The Electric Maze develops the essential Teamwork, Leadership, and Systemic Thinking skills needed for competitive, responsive organizations. Both the EM1 and the EM3 Electric Maze create an accelerated learning environment for enhancing individual and group performance.
The Electric Maze is an electronically programmable version of the classic maze. This widely used and popular Action Learning System makes it easy to conduct experiential training programs for both large and small groups.
The Electric Maze consists of a flexible 6x8 foot (6x9 for the EM1) carpet grid and a battery-powered programmable control/alarm module. Pressure sensitive switches are incorporated in each of the 48 (54 for the EM1) carpet grid-squares. The grid-squares can be individually programmed via the control module to activate the alarm when stepped upon, indicating an ”unsafe” square. Teams discover how to work and learn together as they search for the ”safe” path across the Electric Maze.
The Electric Maze provides a powerful learning experience, yet requires little physical effort. It's unique design assures that activities are safe and appropriate at all organizational levels regardless of age, physical condition or cultural orientation.
Simple programming of the Electric Maze simulates an organizaitonal learning environment that is tailored to meet diverse training and development goals. The Electric Maze is designed for indoor use with 6 to 24 participants and is being used with success in organizations of all types -- including families and communities.
The major differences between the two Electric Maze models are in storage/transport, programming, and flexibility of application.
The EM1 consists of a 6x9 grid. Each grid-square of the Electric Maze is approximately one foot square, or about 1/3 meter square. When rolled up and placed in its storage container, the EM1 is 6 feet (about 2 meters) long. The battery powered control/alarm module for the EM1 is switch-programmable. Each EM1 grid-square is not independently programmable. Rather, each control module switch activates a pair of squares. This adequately provides for degrees of challenge from basic to intermediate. While well-suited for many applications, one must consider the size of the rolled carpet (effecting storage and transportation) and the eventual long-term use of the Maze.
The EM3 consists of a 6x8 grid, and hence is one row shorter than the EM1. The EM3 is designed with portability, storage, and flexibility in mind. The EM3 is a two-piece Electric Maze, each piece a 3x8 grid. When joined together along the long dimension by a simple technique, the two sections combine to form the 6x8 grid. The EM3 stores by first laying one of the 3x8 sections on top of the other, then rolling them together. The resulting roll is only three feet long (one meter). The wheeled carrying case is similar to those used to transport golf clubs. It fits easily into an automobile trunk quite well and can be checked as airline luggage.
The EM3 is programmed by inserting pins into the battery powered control/alarm module. The control module has a 6x8 array of holes corresponding to the 6x8 array of grid-squares on the Maze carpet. By simply inserting a pin in a hole, the corresponding carpet grid-square on the EM3 is made passive (safe). This independent programming feature allows a wide variety of patterns ranging from basic to advanced. This added flexibility in prograaminng as compared to the EM1 not only compensates for the change from 6x9 to 6x8, it allows nearly endless scenarios for advanced use, enhancing future return-on-investment.
Most people prefer the EM3 because of its ease in transport, even though the price is a little higher. The Electric Maze is a durable life-time investment that can be leveraged to the good of the organization over the long-term.
The construction of the EM3 Electric Maze allows multiple 3x8 carpet segments to joined in various ways. For example, a ”gauntlet” can be formed by placing the two carpet sections end-to-end producing, a 3x16 Maze. The gauntlet can be facilitated a number of different ways, one of which generates the excitement found in outdoor climbing activities. Or three or more segments can be joined to produce unexpected paths limited only by the imagination of the facilitator.
New hardware and LearnWareTM developments are available that capitalize on the EM3 two-piece design. The LearnWare module -- ”Closing the Loop” -- incorporates a variable alarm delay feature, easily introducing another dimension of realism into the team learning environment. The hardware upgrade included in the ”Closing the Loop” LearnWare module permits each half of the EM3 carpet to operate with different response times. By delaying one half of the EM3 carpet, you can show how two teams learn to cope with different levels of delayed communication and organizational responsiveness. Another effective use of ”Closing the Loop” is to graphically demonstrate how teams need to have a shared understanding to work and respond effectively.