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We put quite a bit of effort into having consistent tables but there are variations on everything so the robot needs to be robust enough to deal with differences and imperfections that might not be present on their practice table.

We should not have tape on the table surface (certainly less than ideal) but it's possible.  Other things to consider are bumps and imperfections in the table surface (under the mat) and with rough 2x4 surfaces on the inner walls (important if your robot follows a wall).

Nick

From: Anant Narayanan <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Reply-To: Anant Narayanan <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 18:33:27 -0400
To: "[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] base question

Heather:

Eric is technically correct, but you need to be prepared for missing inch markers (the hash marks) at your competition location.  Several competition locations have used black (electrical) tape to hold the mat down at both ends (this used to be bigger problem in past years when the mat was curlier).  In our observation, this tape has not always been applied to the quarter-inch outside margins of the mat, and on numerous occasions, has obscured the inch markers partly or completely.  The safe strategy would be to have Lego rulers (legal!) handy if this is a problem at your competition location.

Also, some competition tables have been warped or uneven, due to age or exposure to humidity.  The bottom line is that we all need to be prepared for imperfect conditions, whether our rover is on Earth, Mars or the FLL.

We also need to keep in mind that each team is paying just $75 for the regional tournaments.  This has to pay for facility rental fees (at some locations, especially in Northern Virginia), and cover all costs or running a daylong competition at 20 locations.  You can do the math given that we have about 400 teams in the VA-DC region.  Our hats off to VA-DC FLL for managing on such a shoestring budget.  Some of us would gladly pay more for better testing conditions, but that is a subject for another day!

Nari Narayanan
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Anant S Narayanan
McLean Robotics Institute
McLean VA 22102
202-421-3826<tel:202-421-3826> (cell)
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
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On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM, Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
Base is the same. The mat and mission pieces are the same. Dimensions on the tables vary slightly so you can't count on the position of the walls relative to edge of the mat.  The mat will be placed on the table following the rules but again tables can be wider or narrower in both dimensions.

Eric
Team #7



On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM, Heather Dyson <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
Hi,

Someone told me that the base is different at the tournament than on the practice field. My kids have been using the hash marks in the base to line up the robot. I need to know if they will be there when we get to the tournament.

Thanks!
Heather
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