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

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Sun Jan 17 08:23:57 PST 2021

FWIW, my robotics team purchased a set of these foam tiles to use in their "pit area" at the World Championship in 2019:


$86 for 48 sq-ft (12 tiles), or about $7 per tile.

We got the "light bamboo" color.  It improved the look of our pit area considerably, plus after 2-3 days of standing/walking on hard concrete floors it was really nice to have a cushion-y area to stand on.  

The underside is just the foam -- no printing -- so would likely work well for a robotics course.  There are 3/8" and 1/2" thickness tiles available also, which are considerably less heavy and less bulky but don't stand up to heavy traffic as well.  

More importantly for our case, we were able to get them with Prime shipping (free!) in time for the event.  We had looked for local sources of these -- there's even an outlet of sorts near Frisco that I visited, but they couldn't get them to us any faster/cheaper than Amazon.


On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 10:36:27AM +1300, Murray Altheim via DPRGlist 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/                                     ===  ===
>                                                                    = =  ===
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>            -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu
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