Coming soon: White paper on Crate

I’m working on a White Paper to construct a simple crate from basic stuff from Home Depot/Lowes/etc.

I’d like to get input from anyone on this topic. This will be a simple plywood crate with an emphasis on quick, easy construction, toolless crating/uncrating (e.g. at the event), and two options: either the crate can be stored in pieces (takes little space) or you can even add a few hinges to make crating/uncrating easier. The crate is also light enough to stay under the 400 pound limit.

I know fancy crates are great, but everyone please take note that this is going to be one for a low budget team or a team that doesn’t want to bother designing a crate in addition to their robot. Share those fancy designs in another thread please :slight_smile:

Writing a crate paper eh?

Tool-less opening? is that a good idea for security in-route?

If you worked in a warehouse, and saw a crate that said “robot inside” with a twist handle, could you resist taking a peek?

He said tooless opening, not keyless. So you could still have keyed locked on it. Or even just as simple as a combonation lock.

Toolless, but not easy. It involves taking out at least 20 carriage bolts held on with wing nuts. I haven’t had any problems with security on our toolless crates. Has anyone had any security problems?

You could still lock this design, but it would require work. I don’t see security as an issue, so please enlighten me if I’m wrong. If so, I’ll change the design.

a few years back we had to wrap the entire crate with plastic wrap, so that someone could not easily open it up and put anything else in the crate (ie, terrorism).

Has that been required in the last couple years as well?

Can you lock a crate? does it need to be inspectable by the shipping company?

I think the real security issue (from a couple directions) would be how quickly someone could pop your crate open, and either take something out, or put something else in?

While I don’t know about the other questions, I do know that you have to wrap or band your crates.

Great Idea! Many rookie and older teams are probably looking at building one soon, and a design that is easy to build and operate is on the top of everyone’s list.

In response to ken,
My team has been using an diamond plate crate since 2004 that had locking handels on it, we have never had any trouble with the shipping companys or any others about them not being able to open the crate. Just rember if you put a lock on it, make shure multiple people have the key and ALL of them bring it with them. I can think of 2 times that we have loaned hacksaws/dremels to teams that forgot their key.

I’ve finished the first version of the crate design white paper, though I’m not happy with it, so I’ve added the disclaimer below. You can find it in the white pages under Team Organization (it’s still pending moderation though).

Due to the lack of time to perfect this document and provide photographs and details specifications, it is best that teams spend a little time thinking about this design before building their crate.

          This document will be updated next season (current is 2006).  This season team #246 will be helping local rookie teams build this crate.  As a part of that event, more information will be collected to improve this document.

          In the mean time, we would like to extend help to other teams in using this incomplete guide.  Please contact us when you find that we’ve left out too many details by e-mailing [email=""][/email] or [email=""][/email].  We cannot guarantee we will be able to get back to you, but we will do our best.