Pit design ideas

You want to ‘design’ the pit, that is make a pleasing and especially memorable, aesthetic. Blue alliance says you’re “Panda Robotics.”

Clearly you need a pit that’s made of BAMBOO.

It’s amazing because it’s light and easy to pack, not expensive and you can hang banners on it.

I’d also recommend you include some (fake) bamboo leaves and maybe a 3d (stuffed animal?) Panda somewhere above your head.

Not exactly an option for every team to make a themed pit so easily.

You could also adapt memorable images from the Kung-Fu Panda movie or from the very popular board game Takenoko. You want people to recognize and relate so they’ll remember.

Putting the right stuff in the pit is a different question. That depends much on your team. If you’ve built a robot with machined parts, you may want to bring a baby mill or other machines. Every team has tool boxes and a cart, and of course you must make them follow your theme.

If you’re a chairman’s team, you’ll want to present a wall of info about what amazing chairman’s stuff you’re attempting.

Plan ahead for lighting. LED’s are easy now and you’ll want additional lighting at most set-ups.

Just know-- you don’t just want a boring indoor tent. You want art. You want expression. You want to be memorable. You have people on your team that want to be expressive. Here you go.

This year was the first year my team, Benzene Bots 4384, built a pit structure and we focused largely on promoting aesthetics while maintaining functionality. We made huge adjustments from competition to competition but I think we reached a pretty good place by Championship.

Here are some pictures of the pit at the Detroit Championship:

The structures in the front showcase our team’s outreach and projects, leaving the entire 10x10 area for the pit crew to work in. One improvement I hope to make for next year is adopt 973’s pit in the back to optimize the area we are allotted.

Note: We saw Strike Zone’s pits @ Saginaw Valley at the Michigan State Championship and I love how tidy it is and how quickly you moved in on Wednesday.

One of the easiest things to do that can make your pit look amazing is having a safety display! I’ve seen teams hang organizing racks similar to ones you would use for jewelry or for shoes. They label each pocket with band-aids, disinfectant wipes, et cetera, and usually hang it on a pillar or the front of their pit. It looks very neat and displays everything nicely! If you could find photos, team 4961 had an incredible safety display this year and ended up winning the Safety Award at the Troy District competition.

Here’s a link…


Functionality should absolutely be your first concern. Make sure it has some shelving, space for a workbench, your tool chests, your battery chargers, and anything else you need to get work done.

This is a fantastic suggestion. Reminds me of This. Definitely try it out like this and make sure everything works.

One thing to remember is if you include something interactive for the general public, you’ll have to deal with people constantly being at your pit. Some teams are more alright with this than others. For example my team often makes drastic changes at events, and that usually causes our pit to be pretty hectic. Having 8 people waiting to play an arcade game while your robot is mostly disassembled 45mins before your first match can be counterproductive, so we would probably never build something like that. If your team tends to be a little more relaxed in the pit, something cool and interactive might work well for you, and is definitely a good way to help meet people from other teams