HOW TO BUILD THE AFRIKABOT COMPETITION [PRACTICE] MAZE
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
QUESTION 1: What is the height & size of the podium for the fuel token?
ANSWER 1: The maze token podium is 32mm x 120mm x 200mm. It is 32mm high because it is made of 2x pieces of 16mm MDF placed one upon another. The plastic rail to hold the tokens is attached to the top front edge of the podium.
QUESTION 2: What is the size of the "token"?
ANSWER 2: The fuel token is made of 3mm rigid PVC plastic, but can be made of other materials for your practice maze. It is 80mm x 80mm with a 50mm x 50mm hole.
QUESTION 3: How far behind the edge and how far over the edge (side) is the fuel token placed?
ANSWER 3: The fuel token is placed in a slot that can be made out of plastic or wood, so that it is near the edge of the podium block which effectively means the fuel token is set about 3mm inwards from the edge of the podium block. Lines are ruled on the podium block across the width at 50mm intervals. The fuel token can be placed anywhere in the rail on the podium block by participants.
QUESTION 4: Is there a downloadable SketchUp file for the maze?
ANSWER 4: Yes, the link is on this page.
QUESTION 5: Will the same maze also be used for next year?
ANSWER 5: To manage costs We will definitely have to re-use the current hollow door maze. Schools can't afford to keep buying new stuff...
DEMONSTRATION of AfrikaBOT 2017 SOLUTION
DEMONSTRATION of AfrikaBOT 2017 ROBOT picking up the "token"
IMAGES SHOWING MAZE DETAILS
new TOKEN and new HOLDER RAIL on the PODIUM [both are legal - participants can select which one they prefer]
FUEL TOKEN HOLDER ON PODIUM [both are legal - participants can select which one they prefer]
FUEL TOKEN MARKED WITH grid LINES [token can be placed anywhere in the rail by participant]
FUEL TOKEN IN POSITION
GRID LINES IN MAZE START AREA
OPEN "T" JUNCTION AT END OF MAZE
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PRACTICE MAZE FOR YOUR SCHOOL or CLUB
1. Purchase a hollow door at your local hardware store for about R200.00.
2. Paint it with a layer of white universal undercoat, applied with a foam roller.
3. When the undercoat is dry, then paint it with a layer of Dulux white gloss enamel (turpentine based) topcoat applied with a foam roller. Let the paint set hard. To save on the cost of rollers, because it is impossible to clean the foam roller, wrap it up in a plastic bag and then wrap it in another bag. If the bags are airtight the roller will still be soft and good to use once the first coat is dry...
4. Paint the next layer of Dulux white gloss enamel turpentine based topcoat. Let the paint set hard. You may need two or three coats of paint to get a nice finish where the paint is even and there are no dark patches.
5. If you have access to a data projector you can project the maze onto the door which will save a lot of time and give a more accurate result like in this image:
6. Using the data projector technique, set up the projector with the drawing you can download from this page that it is perfectly lined up with your door. Make sure the data projector is lined up at 90 degrees to the door to prevent distortion in the vertical or horizontal planes.
7. Make small dots on the maze to show where everything should be, then switch the lights back on and draw the maze in as a light outline with an HB pencil. Next, you can lay the tape onto the maze being extremely careful not to put stretch into the tape.
8. If you do not have access to a data projector, then you can mark up your maze lightly with a blunt HB pencil using the drawings you can download from this page. Print the plans of the maze to use as a reference and double check your measurements...
9. When you mark up your maze it is preferable to measure crosswise only from the left hand edge of the door, and measure in only from the front of the door. That way, if there are slight variances between the size of your door and the diagram things will still work out okay.
10. If you measure inwards from the left and right hand sides of the door, and from the front and back of the door the lines may end up in the wrong places and it can get very confusing ...
11. The light pencil marks will serve as a guide as to where to place the electrical insulation tape you will use to show the obstacles and line in the maze. When pulling electrical insulation tape off the roll be careful not to put stretch into the tape, also when laying the tape onto the maze surface be careful not to put stretch into the tape. If you stretch the tape over time it will revert to its normal properties and the tape will shrink and wrinkle and end up where it is not supposed to be.
12. First lay out the "obstacles" using red electrical insulation tape as per the diagram. This is not something that can be done in a hurry...
13. Lay out the black line for the robot to follow using black electrical insulation tape as per the diagram. This is not something that can be done in a hurry...
14. You can draw in a start grid to help put the robot in the same spot every time it starts in the maze so that your robot can perform more predictably in the maze.
15. The size of the floor of the AfrikaBot maze is 813mm X 2000mm which is the size of a standard door in South Africa. THere is a start, finish and a tunnel in between. The competition maze is equipped with a hands-off laser timing system to ensure the competition is fair.
16. Apart from the start grid, it is advisable to not draw lines and marks onto the maze - the maze can then be changed slightly from year to year as the competition evolves.
17. There are some common Questions and Answers below the drawings, and a SketchUp CAD model that can be downloaded for your convenience.