This is a very high overview of our pit. There is a ton of small details that go into making a seamless experience at competition, but the road cases provided a strong foundation setting us up for success.
- Taking care of your build space is the first step in taking care of your robot
- Work out of your pit in the room (may not be possible for larger teams)
- Don’t just label what things are, LABEL WHERE THEY GO!
- Iterate your space like your robot, it can always be 1% better
- Remove unused tools and spare parts, store them elsewhere and reintroduce as needed
This is the pit we started the team with. It consisted of 2 husky roll-able toolboxes and 2 wire racks. For transportation, we just wrapped everything in cling wrap. It was inspired from our previous experiences on other teams. It was quick, easy, cheap and allowed our team to focus on more important things during our infancy as a team.
The largest issues with this setup was its limited table space, and complicated packing process. Batteries needed to be removed from the wire rack, and it took a good 20-30 min to wrap everything. There was really limited storage for larger subsystems like spare intakes and climbers which was less of an issue during the bag era.
Inspired by 1678s original design in 2015 (and iterated on by so many others) we decided to move to the roadcase setup.
- Function always comes first
- Its easy to keep things clean and organized when you take pride in your work, and make things look good!
- Fix what bugs you, small improvements compound into huge gains
- Fit in 9x9 pit and self-sustained lighting
- Ample storage for tools, parts, subsystems, and raw materials
- Every tool we use to build the robot, take the room with us
- Maximize tablespace
- Maximize unload and pack up efficiency (sub 10 min)
- Include creature comforts
- Project team brand onto an event
- Designed to be organized
Each case is made up of three parts, the base, shelf, and lid. The shelf has a hinge on the front edge that lets it fold over the table of the base. The lid is completely removed and re-latched to close in the front of the case.
The corner case is slightly different and the top section is fully removed, rotated 180, and reattached to the top, no hinge. The front panel is then removed and stored behind the cases.
We have been on the fence about buying road cases for some time now but never thought the quality of the shell justified the price. That all changed when we saw some cases produced by Omega Case Co Inc in Burbank CA This is not a paid advertisement. Give them a call and they can adjust the “HighTide Cases” as needed to fit any tool chests you have. You should be able to get a full setup for 2.5k per main case and 1.25k for the corner, adjusted for wood prices at the time of order.
This drawing was made with minimal detail, latch locations were referenced from drawings they had on hand from making these cases for another local team
The cases are purchased as empty shells. We leveraged our in-house sheet metal capabilities to manufacture all the racking and structure needed to build these out into a proper pit, however, all our efforts could be easily replicated using tube and gusset or other alternative architectures.
- Teal… duh
- Modular racking, both cases use the same 7 parts
- Lightweight .09 aluminum, keep overall case weight down
- Adds additional support to keep cases from sagging
Auer Assortment Box, imported from Germany. I really can’t recommend these. Auer was very hard to work with, doesn’t ship to the US, and after VAT and shipping these were embarrassingly expensive… but #NOREGRETS!
Good alternatives for all budgets
Bins are categorized and given given a dedicated location number based on an excel style grid.
Sterilite 6qt, wow and they come in teal!
All bins are visually labeled, grouped by category, and are given a dedicated location number based on an excel style grid (missing from photo).
This case is the central hub for Hightides execution at an event. The batteries each have a dedicated slot on our charging rack allowing the batteries to be easily tracked and have their load better spread over an event. The Mac Mini computer allows our strategy and scouting teams to easily access high-quality data(from our app based scouting system) on the ground, our drive team to perform comprehensive post match debriefs with video review, and allows us to access the cad at any time. To top it all off there is ample table space, lighting (upper and lower), and frosty place to store some bevs
- M1 Mac Mini with 5g hotspot (wired)
- Monitor on arm
- Stadia compatible
- 6 tote storage capacity
- 15 battery simultaneous charging
- Drill battery charging
- Mini Fridge
- 32 parts/subsystem bin capacity
- Printer (2d)
- Large table space and easy access to power
- Team banner mount
The right case is our main work area. Lots of assembly or repairs will happen at this case during a competition due to having all of our tools and hardware. As previously stated, this stores virtually every tool, nut, and bolt owned by 4414.
- 72 inch Stainless steel Husky tool box
- Literally all of our tools
- 24 Auer Assortment Boxes
- Easy access to cleaning supplies and trash
- 4 person folding chair, the “pit couch”
- Large table space and easy access to power
- Team banner mount
The eye of the storm, the nexus. All things begin and end at the corner case. Its a great place to store all of our extra things. High mounted tv is great for putting the stream up (connects to mac mini with HDMI pass through) or a larger team video review.
- wall space to mount check lists and match schedules
- large void for storing random things
- High TV for large audience viewing
The top row of bins is removed from the left case and set ontop of the tool box. Covers are screwed into the front of the racking to allow of the cases to be folded flat. Floor tiles, game pieces and misc items are packed into the corner case.
We couldn’t be happier with how the pit worked out at competition. The team worked very hard to make sure everything was prepped and it showed. Moving out pit twice at worlds was a new experience for our team and is what this pit was designed for.
We have been discussing as a team all the little thing here and there we want to improve. There is still work to be done in the corner case (adding a shelf) and we might look into a new floor tiles. Generally small quality of life improvements all around from our lessons learned. Always pushing to be better!
Im happy to go into more detail on anything not outlined above, we will not be releasing CAD for the cases and structure.