Pit on Wheels!

I will need some help with this one.

During the competition season, I was looking at how our organization is for tools and everything and all I have to say is,** ITS BAD**. We have all our tools and what not in the FIRST boxes we recieve during kickoff. So I am posing for the FIRST community, I would like to basically create a Pit on Wheels. Basically I want to make two boxes that enclosed stuff on wheels. However, I don’t know what the dimensions should be and I want to know what you think I should do. I want them to be big but still in the regulation size of the pit.

If anyone can help me out that would be great.


At gtr i saw a team that buildt two wooden rolling cabinets 2 ft wide 6 ft tall on casters then between the cabinets they had a wooden benchtop and behind the bench top was a pegboard that looked like it worked well. hope this helps.

Check out team 365(MOE)'s traveling machine shop. It is the one “pit on wheels” setup that has truly stuck out in my mind throughout the years as being truly awesome. In fact, because I knew they had one, they were the first team I went to at the Philadelphia Regional when my team needed to borrow an arbor press. If anyone had the right tool for the job, they did!

Also, I’ve noticed that team 237 has had a unique pit area shelving system. I believe it is collapsible and very space/travel efficient.

I am sure there are many other teams who have developed these “traveling machine shops”! I would encourage you to PM one of their mentors for more information and/or pictures.

We converted our crate into the walls of our pit. We put pegboard (or whatever its called) on the sides so that we could hang tools on it, and put in a whiteboard surface. When we uncrated, we just set it up. Best part is that it goes wherever the robot goes and you don’t have to worry about it!

In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Thanks Janie, glad you like it. I was working on a white paper for our team crate/pit station, but got sidetracked many many times.

One of these days, I’ll have something more than just pics.

If anyone is interested in some details of our setup though, just come see us in Galileo.

What our team uses primarily is a pit crate on casters (pictures attached). These are some of the best pictures I have but I’ll try and locate a better pictures from my teammates. It has a large tool box to hold important tools and a hard flat work space. Another thing that we use to transport supplies to the pits is a gang box. We store any items that we couldn’t fit into our pit crate there. And at the competition it stays on the back of our head engineers truck. It doesn’t get to go to any competitions we can’t easily drive to.

Up until last year, we used a welded frame that carried 3 Craftsman-style red tool boxes (the ones that have the flip-open top and three drawers). They were stacked vertically in the frame, and would slide out so that we could set them on the ground/table to access them. Last year, we got fancy and actually built a rolling tool cart/work-surface. I’m not sure of the exact dimensions, but one of the important things to remember is that any cart SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIT THROUGH A DOORWAY or elevator opening. Our cart has drawers of varying depths, as well as room for our traveling drill-press and our disk/belt combo sander. We have a vice mounted to the top, as well as a jeweler’s anvil that accompanies us. I recommend heavy wheels (two casters and two hardmounted wheels) that are at least 5 inches in diameter.

I was in charge of packing the tools, and this thing made my life a lot easier.

Our shelving system worked superbly for us. Check out a magnificent picture at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/slideshows/firstrobotics-2006/images/slide10.jpg

Team 1676 used a Craftsman rolling tool box (the $100 black plastic one with a work surface on top) to store tools, and the plastic bin boxes to store materials. We also had a pit table (on wheels) which we used to store stuff like buttons, safety gear, and some less-used tools, plus to put the robot on while working on it.

The key to having this system work was that everyone knew where everything went - tools and materials - since we were using that system right from the start of the build season. We’re a little obsessive about putting tools back where they belong immediately, and the bin boxes (thank goodness they are different colors!) all had their specialties. Red is electrical, black is mechanical, for example.

Bigger is not better: As Quantum Giant said, make sure it will fit through a 30" wide doorway, and also fit into a bus’ luggage area.


We actually ship two crates to each of our competitions.

One is the robot crate and the other is the tool crate which is identical to the robot crate. It opens up with a bunch of stuff we might need.

We’ll be in Atlanta if you want to come check it out.

I am going to make two robot cabinets on wheels

L: 6ft
W: 2ft
H:1ft with wheels

Does anyone know the size “kit of parts” crates?

http://invisiblerobot.com/robotics/robot_d39h/index/p1180093.html (folded, but not closed, next to crate)

Pictures of our folding “arc”. I’ll talk to the college mentor who designed it to see if I can get exact specs, but it has been awesome over the last two years. It is a fairly large rolling box, that unfolds into an “L” shape, with plenty of storage inside. The top folds up to form more tool storage space (for use in the pits), as shown in one picture. The tops form nice workspaces, especially when accompanied by the supplied table. We also have an electrical system built in to power a mini-fridge, bandsaw, bench sander, and other power tools.