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Depending on how serious your kids are taking the robot part of the competition you may want to:

1.) occasionally crease the mat back up to more closely simulate a new mat

2.) go run on somebody else's table where the mat and the model placement will be subtly different.  (the robot tends to wear the mat on the paths it takes to accomplish the missions, another team's robot will take slightly or completely different paths creating different wear patterns)

3.) shift the mat around on the table so that it is not "perfectly" placed

4.) shift your table slightly out of level in different directions

If your robot can cope with a bunch of different subtle variations and less than perfect conditions you will do much better when you go to the field at tournaments.

Jamie Diamond
coach: Cougar Robotics Team

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM, Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I was also thinking that laying it out (or rolling it!) in the garage might help – even with our unseasonably cool summer, my garage is often in the 90s. That gentle heat should encourage creases to melt away!

--

Phil Smith III

 

Coach, The Capital Girls (retired)

Team 1900 (2002)

Team 2497 (2003)

Team 2355 (2004)

Team 1945 (2005)

 

From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Darlene Pantaleo
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 12:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] This year's field mat condition

 

Thanks! I will try this with the competition mats.

 

On Aug 26, 2012, at 11:13 PM, Paul Handly wrote:



We had no trouble at all with the folded mat this year. I think the trick was to unpack and unfold the mat right away and then roll it up like a poster. We let our mat sit for at least a week rolled up tight and just unrolled it today on to its new practice table and its as smooth as can be.

 


From: Leandra Aguon Velasco <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 8:31 PM
Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] This year's field mat condition

 

I ended up using the iron to press out the folds.  Flip the mat to the back side on top the ironing board, place a small towel over the mat, and steam press away a section at a time.  It took some time to get it out, but it works.

Leandra

 

> Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:31:33 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] This year's field mat condition
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> Thanks Betsy.
>
> How long is "a while"?
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Betsy Wilco" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:29 PM
> Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] This year's field mat condition
>
>
> > If you leave it out a while, the folds relax quite a bit, but you can also
> > use a blow dryer on the back to hasten that. We have not set our field up
> > yet, as I can't start till school does, but mine has flattened out nicely
> > on the guest bed at home!
> >
> >>>> "Lloyd O'Hara" 08/26/12 6:26 PM >>>
> > I have not been paying much attention, until today (I've been
> > procrastinating), to our field setup box that arrived a week or two ago.
> > When I opened the box, first thing I noticed was the mat, all folded up,
> > within the box. When I layed it out on the table, the second thing I
> > noticed is that it has some significant creases caused by the folding of
> > the mat. I'm thinking the creases may cause some issues with robot
> > navigation. I have two questions and please forgive me they have been
> > asked before:
> >
> > 1) How do we smooth out the mat? In years past, when the mat came in a
> > tube, I knew what to do. I'm at a loss here.
> > 2) When we show up at a regional tournament and the tables were set up the
> > night before, will there be some concerted effort to make sure the mats
> > are smooth?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Lloyd O'Hara
> > Coach, The Crestwood Monarchs.
> >
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