Pit design ideas

I’m trying to design my team’s pit, but I don’t have many ideas. Anyone have any ideas on how they would design their pit? Thanks

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Your pit should reflect who you are as a team. Do you have a “logo”, mascot, etc… that can lead to a theme for your pit? Our team, the Robobees, have a “hive” look to our pit. We put up netting that has a honeycomb look, to follow the “Bee” theme. We have a bee as a mascot, our shirts have a bee, etc… Let your pit reflect what is unique about your team!

Good luck!


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A pit is a great way to promote your team. A lot of teams use their pit as a way to get their name out to everyone. With this in mind a functional pit design is key that is also safe and allows for easy access to tools.

At the competition each team has a 10’ x 10’ (with a few exceptions) allocated space for a pit. If your team has a lot of tools, a set of shelves is always a great idea. If you plan out where you want to put things, designing the pit should be pretty easy.

Also considering the chaos at the beginning of the competition, a pit should be easy and quick to set up. Many teams use PVC Pipe frame with a banner and use provided tables. Many teams also have Slide-shows that show their teams accomplishments and it is customary to hang banners from past FIRST awards.

I would worry about your robot first…

It must be the pits not to have many ideas for pit designs. :slight_smile:

Sorry, I just can’t pass up an opportunity to make a pun about one of my favorite topics.

If you use the search option in the orange bar at the top of the page, and type in pit design - it will lead you to threads that discuss the topic. It would be worth your while to look through them and may provide some ideas for you.

Here’s an example.


Some inspiration, The Best Pit In FIRST. I’ve found that emulating 2062’s at-competition behavior in general is a recipe for success.

Just remember, on some teams there are certain individuals who don’t even touch or design the robot, but play critical roles in the background essential to some teams success. Website, Chairmans, Woodie Flowers, team organization, t-shirts, pit design, scouting, strategy, photography, community relations the list goes on and on, all of these help to create a well rounded/successful team.

I would recommend that whatever you design be functional, light, and easy to assemble/disassemble. Plastic shelves are a good idea for storage as you will be bringing a lot of stuff with you. Remember that you will have a table provided for you so that you plan to not overcrowd you pit. And just remember to keep it clean and organized which really helps when trying to get work done at a faster rate of pace and it is safe! :wink:

Good luck with your design!

Just make sure the pit you come up with has space to work on and store the robot, somewhere to work on things away from the robot (like drilling something, or programming) and a place for your battery chargers and tools.

As a bonus, make a place for your team to show off a little, like a book of photos near the front for visitors to look at.

No matter what you do, there will never be enough space in the pit. But with some creativity it can be functional (most important) and look good, too.

My team, Team 2531 built a nice wooden pit this year. It consisted of two 5x2 (ish) tables bolted together as well as a platform to put the bot on similar to one you would see if you worked on cars at a shop. We slid a few big toolboxes under the tables for storage and put a pegboard up on the back. total cost will about $150 - $175 once we wire up the thing with a few power outlets. Weighs about 250 lbs, but it disassembles in 15 min so it can be moved. It was a good solution for a low budget team. If you have any questions I could post the CAD models.

Hi could you please post the cad files. If you could that would be great

You should also spend at least a little time considering how you will transport pit materials to the regional. If your pit can fit in the crate with the robot (and also meet weight limits) then you save considerable space in vans or save money on check baggage if you fly.

Ya, I can get them up tomorrow no problem.

Worry about aesthetics second - make sure the pit is functional first. Tape off an 8x8 area (that’s probably the smallest your pit will be - remember, they do vary by regional), get a few people in before everyone else, and move everything you need to work on the robot into the pit. Get it organized. Then have your team spend a day working on the robot “in the pit”. If they have to leave the pit to get something, write down what it was. If people are constantly running into each other, try to work out a way to give them more room, or to get the tools in better locations so they don’t have to move around as much.

Once you’ve got the essentials of the pit laid out, you can start sprucing it up. Add banners, lights, a tent, whatever you think will set your team apart, show who you are, and make the place feel like home. Above all else, though - make sure everyone around will know who’s in that pit! A big sign across the back, 8 feet up is a great way to do this - include both the team name and the team number. Walking around scouting, it’s equally bad to see a team you can only identify by the number FIRST put in their pit and one you can only identify by name and can’t find their number anywhere.


Make sure you “Keep your pits clean!”

Has anyone found CAD demonstrations of pits?

Hey guys, our team (4557) won imagery at New England District Champs (I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this is what you were indirectly asking) we would like to think a large part due to our pit. Before I go on explaining how we went about designing the pit I have to preface this by thanking our sister team 3654, the TechTigers for literally coaching us on how to go about everything imagery and being a major reason we won.

This year we stopped approaching imagery as a “we’ll do it if we have time” sort of thing, and instead looked at it on equal footing as say the ent. award and saw it as an opportunity to get our team name out there. Instead of throwing together an idea everyone liked last minute, we took the idea and sat down and planned how to integrate it into every aspect of our team. This year we really held to our theme and did TRON so we sat and said “ok how are we going to get everybody/thing in on this?” We asked ourselves “how does this contribute to the TRON image?” for almost everything from pins to the robot. So we put TRON inspired lights on our robot with our team # and gave Drive Team and our Mercy Mascots (think spirit captains) light up shirts and pants (eventually replaced with neon green duct tape but you get the idea), designed TRON themed pins, and gave everyone else some TRON aspect to their uniform.

We eventually decided to make our pit “The Arcade” a la TRON, so we ran with the idea that the pit should be interactive since ya know, that’s what arcades are really. I cannot stress enough how big of a difference making your pit interactive is, we had lines for our button dispenser and self-made arcade game and we filled up a whole table cloth with other teams’ buttons at Detroit. Not only this but it’s a good idea to put some sort of video or hook in the pit, we put our “team trailer” on the TV and flashing green lights on the exposed PVC pipe, it makes people stop and watch, or at least check it out briefly. Our team has easily never seen so much attention after this new approach, we even had an FLL jr. team from Canada come by and check out our pit just because they heard about it.

That being said, I also want to stress KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid, don’t go over the top and make it a hassle to put up, expensive or hard for engineering and drive team to access, remember form follows function. For example, our team before competition will put up our bare-bones pit with just PVC pipe then tape out the dimensions of everything going in the pit to see how much room we have or don’t have then prioritize function. Simple planning.

Another key point is to be friendly and always have the “gracious professional” attitude and to always to have someone in the pit. Pits seem more inherently approachable when there’s someone in there, makes it feel less like trespassing. Have them talk to people whoever they may be, whether they’re 3 or 98, people really like it when you’re friendly and eventually that spreads by word of mouth and suddenly you have more people at your pit. This attitude combined with an interactive and functional pit is just the right recipe so to speak for a great pit. Just remember though, it takes a lot more than a pit to win imagery!

We have a diagram in the shape of Pac-Man that outlines how we went about imagery and the pit that I’ll see if I can find to post.


Here is Team 5460 Strike Zone’s pit. This was directly inspired from the 973 Super Pit. We designed and built it during the 2017-2018 off season.

Lots of great advice here. From our experience…

Make sure you can transport everything. We tend to travel by coach bus so everything we bring has to fit underneath. Everything we load could be put on a bus or taken off by a handful of students. A 973-style superpit sounds amazing but will require a truck and trailer and lots of people to transport.

Be efficient in what you bring. Some teams seemingly bring their entire shop with them in enormous rolling tool chests. Cool, but we don’t have one of those – nor would we be able to transport it (see above). We have learned to just bring the tools we are likely to need. Our pit toolbox is smaller (and lighter?!) than some people’s backpacks, but you would be surprised at how much we can cram in there.

Leverage the stuff that will already be there. They’ll give you a table. Use it! Underneath the table there’s lots of storage space. We organize all of our pit supplies in latching tote bins of various sizes, that themselves pack into the grey totes. We stack a bunch of these under the table. No need to assemble a shelving unit :slight_smile:

Incorporate your imagery. Our team’s branding is simple: #allPurpleEverywhere (to borrow from the greats). We use purple foam “puzzle piece” floor tiles. Our zipties are purple. We have purple tablecloths. Tower of LCD monitors, rolling parts cabinet organizer, banners, pop-up tent canopy, whiteboard markers, clipboards, bungees, ropes, robot cart: all purple.

If you have an overhead canopy, figure out your lighting. You can get LED strip lighting very inexpensively on Amazon. Not enough lighting is not only inconvenient for working on your robot, but people taking photos see dark shadows and unflattering faces.

Work with your pit crew. It’s all good to design cool looking pit elements, but the people who will actually spend their day in the pits need to be the ones that like your design. Pits are crowded and you’re often in a rush to get stuff done. You want the layout of your pit to facilitate that. You have to be able to find that tool, and that spare part, very quickly, and then have the space to drill that new hole, install it on your robot, while your software student is in the other corner coding a fix for that bug. They need a table, you need a work surface, and you still need room for someone to talk to the judge that just arrived…

Probably about 7ft deep… maybe with spikes on the bottom. Depends what the purpose is.

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I’m on Team Spyder 1622 and over the years our pit design has changed but currently our pit is made of 80/20 which is really easy to ship. We put up our banner in the top of the back and we also hang up a monitor. Our robot crate also is used for shelving for tools and other things in the back of our pit. We also use a table to display all out safety and chairmans stuff. We also won pit safety at worlds this year for Carver. Hopefully this gives you some ideas for a pit design.