What equipment would you make sure to take to a 1 day offseason event? We are trying to figure out what to bring for an event this weekend that will fit in the bed of my truck (fullszie, 6.5ft bed). My current list includes (what I consider critical items are in bold) :
Robot Cart (can be substituted by furniture dolly)
- Furniture Dolly (in case robot on cart doesn’t fit through doors and/or to free up cart for load in).
- Driver Station
Laptops (in cab/other car)
Portable Tool Set (Pittsburgh 225 Piece Tool Set)
- Extra Hex Keys and Wrenches for 10-32 (our most common size bolt)
- 4 Competition Batteries + 2 Pit Batteries.
- 1 3-Bank Battery Charger
- 1 Drill w/ extra battery and charger
- Drill Bit set
- Spare Hardware (10-32 and 1/4-20)
- Rivets + Rivet Gun (could maybe rely on just nuts and bolts)
Assorted Zipties and Flush Cutter
- Spare Electrical components (Roborio, 2+ SparkMaxes, etc.)
SPARE RADIO and power connection (barrel plug and/or Radio Power Module)
- Spare Power Wire: 22ga, 18ga, 12ga
- Spare CAN Wire
- Wiring Tools (Stripper, Crimpers)
- APP Connector Kit (Terminals, Housing, Crimper)
- Heat Shrink and Heat Gun
- Extra Tiedowns/Ratchet Straps (in case one breaks or a broken part of the robot needs to be strapped down to finish the event)
Extra PPE (safety glasses, gloves)
- First Aid Kit
- Table (provided at event)
Some of this is specific to my team. After the event I’ll put together a generic, updated list for what I find we probably didn’t need, what we should have brought, what could be substituted, and suggestions made here.
EDIT: changed the title and initial question to better suit our transportation constraint.
While i would prefer a full pit to give rookies a fuller experience, a minimum offseason pit for me would be.
Robot, a cart to carry said robot (optional if your robot is easy to push and the event is small), laptop (with an rj45 to usb a/c if needed), laptop charge, 3 controllers, 4 batteries, a battery charge, safety glasses (probably from the mentor’s or senior’s cars), first aid kit and tape (duct/gaff and electrical).
If it’s a competition, I’d definitely want more batteries—especially if you expect to be in elims. We’re trying to thrash our batteries less these days so we’d probably bring 8 instead of 4.
Your list seems pretty reasonable for the event. We will be bringing a similar list of stuff, but with some more spare and extra parts that we likely won’t need. If you find yourself needing anything, stop by our pit and we’ll see what we can do to help you.
If you own and have room for more batteries I would bring them. With the amount of teams at Laser Lights you will be competing pretty much every other match. Even with a long match turn around time that could be a lot on 4 batteries.
Laptop chargers and other cables. I am curious why people would bring less stuff for an off season comp though (besides space limits).
I’d love to bring our full pit, but logistics make it not feasible. Generally we take a uhaul and school vans or rental vans. We only have 2 mentors and 5 students going, so we are just taking my truck and the other mentor’s car. This let’s us save on some money, and not need to not deal with the logistical headache of getting school van keys. Also bith mentors and most students are not available for load-in the night before, so I’d like to keep it basic to make loading in the morning of simple.
Luckily all our members went to our regional, so full experience isn’t really necessary for us.
Everything else can be borrowed.
… slightly useless answer
All our other batteries died over covid, so we only have 4 competition level batteries at the moment. We have 2 others that could suffice as spares, but a quick charge seemed to put it in better shape than our 2 spares. Once the next school fiscal year rolls around I’m going to place an order for 4-6 more.
Who says you can’t borrow a robot???
Also, part of the intention of the tread was to help other small/lower resource teams figure out what you can fit in the back of a truck, minivan, or small trailer to make attending offseason events a reality.
It’s been many years since we’ve attended an offseason event (I want to say Robofest 2014 was the last). We only attend one regional every year, so attending at least one offseason event was a goal of mine for this year. So even if it’s half the experience as it could be, I’d rather that than not go at all.
I see. Thank you for explaining.
I meant new off-season rookies, as I have found they are more engaged with off-season tasks and kickoff it they are able to attend an off-season event in the fall (and it’s taken somewhat seriously).
Gotcha, we usually recruit in the fall so we don’t have offseason rookies yet.
That was my first thought reading this list too. You can definitely trim down tooling to the bare minimum, but if it’s a competition, even an off-season, batteries and chargers are a must; off-season event or not, no one wants a robot dying on the field.
I would personally bring, at the very minimum, 2 chargers and 6-7 batteries for an off-season competition.
IMO, if you’re looking for things to ditch, I’d leave the heat gun + heat shrink, a roll of electrical tape will work well enough for an off-season event. I’m torn on the other electrical stuff, on the one hand, it never hurts to have some extra, on the other, you really shouldn’t have to be doing that much electrical work on the robot this late in the year.
Also, on one last note, personally I absolutely hate using furniture dollys. While they work in a pinch, they’re often hard to control and easy to tip, which is not exactly a good combination for a robot cart. I’ve seen many a team spill their robot off of their furniture dolly going over a cable track over the years. I prefer a cart like this (there are also cheaper options available elsewhere too, though you get what you pay for) that’s both portable, easy to control, and durable (plus it makes a great tote cart when you’re not using it for the robot).
Personally I’d rather consolidate just to tools that get used on your robot. You already state you have extra hex keys and wrenches for your 10-32 hardware. What else do you standardize?
I know 1/4-20 and whatever is used on the KOP chassis. Main reason for the tool set is it has a range of sizes and tools so there is less chance we forget something. Introducing standardization has been proving to be more of a challenge then I anticipated with us having a over a decade of various hardware and components.
I’ll have to look into one of those carts. Won’t have time to get one for this weekend, but could be useful for wheeling the robot out for testing.
When I was making the list, I genuinely forgot about electrical tape. I’ll definitely swap that in as our heat gun is on the fritz.
Main reason for 4 batteries is we only have 4 competition batteries + 2 “pit” batteries which are just good enough for doing quick checks and charging pneumatics. We had no issues at our regional with just 4.