FRC 4481 Team Rembrandts – Pit Flightcase

Presenting the 2023 Team Rembrandts Pit Flightcase & Robot Cart
As international team, this flight case isn’t just a mobile workshop to use during the competitions, but also is important to transport all of our materials and equipment!

In the video we show you all the details about our pit flightcase & robot cart. Below you can read also all the details in the text.

The Base & Dimensions
In collaboration with Faes Cases, we were able to develop this 3rd generation flight case. In contrast to our previous flight cases, we completely designed this case in house, after which Faes Cases supplied us with all the necessary materials, allowing us to assemble the whole flightcase. With this beauty as result. Big thanks to Faes Cases for their help, knowledge and expertise!

The flight case is made up of three parts, the base, a top part on a hinge, and a lid. The case is 2.2 meters wide (87 inches), so that it perfectly fits within a standard truck (both according to European as American standards). It’s 1.6 meters (63 inches) high, so that it fits in any commercial airplane. Lastly, it’s 66 centimeters deep (26 inches), based on the width of a standard wooden countertop.

Since the top part of the case is attached with a hinge, we are able to completely set up our pit within 10 minutes. This will save us a lot of time during the practice day of a competition, allowing us to have more time to spend on the robot! This is a huge upgrade compared to our previous flight case!

This flight case has gotten a number of upgrades and improvements compared to our previous flight case. Thanks to team 4414 High Tide and team 1678 Citrus Circuits for the extensive information they shared about their flight cases! Let’s take a look at all features that can be found in and on this flight case!

The Inside Details
If we take a look at the underside, you’ll see three lightweight beams. This allows a forklift to easily pick up the closed flight case. During competitions we can easily attach wheels to the underside of the flight case, making use of a “quick tensioning system”. In this way we can easily move our pit during the competition whenever necessary.

Mounted to the bottom of the flight case you will find an aluminum tube, in order to prevent the bottom plate from bending under its own weight.

The case has been outfitted with a 3 centimeter thick wooden work bench (slightly more than 1 inch thick), perfect for working on. A vice has also been mounted onto this work bench.

On the left side of the flight case you’ll find a storage space of 1.1 meters in length (43 inches). This storage space is closed with a set of doors that can be locked during transport and whenever we leave the pit. For use during the day we can easily dismount these doors for easy access to the storage space.
The storage space can be either used as one large space for transport or can be outfitted with shelves for during the competition.
Within this space you’ll also find some power outlets to for example charge batteries, a laptop or a phone.

The middle of the pit has been filled with drawers, completely filled with new tools. The tools vary from socket wrenches, to Allen wrenches, to saws and hammers, everything neatly organized in foam cut outs. Thanks to Bockhoven BTM for sponsoring all of this quality tooling with which we can make sure our robot will stay running during the competition.

On the right side of the pit you’ll find a robot battery charging station, capable of charging up to 12 batteries at once. As you can see, this is a custom inlay made of aluminum. Thanks to De Cromvoirtse for laser cutting all aluminum for the flight case!
Also, all aluminum parts have been anodized with a nice color. Thanks to Adruu we were able to make sure all aluminum parts have a scratch resistant coating, as well as looking very good!

When taking a look at the backside of the work bench, you’ll quickly see two power outlets. These are European power outlets with a output of 230 volt so that we can use our own power tools.
In addition to this, we thought a bit further this year and also outfitted our pit with an American 110 volt power outlet. In this way we can supply our alliance partners with power as well whenever needed.

To the backplate of the flight case we attached 4 ‘quick tension rails’ with which we can securely store any additional material during transport. Super useful!
Alongside these rails we also mounted a whiteboard. Lastly the whole inner part of the flightcase has been given a layer of black paint. Thanks to De Verfzaak Valkenswaard for supplying us with their high quality paint, allowing us to give the flight case the iconic TR look.

Two long LED light bars have been mounted to the flight case as well to illuminate the whole pit while working. With the use of switches you can turn these off and on. LED light bars have also been attached to the lid, since the lid needs to be a sperate piece, these can be controlled by plugging them in or out of the power outlet.

Just like on the bottom of the flight case we added an aluminum tube to ensure structural rigidity.

In the hinged top part of the flight case we again made an custom inlay. Here we can store storage bins containing electronics, wheels, tape, tie wraps, fasteners and much more. Thanks to Ferro Fast for sponsoring us with all the necessary fasteners and materials needed for in the pit!
Since the hinged top part needs to be able to be flipped 180 degrees we also mounted special plates for use during transport. When we arrive at the competition we can easily take these off by removing the knurled screws.

Like said before, you can also find LED light bars in the lid. Again we made custom 3D printed clips so that we can securely store aluminum tubes during transport. With these aluminum tubes we can set up a banner construction during competition. This construction can be assembled quickly through the use of easy canisters mounted on the lid.

On both sides of the flight case you can also find a hole that we use to mount the banner construction. Depending on the location of the pit we are assigned we can choose to either use the hole on the left side of the flight case or on the right side of the flight case.
On the side of the flight case we also added a plug and play connection for power, and the backside of the flight case has been outfitted with a hatch to access all electronics. This allows us to get access to and do maintenance on the battery chargers and the transformer. We need a transformer to transform the 110 volt American standard power to 230 volt European standard power, allowing us to use our own power tools.

TV Screens
If we take a look at the front of our pit area you will also see a standing pillar, on which we can mount two screens. The front of this pillar also has a small plateau to use a computer mouse and the back has two brackets for laptops. With this we can easily show everyone a 3D model of our robot, as well as many videos and other branding projects!

Pit Cart
Last but not least, we also designed a new pit cart. It can be completely disassembled so that we can store it in the flight case. It is made using custom 3D printed grip parts so it can all be assembled by hand. The top of our pit cart is adjustable so that we can perfectly adjust it to our robot each year.
The front has a bracket for transporting two batteries and the bottom plate has a useful raised edge so nothing can fall off.
The pit cart uses the same type of click on wheels as the flight case.
We also added on some brackets to hold any water bottles for the drive team.
Lastly, we made a plateau for the driver station and a plateau on the bottom of the robot to place a storage bin for any materials possible needed for last minute repairs.

Hopefully you were able to take a good look at our new flightcase. Again big thanks to all partners who helped us to make this flight case reality:

Thank you for your interest. Don’t be afraid to take a look in our pit during competition to see the flightcase or robot cart in real life, or feel free to ask questions in the treat! We will gladly tell you all about it!

This post was written by: @Niels_Heijden

59 Likes

What’s the moisture vaporator on the left with the TVs? That looks pretty sweet.

1 Like

Do you mean this? Those are laptop holders for the TV screens.

8 Likes

Yes those! Thanks for the pic

1 Like

Do y’all have plans for the cart you are willing to share? We’ve been looking to make a new one that we can compact down, and we would love to use this as inspiration/a starting point.

hi Colleen, nice to hear you are interested in our new robot cart. I will clean up the cad model this week and share it afterwards!

9 Likes

Dat is helemaal fantastisch!

Having grown up not far from the border to the Netherlands in Germany I love seeing some European teams really showing up big time to FRC :slight_smile:

Sorry you have to deal with 230V/16A → 120VAC/15A. Certainly one of my pet peeves since moving to Canada :joy:

7 Likes

What wheels are you guys using for the cart/pit

Sorry for the small delay. We were very busy with preparations and the world championship. Via our grabcad page you can download the CAD model of our robot cart. If there are any questions, we are happy to answer them!

1 Like

Hi Diego,
The wheels are from our partner Faes Cases, just like the quick release profiles.
Don’t know what there suplier is. Its a Dutch company, but if you are still interesting I can ask our partner about that.

1 Like

Amazing setup! Congratulations on making it happen.

May I ask you how much do you pay to bring it with you from Netherlands to the USA? Do you send it as a temporary exportation by airplane?

Thanks!

Believe I now suffer from a new condition called CCE…cart case envy. Great work guys!

3 Likes

How have the wheels held up for you? Do the remain attached nice and securely? That quick release system has me thinking for our own robot cart.

Hi
Can I ask for the dismessions of the pit carts?
Thank you

what was the decision behind cutting the box tube on the driver station plateau like this?

The wheels hold up perfectly. We also used these wheels and the quick-release system in a previous version of our pit-flight case and have shown they are worth it. They stay nice, strong and securely attached. It was supplied by our partner who makes professional flight cases, and this is specially made for it.
It’s a little over-killed for a robot cart, but because we take the cart apart for shipping it’s perfect! And also because the number of spare parts because this system and wheels are also on our pit case.

The cart is 1000mm x 500mm x 645mm (LxWxH) without the push handle, and with handle 1460mm x 500 x 1035mm (LxWxH). For more info you can download the CAD model of our robot cart here.

The original idea was to easily swivel the table for transport. Because the tubes are made on a tube laser, they are lasered from 4 sides while the tube is in a rotating head. The wall must first be cut before he can start on the radius.

2 Likes

What hardness of aluminum are the bottom boards of the pit cart?

No special hard aluminum has been used. Just normal aluminum tubes all around. We use AW6060 (ALMgSi0.5)(T66).
A normal plywood plate of 8mm thickness is mounted on the tubes.

1 Like

Can you help us to ask about the quick-release wheels?

I asked our partner, they buy it from Penn-Elcom.
They also have other (flight)case materials such as latches and handles.

I see you can buy them all over the world, also in the US and Asia! :smile:
I think we use the W0093/NB, but there are several options.

2 Likes