Grasshopper Pit Setup
Wire Shelves $250 x 2
LED Lights $30 x 2
Power Bars $40 x 2
Rolling Workbenches $200 x 2
Small organizing box $30 x 4
Big organizing box $30 x 4
At our second and third event we won awards for having a safe pit. We have actually spent very little money to make the best pit we’ve ever had, and other teams may be interested.
(Selfie from our pit/organizing guru, he might kill me)
Start at the back, we have two wire racks, 24in deep, to hold a majority of our piece-parts, provide work surfaces, and even have a spot for coats on top. We directly mounted a work-top, power bars, LED lights, our cordless tool chargers and holsters.
The wire shelves being 24in deep is key to enabling the cantilevered boxes to open completely on the shelves. Not taking large boxes out or having to stack things was a firm requirement for us. The organizing boxes are full of small removable bins. Need some screws? Grab the bin! Need pneumatic fittings? Grab the bin!
The LED strips illuminate work surfaces, which are made of white-board material for jotting down notes. One was usually kept clear for the driver’s station while the other got a lot of use for light assembly, notes/strategy discussion, and other misc tasks.
The bottom shelf of the wire racks was set just high enough to store 4x totes. We use these for bulky items like spools of air tubing and raw materials. Of the totes also stores our soldering station, which is a piece of sheet metal with a soldering iron and holder attached. This lets us solder anywhere without fear of burning/dropping anything.
The two rolling work benches go back-to-back in the middle of the pit. This configuration allows people to work on all sides of the robot at a comfortable height with easy access to tools. They are fixed together with a little velcro and two bungee cords plus locked casters.
We found this setup to be very easy to work with. We could quickly locate any part, tool, or material. There was plenty of room around the robot to work and to talk with judges and we even had a little spare work area under the robot for parts/tools to rest. Everything collapses down quickly to load into our trailer. Highly recommended for the amount of cost/effort we put into it.
Final shot to show how ‘open’ this setup makes a 10x10 or even 9x9 pit. We have 6-7 people all in the pit talking/working around the robot with elbow room.
Not shown is our battery cart and file holders, which tuck on the right-hand side of the wire shelves in the spare 1-2 feet of pit space.