Robot Carts - 2012 Edition

Our team is in the process of designing a new robot cart for 2013. I was hoping to gain some inspiration in design from other teams who have built their own carts. There isn’t a huge amount of examples in CD media right now, or a lot of them are old.

Post up lots of pictures!

-Akash Rastogi

We used a 94822 Hydraulic Lift Cart from Harbor Freight tools to raise our robot for service when bumpers are off. The wheels hang off the sides allowing us to test programming without it going anywhere. When bumpers are on, we kept the robot on the floor, and roll it wherever it needs to go. The hydraulic lift cart is nice to use for loading heavy things in and out of pickup trucks too. The cart itself is a bit heavy though.

We literally just purchased the same cart! We originally considered designing our own like the OP but decided against it for times’ sake this year. We’ll see how this one serves us.

Have you modified it in any way to be able to add some sort of toolbox?

We’ve considered these before and have also considered integrating a leadscrew driven lift into our own design.

I’ve personally always liked 254’s cart design.

It is simple yet has space below for a toolbox and has an integrated battery holder similar to their robot’s battery holder.

We used the same cart, all of the 2012 season. (Ours is yellow) We modified it by expanding the platform on the top to hold our robot so that its securely on, but the wheels hang off for testing purposes. It’s a great cart, extremely durable, and can hold alot.We bring it to every competition and every event. At events we bring in totes on it, and then our robot. We then raise it up, and put the brakes on, as a table for our drive station.

The down side of it is that its very heavy, but can be lifted by 2 people. Also we have had minor leaking when it’s raised for a long period of time.

Have any of you had experience w/ carts that have build in battery charging?

Is it worth pursuing? It’s obviously very cool, but I’m questioning the usefulness of it. I think a spot for about 2-4 batteries w/ a charger, and a spot for a toolbox would always be great.

Our team is taking the time between the end of build season and our tournament to build our cart, so we plan to make it a fairly big project.

Please make sure your fairly big project fits through a fairly small (30") door.


We have this robot cart (picture below). It has pull-out drawers to fit tools and important things in (such as bolts). We have a matching battery cart (image not available :frowning: ). On the door we have hanging chargers (5 to be exact). Then on shelves inside the unit (positioned so that the chargers go into the shelves) we place our batteries, multimeter, drill battery chargers., and other battery related items. The only problem I have with our battery cart is that cables and other things have to be in their exact places or the unit won’t shut properly. However, I’ve had no problem with our robot cart.

Beat me to it…

Okay so Akash, we use the same cart. The only issue we’ve had was going over the bumps at competitions (the Hydraulics hit the bump). We have changed the wheels to a larger diameter, and now it is SO much easier to move, turn, and move over bumps. What we did was use 2x4’s across the cart, located where they would perfectly fit in between a the wheels of a 6 wheels drive. (I can upload picture later). We’ve had this same cart since at least 2007. (well if I remember correctly).

I would Highly recommend this cart.

Something I like is that your robot will still fit through a door (I believe even when it is a 5ft robot) when on the cart. With the design of 254’s you can not lower your robot to fit through a door, and by the looks of it, it won’t if it’s 5ft. Something also nice with the hydraulics at competition’s is when working on the robot’s chassis or lower part’s you can raise up your cart to your level, instead of having to bend down. then lower it when working at the top. Though the cart is exactly “light weight” it is small and not so bulky that it will get in the way of everyone while in the pits.

Akash get this cart please :slight_smile:

Our current design requirements already take standard door sizes into account. This is meant to be a design and build exercise for the kids, so we would most likely not purchase a cart unless it can be modified and whatnot by the kids.

Other design requirements are also large wheels, the ability to work under the bot, tool storage, single or double battery storage (separate from charging cart), and it needs to be decently compact.

Also; There are two fold down doors on the front and the back of the cart; each holding 3 batteries.

Here is our cart. The height of the posts is set so the robot fits through doors. The locations of the posts are easily configurable to accommodate slight variations in robot frames.

With the robot on:

With the robot off:

We also use the harbor freight cart with a custom platform mounted to support the robot. Our decision to go with the cart was heavily influenced as an off the shelf solution to raise the robot to facilitate maintenance in the pit.

Our team has had the same cart for about 7 years now. It is a cart from Tractor supply that has 2 layers.

Depending on the size of the robot, and or drive team members, we have differnt sized legs for the table. Works out nice for working on the robot, and also fits the controls batteries and a first aid kit nicely.

The 2nd cart our team has used it this one. It worked great for years,

The bottom cart could be removed from the tool boxes for an easier cart to move with or left with them. Came in really handy when the team made it to the Semifinal, and finals. All the tools were always with us, and had a nice area in the middle for batteries.

We built a box out of wood that could fit our robot, and put a backplate on it so we could push. Then we added wheels on the bottom, and presto, we had our cart.

I don’t know what it is about that cart, but something about it just screams awesome :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Akash- If we can find a member of 1319 to post their cart, it’d be another source of inspiration. It was built off of a hydraulic lift cart of some sort, but theyve added some features to it. They have a ramp that can flip out so they never need to actually lift their robot to get it onto and off of the cart. I took a picture of it at CMP but cannot find it in my phone at the moment. Of course I am also partial to the MORT cart of 04-07?.


That would be great if you could find pictures!

Is this the one you’re talking about?

Thats the one! Had a lot of fun designing and building that beast.


We’ve had the same cart for years. We built it (or had it built) and its served us well. Fits through doors with the robot on it, is really sturdy, etc.

Only downside is that it’s kinda heavy.

We’ve had good luck with the AndyMark ComboCart. It’s got room for several batteries along the sides for quick changes in events with back-to-back matches.
I do wish the push-handle either came out or hinged down, though. That would make it so much more portable.