that list. They’d like that.

Blah… More stupid comm 2 work to do when I should be programming a robot or working on an animation.

My teacher brought in this abc mat that his kids use to play with. I’m not sure whats it’s called but the mat is made from a similar material to vex.

My sister does martial arts and they use a foam tile floor. each tile is 3’x3’ and they swap them out all the time when they get old or if they get damaged a little bit. I just asked if i could buy a few of the tiles and they sold me as many as i wanted (up to 60) at 5$ each. I got 17, enough for a field plus one extra which i could use if one got messed up. you may be able to get some if you go to a martial arts place and explain yourself.


We built our field from 1 x 12 shelving, a 2 x 4 runnning around the base and some plywood scraps. Its held up great for 4 years.

My co-sponser and I put together the ‘Low-Cost’ field w/ PVC pipe for about $60. We haven’t painted it or got the floor tiles yet, but for that price, I am very satisfied.

In the spirit of all these names given to teams, we named our field ‘SMURF’- Saint Mary Utility Robotics Field.

I may see what I can do about designing a formal low-cost field for the 2010 game. It vastly depends on the game but for now I would like to try my hand at the parameter.

What do you mean ‘parameter’?

He probably means Perimiter - the outside of the field, the part that does not change each year.

No, I think he means the perimeter.

Hahaha it was the wise guy comment in all of our heads but it is so much funnier when somebody posts it. :slight_smile: