Robot Cart Questions from a rookie team

hi I’m from a rookie team (1676) and was just wondering wat are the rules for a robot cart. I couldn’t find anything from FIRST and thought all you veterans would be able 2 help. We are interested in using a pneumatic lift on our cart, just to give you some background. Are we allowed to have a compressor and power source to our cart? What are the basic cart rules?

FIRST dosn’t really care about the cart. It depends on the regional that you are at. However, there are some basic things to keep in mind. Pnumatic lift is fine, having a sterio on the cart is fine, having the cart motorized is fine, having batteries / neons / compressors on your cart is all fine.

Just don’t be obnoxious. People don’t want to hear how loud you can make a cart when they are trying to work in the pits. Try to keep it small enough to fit through a standard door, and make it fairlly portable.

Have fun with it, make it cool, and be respectful to those around you.

There really aren’t any rules (to the best of my knowledge) except for the obvious no hurting anyone. Basically, as long as you can keep it in your own pit (I guess that means it can’t have dimensions larger than your pit size) there’s no other real “regulations”

At Team 234, we found it very useful to have a table within out cart. We use a 2 foot by 4 foot banquet table (white, hard plastic) with 4 mounted heavy-duty wheels on the bottom. The legs fold under, and you can roll the robot around, but, when needed, the cart becomes a very stury table. We attached a rectangular poll for pulling, but that can be solved however.

Even though many teams will say this doesn’t matter, make your cart so it can fit through a regular doorway… You will be surprised at how often you will need to do this, on and off season.
Also try to build so that you can work on robot on cart while in team queing. There is a lot of time spent queing…

basically you get an idea, but i will have to say it again, MAKE SURE IT FITS THROUGH THE DOOR! and remember to include drawer handles and such when drawing up your plans, they sometimes stick out too far!
Our cart is our lifeline…inside we have EVERYTHING. it’s about 5 feet long, 2 1/2 ft wide, and about 3 ft tall. We keep spare parts, nuts, bolts, wires, a bench grinder, sockets, wrenches, EVERYTHING inside. It gives us a nice big work are and a place to set the robot on when not in use. We also have a car stereo (the old cart had a smaller off-brand stereo…the new one has a kenwood system… two 6x9’s, two 6 inchers and two 4 inch tweeters, along with a 1000 watt amp and a bass cannon…it’s powered by a car battery). the only problem with a stereo is that sometimes it is a pain to other teams, so you have to be respectful with it. I’ve included some pics of our previous years cart.

And for additional information check out:

Robot Cart Suggestions

Killer Carts!

Even though these don’t discuss “rules” of building carts, I think they do give some pretty good ideas on what and what not to do.

I also think Alexander said it best with his quote above.

I would also check out this thread as well
Coolest Bot Carts

When making your cart keep in mind that you might be traveling through tight areas and that you might scrape someone with your cart(yes it has happened to me). Try to keep rounded edges! Also I don’t think you are allowed to use a remote controlled cart because it might interfere with robots on the field. Their is no written rule against a remote controlled cart but I seem to recall a team getting in trouble for doing that. Remember that at nationals you will have to travel up ramps and down very steep hills… we had fun with that last year…

GO 1403!!!

The ramps in ATL were nothing comparied to the mountians we had to climb in texas.

Something our team finds useful to put on the cart:

A compressor and tubing so we can “precharge” our robot before a match. Once we’re called onto the field, we just pull it out and go.

Make it a multi purpose cart/crate. Our cart is not only used to haul our robot around at the compitions we also use it as a shipping crate for our tools, materials and spare parts.

Make room on the cart to hold your controls so some one doesn’t have to carry, and possibly drop them, also comes in handy for testing in the cart.

Try to make the cart so the wheels/treads are free so you can do a preflight check with out having to take the bot down.
Oh and the door thing is a major issues try to have at least an inch on each side for a standard door, they can vary that much in some places.
Remember that the cart might be able to fit through the door but the robot has to be on it also so make sure to measure carefully on that one.

What about a fog machine? Is that legal?

I don’t know if it is legal or not but. . .
I wouldn’t recommend a fog machine at a competition. It would cause alot of safety issues, set off fire alarms, cause confusion and possible panic. They look cool and are fun but should not be used at a robotics competition.

Just my opinion. . .

One word SIMPLE! We have this huge cart, nice in the pit, not nice to get to the field. I would just get an “off the shelf” lift cart like our little blue one. I’m almost sure you dont know what I am talking about but I will try to find a pic. and load it on here.


Also, I would recommend that you don’t start working on the cart until after the announcement of the game because the dimensions could change for the chassis or it could be an entirely something new and nothing like previous years aka like a water game or hovercraft game or something.


Watch out for sharp edges, it has also happen to me and it HURTS and also make sure you watch out for tight areas because it would stink if you would have to take apart your robot cart just so it could fit in the doorway ( it also happen to us at home before packing for Pittsburgh)

If you don’t use the kitbot:

wheel-less kitbot + handles + freshmen = short range robot cart

We were able to make something that fit our robot perfectly. It was used as a stretcher to get the robot from the cart to wherever it had to go.

In addition to everything else that has been stated, remember the to pay attention to the height of the cart. Last year almost every robot had an arm of some type and as a result most robots were close to the max height of 5 feet. A few teams had carts that were 3 feet high to make the it easy to work on the robot. These teams had to take the robot off the cart and carry it through doors because the total was to tall. The pneumatic lift could be a good idea if it allows you to elevate the robot to work on it and lower it to fit through doors.

To get around the problems of changing width (even between robots with the same base dimensions, there will be some difference), team 330 has semi-adjustible rails on their cart.

Cart specs:
-About 2 ft high by 30" wide by 36" long without handle
-Front wheels are casters, back ones are fixed
-Handle separates from the rest for easy transport
-Wheels are air-filled
-There is a mat zip-tied to the frame to carry tools and an extra battery.
-Rails for holding the robot are held on by Allen screws. Loosen them to remove/slide 'em to fit the robot.

We do have the capability to turn the cart into a workstation, but the surface is a bit unstable. Plus you have to remove the robot, then put it back on. Plus we need a lot of pounding to add the extenders. Not exactly worth it for us.