Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Official Q&A: VRC 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Barriers Ripping Field Tiles


The red and blue barrier assemblies are ripping field tiles within an hour of light practice. See the images below for examples. Our EEM advised us to pose this question on this Q&A.

"Light practice" to our team means that we have driven the robot at a slow speed and, as such, has contacted the barrier at a slow speed. That contact with the barrier causes the barrier to gradually move and rip the field tile. Continued contact in this manner results in rips of 6-8 inches after a few interactions with the barrier. We have talked with other teams who are experiencing the same. Two of the images below are ours and one is from another team.

There are two issues with ripped tiles: 1.) the cost to replace them ($250 for a set), and 2.) the barriers no longer stay in place which results in field barriers (far) outside of their normal ±1” tolerances, according to <T25> of 2022 – 2023 Game Manual Version 1.0, which states “Be prepared for minor field variance. Field Element tolerances may vary from nominal by ±1.0…”

We have assembled the field to the instructions in 275-1501-750 Rev8 (Field Perimeter Instructions, pp. 5-11).

At this rate of damage, the competitions, scrimmages, and practice field will be out of spec within minutes, seconds if game play is aggressive. Teams and Event Partners surely cannot afford to replace tiles after every few light interactions with the barriers.

A solution we came up with is noted in the picture below. We bought two 4'x4' pegboards (1/8") from a local retailer for $11 each - one pegboard for each barrier. We removed the metal plates attached to the barrier and attached the pegboard using the screws supplied with the barrier; they line up with the holes on the pegboard. To prevent the pegboard from slipping on our ceramic tile floor, we threw down about 10 thin broken rubber bands under the pegboard. This fully solved the issue, and it does not materially impact the height of the tiles. Will GDC please offer an alternative solution or approve this one?


Answered by committee

Appendix A in the August 2 Game Manual update included an approved modification to the Spin Up field to solve this problem.

A small circle base plate can be added to the center hole of each Low Goal to provide additional support.