[Dprglist] Creating a line following course with tape on wood floor - safe for the floor?

Carl Ott carl.ott.jr at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 06:33:11 PST 2021

Another option is to use a vinyl banner as we do for the line following
courses these days.

Our go-to resource is https://www.stickersbanners.com/   (Thanks Again Ron

It's $1.75 / square foot, including delivery, with a 2' x 2' minimum and 8'
x 50' maximum.

So a little more expensive than the foam squares - but offering different
trade-offs versus foam.

Just un-roll and place in the same location for repeatability. Then roll it
up to store in a closet - ie. so you don't have to keep tape on the floor
in your living space / laboratory for weeks on end...

You can print whatever pattern you want - with pre-measured waypoints or
fiducial markers or something to help with navigation.

Submit a 300 DPI PNG, and the banner will show up on your doorstep in just
a few days.  Make your own pattern with an SVG and output a PNG, then
you're good to go.

You can find several ready-to print DPRG line following course samples here

If your robot drives in a relatively repeatable way, you can save cost by
creating a path with several 2 foot strips of banner.  Or even cut down to
1 foot strips like the 'airplane friendly' sample does.

- Carl

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 5:54 PM Karim Virani via DPRGlist <
dprglist at lists.dprg.org> wrote:

> If you're not willing to sacrifice your pretty wood floors to the needs of
> our future overlords, maybe you've got a priority inversion, said the mad
> scientist.
> On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 3:36 PM Murray Altheim via DPRGlist <
> dprglist at lists.dprg.org> wrote:
>> On 16/01/21 9:10 am, Patrick R. Michaud via DPRGlist wrote:
>> > [...] So to echo Karim, I always use gaffers tape in these floor-taping
>> > situations, but it's not a perfect solution.  I'd be reluctant to tape
>> > my hardwood floor directly, but I also have other options (foam tiles
>> > etc) that I can use to create a robot playing surface.
>> An expensive fix to a damaged wood floor due to tape seems like an
>> avoidable situation.
>> On the subject of foam tiles, I just checked our local hardware store and
>> they sell black, interlocking 24" square foam tiles for about NZ$9/US$6
>> per square meter. It looks like KMart sells a four-pack of them in four
>> colors for $12, a four pack of the black ones for $11. You pay extra for
>> color.
>> In the US, where everything is more available, I checked foamtiles.com
>> (flooring geeks!) in Meza, AZ, and they sell tiles with rubber tops,
>> carpet tops, wood patterns, and martial arts mats (e.g., 2x2' US$7.56,
>> 3'x3' US17 per tile). Male or female beveled edge, beveled corners, lots
>> of options. It looks like the low end of their line of interlocking tiles
>> runs about US$1.20/sq. ft, e./g.
>>    https://www.foamtiles.com/interlocking-tile/foam/12-eco-soft-tile.html
>> They're don't ship outside of the US so I'd have to find a different
>> supplier, but it seems these foam tiles are not hard to source.
>> So maybe the easiest solution is to use these interlocking foam tiles.
>> They'd provide good traction and could be taken apart and stored when not
>> in use. White tape on black tile would do fine. Or black tape on pink. It
>> would even be possible to print out the DPRG line following course, spray
>> glue it to a set of tiles, then laboriously cut the zig zags with an xacto
>> knife. But I'm not suggesting anyone tackle that -- it seems a particular
>> sort of torture. But there's a solution to that too, though I have no idea
>> what it'd cost: custom mats from SoftTiles.com:
>>    https://softtiles.com/pages/corporate-projects
>> https://i.shgcdn.com/23d74f3e-4e97-4830-a95a-c01c83aefcc6/-/format/auto/-/preview/3000x3000/-/quality/lighter/
>> [Legal Notice: I hold no fiduciary interest in foamtiles.com or any other
>> foam tile wholesale or retail establishment.]
>> I might see if they sell these at the local KMart here in NZ. Two four
>> packs would be the size of a sheet of plywood and cost about $22.
>> Nice solution.
>> Cheers,
>> Murray
>> ...........................................................................
>> Murray Altheim <murray18 at altheim dot com>                       = =
>> ===
>> http://www.altheim.com/murray/                                     ===
>> ===
>>                                                                     = =
>> ===
>>      In the evening
>>      The rice leaves in the garden
>>      Rustle in the autumn wind
>>      That blows through my reed hut.
>>             -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu
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