Field Setup & Placement

Details about the FLL Challenge Set


The field is where the FLL Robot Game takes place. It consists of a field mat on a table, with mission models arranged on top. The mat and the LEGO® pieces for building the mission models are part of your challenge set. The instructions for building the mission models are not part of the challenge set but available online:

The instructions how to build the FLL Tournament Table is online:

How to arrange the mission models on the playing field is explained on this page.


Mat Placement

Step 1: Remove any obvious splinters, and cover any obvious holes. Vacuum the table top carefully. Even the tiniest particle under the mat can give the robot trouble. After vacuuming, run your hand over the surface and sand or file down any producing imperfections you find. Then vacuum again.

Step 2: Place the mat on a smooth surface (for example, the FLL Table) and clearly mark it with a corresponding pitch limit (band), as it is common to FLL Tournaments. On the vacuumed surface (never unroll the mat in an area where it could pick up particles), unroll the mat so the image is up and its north edge is near the north/double border wall (note the location of the double wall in each table sketch below). Be very careful to not let the mat kink from bending in two directions at once.

FLL Table with cardinal directions

Step 3:
The mat is smaller than the playing surface by design. Slide and align it so that there is no gap between the south edge of the mat and the south border wall. Center the mat east-west with equal gaps at left and right.

Step 4: With help from others, pull the mat at opposite ends and massage out any waviness away from the center and re-check the requirement of step three. It is expected that some waviness will persist, but that should relax over time. Some teams use a hair dryer to speed the relaxation of the waviness.

Step 5OPTIONAL: To hold the mat in place, you may use a thin strip of black tape at the east and west ends. Where the tape sticks to the mat, it may cover the mat’s black border only. Where the tape sticks to the table, it may stick to the horizontal surface only, and not the border walls. You can also fix the mat with double faced adhesive tape you stick under the mat to fix it on the table.

Step 6: For a competition setup, secure two tables north-to-north. The total span of border between two tables must measure between 76 mm and 100 mm. At a tournament, two tables are placed back to back, but you only operate on one table, so you only need to build one table to practice on.

Dummy Wall:
Most Robot Games have a “shared” mission for both teams, whose mission model(s) rest partly on your table, and partly on the other team’s table, which is connected to your table’s north side. You don’t need to build a second table, but you do need to build the necessary part of the other team’s table, so the shared mission model(s) can be positioned correctly. In the photo you can see, how a dummy wall can look like. In this season, a dummy wall is not mandatory.

Dummy Wall

Mission Model Construction

Build the mission models

Use the LEGO® elements from your challenge set, and instructions from this page:

It will take one person at least six hours to do this, so it’s best done in a work party. For any team members with little or no experience building with LEGO® elements, mission model construction is a great way to learn. This step is also a nice time for new team members to get to know each other.


The models must be built PERFECTLY. “Almost perfect” is not good enough. Many teams make several building errors and practice all season with incorrect models. When these teams later compete on fields with correct models, the robot fails. The team incorrectly blames the robot, the tournament organizers, or bad luck for the failure. Best practice is to have several people check for correctness. PLEASE!

Dual Lock

Some models are “secured” to the mat, others are simply “placed” on the mat. Each place on the mat where a model needs to be secured has a white box with an X in it. The connection is made using the re-usable fastening material from 3M called Dual Lock, which comes in the flat clear bag with the LEGO® elements in your challenge set. Dual Lock is designed to stick or “lock” to itself when two faces of it are pressed together, but you can unlock it too, for ease of transport and storage. The application process for the Dual Lock is only needed once. Later, the models can simply be locked onto the mat or unlocked. To apply Dual Lock proceed one model at a time as follows:

Step 1: Stick one square, adhesive side DOWN, on each box you see on the mat with an “X” in it. 

For half-sized boxes, cut the squares in half.

Step 2: Press a second square on top of each of those, “locking” them on, adhesive side UP. Instead of using your finger, use a bit of the wax paper the squares came on.

Step 3: Align the Model exactly over its mark, and lower/press it onto the squares.


Hints: Pay attention. Some models look symmetrical, but do indicate a directional model feature somewhere. Be sure to place each square precisely on its box, and each model precisely over its marks. When pressing a model down, press down on its lowest solid structure instead of crushing the whole model. Pull on that same structure if later you need to separate the model from the mat.

For large and/or flexible models, apply only one or two pairs at a time. There’s no need to do it all at once.

Field Maintenance

Border Walls

Remove any splinters, and cover holes.

Field Mat

Make sure the mat touches the south border wall, and is centered east to west.

Don’t clean the mat with anything that will leave a residue. Any residue, sticky or slippery, will affect the robot’s performance. Use a vacuum and/or damp cloth for dust and debris (above and below the mat). To remove marks, try a white plastic eraser. When moving the mat for transport and storage, don’t let it bend into a sharp kink point, which could affect the robot’s movement. For control of extreme curl at the east or west edges of the Mat, black tape is allowed, with a maximum of 6 mm overlap. Foam tape is not allowed. Do NOT put Dual Lock nor any other tape nor adhesive under the mat.

Mission Models

Keep the mission models in original condition by straightening and tightening solid connections often. Ensure that spinning axles spin freely by checking for end-to-end play and replacing any that are bent. Frequently check for and fix any loop distortion.

u-loop > good                      
droop-loop distortion > bad
bell-loop distortion > bad

Arrangement of Mission Models


Marks on mat along with the text and pictures in the Robot Game section give most of the information you need to arrange and set the models (place/set as pictured). Any details not shown in pictures or mentioned in the text are left to chance and officially don’t matter.

FLL Field Mat Overview

FLL Spielfeld


Place these six models anywhere in base: 

  • supply payload
  • crew payload
  • 1 meteoroid
  • satellite V
  • satellite C
  • tube module
supply payload  crew payload meteoroid
satellite V satellit C tube module
base ready


  • Space travel ramp + your team’s solar panel: These models are built as one piece and secured to the mat on their marks. Move your team’s solar panel into the middle-click position, not angled.
space travel ramp  and your team’s solar panel
your team’s solar panel
your team’s solar panel ready
  • Space travel payloads: Place the supply and crew payloads anywhere in base, and place the vehicle payload on the orange section of the space travel ramp, facing east, and leaning west.
supply payload
crew payload
vehicle payload
  • Your solar panel: See field setup & placement M01.
  • 3D printer + 2 × 4 brick: These models are built as one piece and secured to the mat on their marks and the 2 × 4 brick with it’s studs upwards.
3D printer 2 × 4 brick 3D printer ready


  • Craters: Secure the craters model to the mat on its marks and raise the gate as high as it will go.
craters ready


  • Core site: Secure the core site to the mat on its marks, with its axle pointing east.
  • Regolith core samples + gas core sample + water core sample: Load core samples onto the axle with their studs facing east, in the order shown: regolith, gas, water, and regolith last.
water core sample
regolith core samples
gas core sample
core site core site ready  


  • Habitation hub: Secure the habitation hub to the mat on its marks, with the white beam extension at the north side.
  • Astronaut “Gerhard”: Insert the astronaut as shown, with his visor down, his feet down, his forearms level, and his loop vertical compared to the mat.
  • Dock modul: Insert the dock module all the way into the port at the south side of the habitation hub, with its studs facing up.
  • Cone modul: Insert the cone module all the way into the port at the east side side of the habitation hub.
  • Tube model: Place the tube module anywhere in base.

habitation hub
astronaut “Gerhard”
astronaut inserted

dock module
cone module
tube module
habitation hub ready    
  • Astronaut + Habitation hub: See field setup & placement M06.
  • Exercise machine: Secure the exercise machine to the mat on its marks. rotate the pointer northwest as far as it will go. Move the strength bar down as far as it will go.
pointer strength bar excercise machine ready
  • Exercise machine: See field setup & placement M08.
  • Food growth chamber: Secure the food growth chamber to the mat on its marks, with the push bar facing south and moved as far south as it will go.
food growth chamber push bar food growth ready  


  • Launch platform + spacecraft: Secure the launch platform to the mat on its marks, with its spacecraft fallen/down.
launch platform ready    
  • Satellite V
  • Satellite C
  • Satellite X

Place satellites V and C anywhere in base, and place satellite X loose on its marks as shown.

satellite V satellite C satellite X


  • Observatory: Secure the observatory to the mat on its marks, and rotate it so the bottom of its pointer is centered over the black dot as shown.
observatory observatory ready  


  • meteoroid ring
  • 2 meteoroids
  • meteoroid catcher

Place the meteoroid ring on its marks and place one of the two meteoroids on the ring. Place the other meteoroid anywhere in base. Secure the meteoroid catcher to the mat on its marks.

meteoroid ring meteoroid on the ring meteoroid catcher


  • Lander: Secure the lander release to the mat on its marks. Assemble the lander parts as shown, with tan axles in gray holes. Clamp the lander into the lander release as shown (hint: diagonal), and push the lock lever all the way down/east.
lander release
lander parts
lander clamped
lander down/east lock lever lander ready


  • Six penalty discs: Before the match starts, the referee removes the 6 red penalty discs from the white triangle at the southeast of the mat, and holds on to them.
penalty discs    


All FIRST® LEGO® League challenge documents for the Robot Game are available as PDF files for download. Do not forget to work on the FIRST® LEGO® League Research Project together as a team!