VEX Portable Competition Field Perimeter

At the Michigan State Championship, the portable field perimeters were used for skills fields and many teams had issues with their auton runs because the alignment was different than the metal fields.

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My team may be in the market for an old field perimeter if someone wants to sell us their used one and replace it with the portable model. Indiana team by the way.

I wonder if there is any intent to have the option to have the clear plexi-glass instead of the opaque sheets they currently have. As an EP, it is very helpful, especially on a risen field, to have a lane of visibility for the audience to see through. Which it currently does not have. I understand that they need to be opaque for VRCAI sensors, but what about the vast majority of competitions where that consideration is not needed.

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While I agree with you the reasoning for clear panels, I wouldn’t count on it, now that I’ve seen the new perimeter in-person. Adding clear polycarbonate* panels would require new tooling for manufacturing and/or increase cost (VEX was obviously trying to keep the same price-point while offering some advantages, a difficult thing to do on a product that has such a low-volume and near-zero profit potential).

*plexiglass (a trade name for PMMA or acrylic) is a shattering plastic, not suitable for robotics and specifically banned for use on robots by the game manual.

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Any reason that polycarb panels of the same size/thickness as the opaque panels that come with the field couldn’t be a drop-in replacement? I haven’t measured the opaque panels but I imagine you could get polycarbonate in the requisite thickness from McMaster/wherever else.

From a rules standpoint, I think it’d likely be fine under T21.

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Interesting idea. I’ll explore it a bit.

My take on it is that it is would only be legal if replaced by polycarb panels taken from an official perimeter, based on T24.


My understanding of “Examples of prohibited modifications include, but are not limited to:
Unofficial field perimeter walls, structural elements, or other Field Elements” is that replacing the polycarb would be illegal if not taken from an official field perimeter, and possibly not even then, depending on the definition of “structural elements”.

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Awesome reciew. Thanks for aharing. I need a little help though - how do you correctly load the field perimeter bag?

I have perimeter edges, poly walls, all connecting pieces(3 ways and Ts), and gps sections. I cant seem to fit them all into the one large bag that comes with it?

Thanks!

The portable field perimeter should come with, and fit in, two of those bags.

I used the KB article and it wasn’t a problem to get the entire field quickly in the bag:

https://kb.vex.com/hc/en-us/articles/4994016225940-V5-Portable-Competition-Field-Packing-Instructions

If you follow that, it seems like it (full bag) will not zip up but you just need to adjust it a little - like lift it up and lay it over a couple of times…sometimes everything in the inner-zip can catch and shift everything.

The next task, for me, is to see how much I can “safely” get in the bag with the attached field elements because I’m not going to detach those rollers and basket brackets every time if I can help it.

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My understanding is that the kit comes with one large bag and two smaller bags. The latter two are for tiles only.

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Ours all came with two of the long wheeled bags per field, which is what’s listed on the product page:

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Huh. My bad. I ordered bulk so for some reason I thought 1 large and 2 small. Good to know its 2 of each. That’ll probably solve the problem!

Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding.

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Updated game manual today: no clear polycarbonate panels allowed.

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Seems like an arbitrary and unnecessary decision. The metal perimeters with clear panels are and will continue to be legal for quite some time. It doesn’t make any sense to not allow clear panels on the portable perimeter for better audience visibility while still allowing the metal perimeter with clear walls to be used.

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Not really, future has opaque panels and GPS strips on all fields as they want better sensor performance. (discussion at EP Summit). Imagine if you replace the opaque panels on portable fields and then can’t find them when they are required on all fields in upcoming seasons…


just speculating :slight_smile:

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At least it is a reason that makes a little bit of sense…

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They were really heavy on the growth of AI and the push towards that, which I imagine as well is drawing this decision.

Sucks for the audience if you can’t elevate your fields, just another thing to workaround

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Seems like an capricious, arbitrary, inconsistent and unnecessary decision. FTFY

Plastic fields vs metal fields

  • Lighter - “I can carry the field in by myself” vs “I find 4 roboteers to carry the fields in for me” (*)
  • More durable - “one year in, no data” vs “I have a field from 2006 that so far appears they can create my coffin with”
  • Faster setup - “So you just snap it together and fiddle with the straps” vs “The Paul Kloberg Method” and thumbscrews. (If you have read this far I’ve taken the field the roboteers dropped off and assembled it in the same amount of time)
  • Sensors - “Supports the ‘GPS’ strips”. vs “Black command strips hold the ‘GPS’ strip”
  • Sensors - “Better Sensor Experience” vs “Sorry, you tested under blue sensitive florescent/LED lights and my Gym still has the yellow lights from 2000.”
  • Better audience experience - “Yes, my families are from Krypton” vs “trying to use platforms so the clear panels make it easier for the parents to see the game”

OK roboteers, science time, you know me and data! Load all the parts for a field into a pile in the parking lot. (Tiles, perimeter, elements) in about the same size as a family van (or Nissan Cube). Drag the two boxes of tiles, the two tubes of plastic elements, the 8 parts of a Kloberg field and however you got the current field broken down. Track the times to the nearest millisecond. (Just kidding, to the nearest two minutes will be fine) I’ll guess the two boxes of field tiles and the two sets of walls were first, then the metal walls and then the field / game elements.

Now assemble. And you are going to find the two “long poles in the tent” are actually the floor tiles and the game elements. The “portable” plastic field is a red herring (“The games afoot Watson!”) in this conversation. The issue is the field elements. (It used to be electronics, but wireless Raspberry Pi for the Win!)

I love the games. I get that the complexity has to be there. But RECF wants to grow. To grow is more roboteers. To grow is more teams. More teams means more events. More events means I can not spend 3 hours and 25 people assembling 8 fields and then another 2 hours taking it apart. (And a personal shout out to Jay who then spends another 3 hours at home base getting things sorted out. You rock!)

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

(* Hey, if you are an EP / Parent that is running / helping and you seem to be lugging the heavy stuff, can I talk to you about my Harbor Freight dolly collection, with $60 fold-able wagons and unskilled HS / MS labor?)

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Sure - tell us about the $60 dolly collection :slight_smile: It’s summer time - got time to surf links!

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