pit design

Hello all, we’re a rookie team this year designing the pit and we know the dimensions (< 10x10x10), but we’re not sure how to organize everything considering that we need the crate placed in the pit too. We were thinking of tipping the crate on its side with the open end facing out and placing the totes in it and using the top of it as a sort of workbench. What have the other teams done?

The crate doesn’t have to stay in your pit if it’s inconvenient. Generally, once you’ve uncrated, you can have the Shepard folks take the crate away and store it somewhere. They’ll bring it back on Saturday when its time to recrate.

Our crate clamshells open to form a storage unit. It’s probably too late for you to do this, but it’s a great way to make space and reduce what you need to bring to an event.

Using your crate as a workbench has been done by other teams in the past. You are given a lightweight folding table in the pit as well (usually). Packing a vise that you can clamp to the crate, and using the interior to store tools and get personal items out of the way is helpful. Some quick assembly storage shelves will also help to inexpensively organize a lot of items and get them out of your way. When at your Regional, pay attention to what other teams have done and prepare better (for next year), based on what you feel your team will need to do. We actually had a crate for tool shippng one year that mated up with our robot crate that we placed a toolbox between them to form a long workbench in the rear.

Most teams at our regional don’t end up using their boxes. The tables work well and it would be best to bring metal racks and carts that can lock, that way you can roll tools and stuff in, and it’s really easy to put together. It takes about 10 mins to get everything together and the racks help for organization. It’s almost like we’re in our work room.

Unless you really NEED your crate in your pit, have it removed. It’ll take up too much space otherwise. Or have it be a workstation, but it’s a little late now. Next year…

You are given one table. That has a lot of uses…

Get some bins or collapsible storage units. Those increase organization and storage capacity. Nothing over 10’, though. Have a designated coat/backpack area somewhere (stands or pit) so those don’t go everywhere and get in the way.

Oh, and one thing you may want to bring is a collapsible chair. The pit crew will thank you.

It’s a large upfront cost, but ours is made from Bosch extruded aluminum. We roll it in and out, and it holds most everything we need, and some things that other teams need.:stuck_out_tongue: We made ours so that it defines our space, and is still adjustable to fit at various venues.

We used two craftsman tool benches and put a piece of plywood across it making tool storage and a workbench. On top of the plywood we screwed down a small bandsaw, a small harbor press, and a small drill press. It really helps if you need to fix something on the fly and if any team at the comp needs something fixed the can us any of them.


Thanks for the responses guys!

it is definitely better to get rid of the bulky crate and bring in your own workbench and other items you need.
it also might depend on how much you can bring with you to the regional. our team usually attends only one regional, and it is well within driving distance, so we tow a trailer with everything we need. the super-duper-robot-tool-everything-ever crate is really cool and means you dont have to bring a bunch of stuff with you. all of your tools etc are there when you get there (but the shipping cost omg!! that thing is gonna weigh literally a ton!)

mainly remember to bring the basics (tools, parts, robot cart, etc.) and a easy way to store them (a large rolling tool cart works great apposed to separate toolboxes or even worse, the totes the kit comes in). you will also need some table space for essentials (laptops, rear ends, random stuff, parts you’re working on etc.) it is a good idea to gather everything you need and have for the pits, and setup a mock pit. it gives you time to plan out where tools etc will be and really reduces the stress and confusion of pit setup.

as for our (team 418) pit layout we have 4 basic things:
here is our 06 pit for reference
collapsible plastic shelves: these come in handy for storing our tools in easy reach and putting nifty stuff on display. (they are in the back)

the tool cart: we custom made our own wooden cart, it has a space for a drill press, toll drawers, a good maple top for a work surface, a vice, and it rolls. it is the most useful thing our team has in the pits. (bottom right)

**the robot cart: **you would be surprised how useful a well designed cart becomes, ours has a drawer for on the go tools and parts, rails that support the robot off the wheels so we can service and test our drive train, and lot of other good stuff that really helps the pit crew work. (front and center)

the parts cart: a new thing in the pits this year, we are bringing a huge metal tool cabinet with nice deep drawers for all of the spare parts we need for the robot. fasteners, extra motors, custom parts, you name it. we made the terrible mistake of forgetting something like this last year and had NO fasteners or spare electronics stuff in the pits. (keeps the parts bins off the floor, bottom center)

it might also be good idea to bring an extra folding table or other surface to place stuff on. there is a ton of stuff going on in the pits, and limited space for laptops, robots, parts, tools, etc. so make sure you have planned and organized space in the pit to work in. also optional: a sign with your logo and your sponsors logo on it, so people will easily recognize, identify and remember you!(top)

The bins that you get with the KOP work very well for organizing. Label them “Tools” or"Pneumatics" or “Mountain Dew” … actually don’t label the Mountain Dew bin or it will be gone in 10 minutes :smiley: Anyway, they keep us fairly organized. We tried to turn our crate into a backdrop for our pit last year, and it didn’t work very well, so we’re not doing that again. Took too long to put the crate back together.

Here is Fondy Fire’s 2007 pit design. Sorry, but this is the best picture that we have…;’(

Basically, if you want to use your crate in the pit, here’s a good example on how one should obtain this goal.


Also, our upper structure is actually held up by our crate through PVC holders that are directly mounted inside the upper cover of our crate.

What’s the best way to put up the banners? We have two we have to put up, one 7’ and the other is 8’.

Pretty much the way 2194 did. (See post above yours.)

Okay, and the poles are just anchored to the ground by something heavy?

That is one nice looking pit! Great presentation for your sponsors, nice job!

We’re trying out some tripod camp stools for our next regional - light, small, have shoulder straps (so easy to bring with you into the pit on Thursday when your arms are already full), and sit lower to the ground (which is great when working on the robot).

Emergency re-programming sessions in the midst of total panic don’t get much easier if you have no place to sit. :smiley:

What are team did is we bought some work benches and put them on the outer edges of the pit

hey Natron here can anyone send me some pics of their pit(s)? we R looking for some ideas and would appreciate any input.

On another thread i posted some links to 103’s design.

Here they are: