Rookie pit question

We are getting ready to go to our very first competition this weekend. I was just wondering, other than your robot and tools, what types of things do you bring for your pit?

We bring banners, posters, having someplace to store bags is good, a table cloth is an easy way to make your pit nicer, battery charging station, buttons, brochures, extension cords, power strips, a tv or digital frame to showcase pictures or movies, binders with information about our program, safety glasses, gloves, since we are from Hawaii we usually bring out state flag to other regionals, and smiles (:

Magnetic whiteboard, Markers, First aid kit, Paper, Duct Tape, Power extender, Clipboard(s), MultiMeter, Buttons, Spare material, Motors, Speed Controllers, etc…

The list goes on and on, pretty much prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

  • chairs
  • robot cart
  • work table (they give you one, but many teams have room for a second for presentation stuff)
  • shelves for spare parts
  • zip ties
  • leftover kop parts to lend to other teams
  • banner
  • handouts talking about your robot
  • more zip ties
  • presentation/chairman’s materials (to talk to judges with)
  • battery chargers!
  • power strips
  • duct tape to tape things in your pit down
  • buttons to hand out
  • extra safety glasses
  • sharpies
  • masking tape
  • backup zip ties

We bring our multiple laptops (programming, CAD), buttons to give away, and a students to frantically finish building the robot on Thursday!

Pencils, Pens, Notebooks.

Cell phone loaded with team members’ phone numbers

Lots of good suggestions here. I just want to remind everyone that many regionals will have a one outlet, one power strip policy. No daisy-chaining of power strips, no splitters. We bought a 10-outlet power strip, and a 4-bank battery charger that uses only one outlet. So we’ll have plenty of outlets for laptops, power tools, tool battery chargers, etc. We’re also not supposed to bring big power tools (floor-standing drill press, lathe, mill, etc.), so the one outlet policy shouldn’t be a problem if you plan for it.

Bring your unused tags for the robot bag. You’ll need them after the event to bag for the trip home.

If you’re going to another competition. Even if you’re not planning on it, be prepared; you could win Highest Rookie Seed!

Don’t forget your kids… they might prove important at one point or another during the competition! :stuck_out_tongue:

But in all seriousness, I would reccomend some kind of robot cart so you dont end up lifting it everywhere, some kind of mini-shopvac if you already have one, spare parts, enough tools for your own emergencies and your neighbor’s occasional requests.

Everything is a compromise. My old team usually uses masking tape to draw out an 8x8ft square of floor to see how much space they really have in the pits. (8x8 is the minimum, but it is smart to plan for the worst and enjoy it if it turns out to be more). Doing this allows them to really say “We need this and have a space for it in the corner here” or “Not a single team in the regional is going to need that and they weigh a hundred pounds!”

Hope this helps!

Plan for less than 10x10, as Petrie says. The regionals I’ve been to generally have strived to provide the full pit, but some of them have been off by as much as 2 square feet.

Safety equipment too: battery kit, fire extinguisher, first aid kit…mainly the first aid kit because there will be minor cuts and scrapes, and while I usually would not band aid them, the pits is an exception I do because of all of the foreign substances there.

Somewhere to hang up your schedule as well as a white board with the time of your next match and your alliance partners (This year adding your opponents would be good too) so that if you have any scouts in the pit, they can check who they should go to next as they pass your pit.

As well, if possible, always have someone on hand who doesn’t have robot work to do just to talk to people who pass by or stop in your pit. It releaves a lot of stress off the people working on the robot when they don’t have people constantly asking them what they’re doing or what the robot is supposed to do.

Oh yeah, and a laptop for the mandatory person in the pit to watch matches on when your team is away! (And to keep track of other competitions too :slight_smile: )

Attached is a packing check list our team uses. I have no idea how we will get it all it the pit, but we will.

2012 Packing List.xlsx (14.8 KB)

2012 Packing List.xlsx (14.8 KB)

Remember to bring plenty of replacement parts, COTS and fabricated. Matches can be intense, and things will get broken. Although teams are usually willing to lend parts and tools, only you know what you need to repair your robot.

I’m not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but a great way to cut parts within the robot is a dremmel tool. Make sure to bring extra cutting discs though.

Also cover your electronics whenever you do work like this on the robot. At a minimum, a clean towel or sheet of plastic taped over them will prevent shavings from getting in. Nothing hurts more than blowing up some expensive components and missing the rest of the Comp while you fix it.

On the off chance you get down time, a deck of cards. I know down time is non existant but sometimes it happens.

Certainly enough parts and tools to rebuild the bot from the frame up.
Camping chairs as they compact nicely.
Extra parts from the KOP that you didn’t use. (barter material never hurts)

Good organization and practical storage works. You don’t need a fancy charging cart. Something that’s got room for about 4 chargers that slips under a table is good. Just make sure you have it vented.

VA regional I know is usually 10x10. Most teams use up every inch of it. Some more, some less. I’ve even seen tempers flare up over closer quarters so just remember to graciously share the space with your neighbors.