Let's Make Robots!

Foldie Fences for Robots

Portable, store-able, fences for robots

So I got sick of finding books, empty cases of beer and various planks of crap to use to keep bots from running into furniture and the like. I though for a while and decided I needed something I could set-up and take down quickly not to mention rearange quickly to test different robot situations. I.e. testing "stuck in a corner" code and the like. I came up with this and it has been treating me well.

Steps, YO!

  • Rip some plywood. I used 1/2" because that what was free from the jobsite. Rip it into widths that, when on edge, they will be seen by your distance sensors.
  • Cut them into lengths. Mine are for Walter who needs a lot of room, so I cut 2' and 4' lengths
  • Affix the corners using nylon webbing. I happened to have some on hand but you can get some (usally by the foot) at any camping store. Now, I have a fancy-schmancy pnumatic stapler, but you can use a regular one. --Not the paper kind but the one that has the handle you have to squeeze really hard. I dunno about screws, it seems they might wrap themselves around the fibers of the webbing.
  • If you attach 3 or more "panels" together, alternate the webbing from end-to-end so the unit will fold-up. Also, if you want to open the unit past 180 degrees (i.e. in a triangle) be sure to leave a little slack in the webbing between panels
  • Umm, I think that might be it

Pictures, YO!









Word to your Motha'

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Nice clean idea. Ripping plywood isn't the easiest though for people who aren't lucky enough to have a table saw :) I absolutely hate doing that with a handheld circular saw. Maybe the moral of the story is: buy a table saw :)


Might use 1x12 or 1x10 lumber as an alternative.
Speaking of saws, I'm thinking about buying a sliding mitre saw (such as the DeWalt 777), and wondering what "double bevel" is, and do I need/want it (eg the DeWalt 717XPS). Any ideas?

First off, that is simply the best slider you can buy, period. I have owned it's older brother for almost 10 years now. Get the double bevel. Here's the deal:

Right to left is miter -that's the adjustment on the front. Bevel is the "tilt" of the blade (actually, it is also adjusted on the front, I think, on the model you are looking at) With only the miter, all stock must stand upright on the fence to cut an angle and is limited to about 4 or 5". To cut a wide board and take advantage of the 12" slide, the stock is layed flat on the deck and the angle is set by the bevel. Double bevel means the saw can tilt to either side, L or R. Single bevel simply tilts from 90 to only one side. With a single bevel you are forced to flip the work upside down to cut the other way. 

Now let me plug that saw some more... I have used every sliding compound miter saw on the market Makita, hitachi, delta, milwalki --all of them and again, the DeWalt 12" slider is simply the best saw you can buy! It is worth every penny of the $700 you are going to pay and will last you the rest of your life. --One more, don't by DeWalt blades, they are shit. Instead by Frued "Diablo" blades (they are bright red). A $40 diablo blade cuts like an $80 blade --Their 96-tooth trim blade is to die for!

Thanks CtC. I bought a DeWalt cordless drill a few weeks ago to replace my 15yo Bosch. The Bosch was considered to be top quality when I bought it, but the DeWalt is so far ahead it's on a different planet. I really want to get a DeWalt saw but the price is astronomical - may have to wait for an offer.

Nice, yo!


This is a great idea, but I'm gonna make some from white board you get from the home supply store. Its typically used as a wall board for bathrooms/kitchens, and sells for around $10 for a 4x8 sheet. I won't be able to staple the hinge material on as white board is too thin. But I'm sure I can do the same concept with epoxy or Gorilla glue.
great idea, i need to build some of these

Nice creation chris..

what's lacking is a foldie fence for small kids.......