VEX Portable Competition Field Perimeter

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


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?)


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