Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Getting or creating another field mat

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Getting or creating another field mat

    Our team would like to have a take home mat so that kids could practice tasks for the mission at home.

    Our understanding is that each team is only allowed to order 1 field mat. Has anyone tried to replicate a mat or make a mat that has black lines on it? If so, how did you do it?

    Thanks,
    craseecanuck

  • #2
    Re: Getting or creating another field mat

    We have made portions of the mat for demonstration purposes at outreach programs. We used poster board and black markers (for the lines) and measured things carefully. We used dual lock to add the mission model. If you wanted to color in other detail, it would work. However, we think that it would be difficult to duplicate the entire mat using this method.
    Here's an example from last year

    Edited to add: you can also use black electrical tape to make lines. We used markers because we didn't have enough black tape.
    Last edited by Genius Robotics; 09-21-2011, 08:17 PM.
    GENIUS - Girls Exploring New Ideas Using Science
    Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
    http://geniusrobotics.com/
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Youtube Videos

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Getting or creating another field mat

      Thanks so much, Genius Robotics. We'll definitely use your idea and will share/post what we design. Also, thanks for posting your webpage and youtube. Seeing your ideas and efforts is inspirational! Bravo!

      Cheers,
      Wizards Team #941

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Getting or creating another field mat

        Originally posted by craseecanuck View Post
        Thanks so much, Genius Robotics. We'll definitely use your idea and will share/post what we design. Also, thanks for posting your webpage and youtube. Seeing your ideas and efforts is inspirational! Bravo!

        Cheers,
        Wizards Team #941
        You're welcome! Thank you for the kind words!
        GENIUS - Girls Exploring New Ideas Using Science
        Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
        http://geniusrobotics.com/
        Facebook
        Twitter
        Youtube Videos

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Getting or creating another field mat

          Originally posted by Genius Robotics View Post
          We have made portions of the mat for demonstration purposes at outreach programs. We used poster board and black markers (for the lines) and measured things carefully. We used dual lock to add the mission model. If you wanted to color in other detail, it would work. However, we think that it would be difficult to duplicate the entire mat using this method.
          Here's an example from last year

          Edited to add: you can also use black electrical tape to make lines. We used markers because we didn't have enough black tape.
          This is how FLL tables originally were made. For Volcanic Panic I don't think I saw two practice tables that looked the same. Then 3M stepped in and saved the day.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Getting or creating another field mat

            In years past I've had good luck tile printing the imagery. FIRST has decided to no longer release high quality imagery, but you can either photograph your own mat and stitch it together, or look for the highest resolution image you can find on the web (techbrick?) Then use illustrator or publisher and size the image to the correct size - 4'x8' minus a few inches. Then you tile print it using regular letter sized paper, (figure out the overlap before you print the entire thing!) I save it as a pdf, and print out the section that kids want to work on at home, they can trim & tape the pages together. - It has worked great to let them have that large amount of time for trial and error...




            Originally posted by craseecanuck View Post
            Our team would like to have a take home mat so that kids could practice tasks for the mission at home.

            Our understanding is that each team is only allowed to order 1 field mat. Has anyone tried to replicate a mat or make a mat that has black lines on it? If so, how did you do it?

            Thanks,
            craseecanuck
            Last edited by korimako; 10-06-2011, 02:42 AM. Reason: edit

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Getting or creating another field mat

              Originally posted by korimako View Post
              In years past I've had good luck tile printing the imagery. FIRST has decided to no longer release high quality imagery, but you can either photograph your own mat and stitch it together, or look for the highest resolution image you can find on the web (techbrick?) Then use illustrator or publisher and size the image to the correct size - 4'x8' minus a few inches. Then you tile print it using regular letter sized paper, (figure out the overlap before you print the entire thing!) I save it as a pdf, and print out the section that kids want to work on at home, they can trim & tape the pages together. - It has worked great to let them have that large amount of time for trial and error...
              I haven't tried this on something as large as a 4x8 but posterazor is free and will handle tiled printing. Adobe publisher and illustrator are nice if you happen to have them... but "free" means kids can have it at home. In general, I try to use open source (or at least free) stuff with the kids so they can use the same tools at meetings and at home.
              Coaching FLL Food Factor Team 1385 (XMTRS)

              The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible. -- Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Getting or creating another field mat

                Originally posted by eaglesc View Post
                I haven't tried this on something as large as a 4x8 but posterazor is free and will handle tiled printing. Adobe publisher and illustrator are nice if you happen to have them... but "free" means kids can have it at home. In general, I try to use open source (or at least free) stuff with the kids so they can use the same tools at meetings and at home.
                yeah, sorry. How every you'd like to do it, the basic idea is to resize a copy of the image to the proper dimensions and print it on (many sheets of) regular letter paper. I actually print them off on a B/W laser - the light sensors still see the black lines, even with horrible resolution, things still work remarkably well. The kids know where to place models and have brought in some pretty close to working programs from home. It's also great when there is congestion on the one mat with the sub teams working on different parts. Also used it to impress on the teams the different lighting conditions they may encounter. I haven't worked up this years mat, but if anyone wants a pdf, email me. I'll get around to it soon.
                Rick

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Getting or creating another field mat

                  I found a graphic design company that will print images on approximately 4 X 8 rolls of vinyl. The mats are the same size as an FLL mat. I used them to print the mats from Deep Space Terraformers Camp-on-a-Disk. The interior of the wooden tables are the same as FLL tables. The cost was about $150 each. The hi-res image is on the disk.

                  To duplicate an FLL mat, you would need a file with the appropriate dimensions.

                  http://www.legoeducation.us/eng/prod...a_disk_cd/1657

                  I host an FLL style tournament for our district's GATE elementary students in the Spring. We use Deep Space Terraformers and their challenge missions. I change the missions and scoring to keep it interesting.

                  http://www.rooseveltms.com/214210101...BCOB=0&C=56231
                  Donate to Roosevelt Robotics at Donors Choose
                  http://www.donorschoose.org/we-teach/639572?active=true

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Getting or creating another field mat

                    Originally posted by Roosevelt Robotics View Post
                    I found a graphic design company that will print images on approximately 4 X 8 rolls of vinyl. ... To duplicate an FLL mat, you would need a file with the appropriate dimensions.
                    I'm sure that would be a copyright infringement.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Getting or creating another field mat

                      Originally posted by Gary Voshol View Post
                      I'm sure that would be a copyright infringement.

                      I hope that FIRST would allow it as a permissible use. Do groups like TechBrick have permission to use the LEGO images to make their planning guides and score sheets?
                      Donate to Roosevelt Robotics at Donors Choose
                      http://www.donorschoose.org/we-teach/639572?active=true

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just created an Into Orbit practice mat for my FLL team for about $50. I wanted to share my experience for the good of the order.

                        My plan was to print a banner using the full sized image provided by TechBrick (see link below). I chose to use the image that includes the field elements for two reasons 1) we didn't have the time or money to build duplicates of all field elements but I wanted a reference for those elements and 2) it made it very apparent that the mat is only good for practice and not resale.

                        https://techbrick.com/images/resourc...ements-v01.jpg

                        I spent some time talking to a number of banner printers locally and no one seemed to have exactly the same material used by FLL. These companies tend to specialize in outdoor banners and they sell durability. As you know, the FLL mats look great, but you can tear the material. The companies told me they could create something similar for around $6-$8 per square foot ($192 - $256). That was way more than I was willing to pay. They recommended looking online for lower prices, so I did.

                        I didn't make an exhaustive search, but I found that Vistaprint (I am not trying to promote the company; there may be better options) offers an 4 x 8 foot indoor vinyl banner (order without grommets). Regular price is $80 but I paid $47.99 (+$8 for shipping). Four weeks later, I see they are still offering that same deal.

                        The FLL mats are 93 inches by 45 inches and Vistprint wasn't able to add the 1.5 inch border around the image, so I did it myself using InDesign. I created a 96 x 45 inch canvas with a 1.5 inch white border and then pulled in the TechBrink image. I then copied this new image and submitted it as part of my online order. The mat arrived in about 4 days and all I needed to do was unroll it and trim off the 1.5 inch border with scissors. I have attached an image of part of the original mat and an image of the practice mat for comparison.

                        Banner Material: The practice mat is of similar thickness and the printed side has a similar tactile feel to the original. However, the back of the practice mat has a more woven texture than the original. Where you can tear the original FLL mat, this practice mat won't tear ( I think it would stretch rather than tear). It took a few days for the practice mat to lay flat (like the original) but I notice that it won't lay as completely flat at the original. There are still some very minor waves/ripples in the material that are noticeable under direct light. They don't appear to impact robot movement.

                        Printed Image: As you can see from the comparison images, the practice mat image is grainier and the whites are not as bright. The whites look a bit "dirty" and the other colors not as vibrant in comparison with the original. The scale is almost identical. I can't tell the difference by just looking at it, but using a ruler, I notice that the the "T" in the image is the same width on both mats but just a little bit longer on the practice mat (about a 1/4 inch longer). It appears that the scale is nearly identical from East to West but slightly stretched from North to South. I'm fine with this because the kids plan to use the practice mat to test the code. We like that the colors and dimensions are very close, but not exact.

                        YMMV


                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X