How to build a DeepRacer Track

Now as the DeepRacer arrived after a long yourney it is time to plan the next steps with that maschine learning „tool“. We want to host some workshops and so we need a real DeepRacer track that is transportable.

This blogpost shows how to build a transportable DeepRacer track based on the original re:Invent Track.

Designing the Track

The original track has a dimension of 7,34m x 4,59m. I will use 60cm x 60cm EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles for the floor. Based on that numbers a field of 13 columns and 8 rows with 104 tiles are required.

That are to much tiles and so i optimized the the track. First i shrinked the width so that the track fits into 12 columns. After that i painted the track in a matrix to see which tiles are absolutely necessary. In the end i only need 64 tiles to construct the track.

32 tiles are not necessary

Needed Tools and Material

  • 60cm x 60cm EVA Foam Interlocking Tiles for the floor of the track. That Tiles are ideal to make the track transportable
  • Gaffer Tape white 5cm x 50m for the track border
  • Gaffer Tape yellow 3cm x 50m for the middle line
  • Whiteboard marker
  • Utility knife and scissors
  • Mason Line used with whiteboard marker as compass for marking the turning radius
  • Ruler
  • Right angle square

Building the Track

After planning the track i ordered the calculated amount of tiles and the tape. And than building the track is just put the tiles together and place the tape on the tiles. But here are some details i like to share.

Curves: to construct the curves i used the mason line. I taped the string on the center of the curve and make a mark for the outlines from the inner and outer part on the string. Than at a regular interval i marked the curve on the tiles. After that it was easy to follow the dots with the tape.

Dimensions: I think only a few of us have the estate with a free space of 7,30m x 4,90m which is needed to layout all required tiles. I don´t have that space so i had to construct the track bit by bit.

Long straight lines: As seen in the pictures i used for long straight lines the mason line. That saves so much time, align the string and than no measurement for that line anymore.

Transportable: To make the track transportable just cut the tape on the join points of the tiles. For easier reassembling of the tiles i extend the „tiles minimized“ plan with column and row numbers and than placed a mark on the back of every tile so everybody can see where the tile belongs and also orientation of the tile.

Summary

Building the DeepRacer track was a lot of fun for me and it was really straight forward. The next time i think i will switch the used side of the EVA Foam tiles. The next step for me is to build a nice box for easy transportation of the tiles. I will also mirror the great right curve to have a much smaller track for presentations with limited space.

More Information about DeepRacer @OC here.

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