I noticed a difference in the mat as well. On the positive side, the mat is much less "sticky." If you take a rounded smooth LEGO piece (such as was on the bottom of last years bone repair mission) and drag it across the new mat, you'll find it will glide smoothly. If you do the same test on last year's mat, you'll find that it is much more difficult to slide. A lot of robots have two drive wheels and slider(s). My hunch is that these types of robots will benefit from the slider moving easier across the new style mats. At this point, I'm not sure how the wheel traction will compare between the old and new style mats.
On the negative side of things, the mat doesn't appear to be as sturdy as the previous year mats. When you set up the "Contamination risk" mission models with the Dual Lock; you'll notice that these models lean a bit which distorts the mat substantially. I'm curious if this distortion of the mat will get worse over the course of the season?
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