Cart Is Pit?

For the past summer i have been thinking about what would help my team while bring at the competition.

In order to help my team my friends and I have developed a concept of “Cart is Pit”. Meaning that the cart will house must of all the tools/supplies that are usually in the pit. So when you go down to the floor if you need a tool it would be with your robot before and after the rounds and their would be no need for fetchers.

Carts basic components:


I had design this system to have the robot batteries being charged on the cart at all times even when your not near a Ac power source. To go along with that it provides a AC and DC lines for charging laptops and running some electrical tools depending on cart battery size and inverter being used.

spare glasses, ear plugs, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.

all necessary tools for the robot with the addition of some that others may be use if room is present.

Spare electronics material
pre made parts
pneumatics stuff

Computers would have a multipurpose port that will allow the programmer to program their robot and not be next to it. (on the controller is prog and reset pins that would be in the cable to the programmer’s station allowing him to control things with out getting in the way of the mechanical team).

Built in large tank that will be full all the time.
robot pressure will be equalized with this tank then pumped independently allowing for a quick pump.
air could also be used in cleaning off dusk and etc.

If all this could be done then your 10x10 foot pit would have more room making it safer. Also everything you would need would be with the robot except for big tools such as mills and etc.

Please post more ideas, however don’t say anything about a sound system because FIRST has ruled against it.

More Ideas

The last question is if all this is legal or illegal

something that allows you to work under the robot would be nice. (maybe a small aluminum frame with 2 foot tall legs to hold it up while a team mate goes under to work on it.)

this is really a great design, one thing I would worry about though is its manueverability. We did not have a good cart last year but it was better than nothing(it was a furniture mover with some plywood bolted onto it.

thanks, vivek

Ditto to vivek’s post. I’ve seen multi-purpose carts that have the ability to lift the robot, or have some kind of ramp that it sits on. Reminds me that I need to start working on some type of electrical system for us, with the battery, laptops, and whatnot. And find a canopy to cover the pit.

also remember the cart has to be able to cross those cable cover things so making it heavy would be not be the best idea


I can not speak to this year’s rules, but your air tank would have been illegal for the last several years.

Also, beware of making this thing so big that it can not be carried up and down a set of stairs. Load-in/out is almost always a concern at many events.


True i forgot all about those things.
hmmmmmmm how to make sure it would be light enough but also strong enough while keeping these features?:confused: :confused:

Are you sure about the air system?

Yup. See <R101> The compressor may be mounted on the ROBOT, or it may be left off the ROBOT and used
to pre-charge compressed air in the storage tanks prior to bringing the ROBOT onto the
playing field. Off-board compressors must be controlled and powered by the ROBOT. The
only difference between an on- and off-board compressor is that the off-board compressor is
physically removed from the ROBOT. Note: the intent of this rule is to permit teams to take
advantage of the weight savings associated with keeping the compressor off-board. But
using the compressor off-board of the ROBOT does NOT permit non-compliance with any
other applicable rules.

Edit: What Cory said… :slight_smile:

if i remember correctly, the only way to charge your on board tanks was via the KOP air compressor. If you didn’t have to have the compressor mounted on the robot but you had to use the battery on board the robot to power the compressor.

You may want to include a light for those arenas that don’t have great lighting. I know at St. Louis you would have to bring a flashlight with you in order to do repairs during eliminations.

In regards to the programming thing, you can actually program the robot to hit its own PROG/RESET pins using the robot controller’s digital outputs. Then you just need to add a bit of code to recognize a command from the programmer’s computer to make the robot controller go into program mode/reset itself.

Well i guess than the air compressor unit would just be stored in the side till it needs to be used.
As for the programing thing is is a mechanical switch or virtual switch over the programing cable.

Edit: Peter beat me to it. He needs to seriously get IM. :stuck_out_tongue:

Peter, what about having two compressors? The KOP one for charging the robot, and the big compressor for the big tank? Having air for cleaning and whatnot is still pretty handy.


I think that those little canisters of compressed air are really handy for getting dust off and cleaning. Also you can use them to cool down things by holding them upside down(engines and such.) Im not sure how good that is for the engines but it might help.


What about air powered goodness? Like drills? And just the general bling factor of having air onboard cart?

And it’s not just compressed air in those cans. They actually make me pretty woozy if I spray too much in an area that pretty much isn’t outside.

I have always wondered about air tanks and what not… I have also wondered about fog machines… are you allowed fog machines?? (obviously not for practical use) but compressed air would be wonderful to clean off work space at the end of the day (or during the day for that matter)

I JUST HAD A BRAIN FART!!! who saw the mythbusters episode with the hovercrafts? you think 6 leaf blowers would lift 600 pounds?

man that is a good idea lol…build one like adam’s lilypad it would be quite stable lol :smiley:

Didn’t see that, but I saw team 1006’s 2006 robot moving device: 1 leaf blower was enough to lift their robot at full weight. Need I say more? (Though you would have the directing problem, but that’s what the other drive team members are for.)

Also, remember to put space for the operator interface. The OI is (can be) a very awkward piece of equipment, if it’s long or in multiple pieces. It’s easier to put it on the cart if possible.

Compressed air is good for blowing chips and junk out of the robot.

However, those little pancake air compressors (which are just about the only thing small enough that you could fit into a cart) will not run any air tools for more than a couple seconds before they lose so much pressure as to basically be ineffective.

“I had design this system to have the robot batteries being charged on the cart at all times even when your not near a Ac power source. To go along with that it provides a AC and DC lines for charging laptops and running some electrical tools depending on cart battery size and inverter being used.”

I reference to the above information, be careful about doing this as we tried to do the same thing on a carrier that we built on year and we can to find out that the setup burned up three battery chargers running thru a AC to DC converter because the wave signal was different that the wave from the AC outlet. Just a thought from the past.:ahh: :yikes: