Pit Carts

Our Pit

In 2016, we designed our pit carts to store tools and parts in an organized and accessible fashion. When not in use at competitions, our pit carts live permanently in the assembly room, making packing up as easy as possible! 

In total, this amounts to 2 full sized pit carts (one with three monitors mounted on cabinets), a standing tool box, and a battery cart. They are collapsible and can be either one unit or free-standing, making it easy to pack up for competitions.

Project Background

As our team has grown over the years, so has the quantity of:

We did not have a means to efficiently mobilize the support gear, which often meant several people taking five or more trips between our team trailer and setup location, with gear spread across an ever-changing variety of totes, dollies, carts, boxes, and bags.

At competition venues, we had a walled structure to help get organized in our pit and display our team and sponsor signage.  It served us quite well over the years, but it was a bit cumbersome (large and heavy) to bring to events, and the way it incorporated our overhead signage made getting tall robots in and out of the pit inefficient.

Recognizing the challenges with mobilizing our support gear coupled with our non-optimal pit structure, our team initiated a project to develop a pit cart system that could be used to efficiently transport gear, while also serving as the majority of our pit structure.


After forming a project team, we moved forward with creating a feature list of must-haves and nice-to-haves.  That list ranged from having work surfaces and spare parts storage to cup holders and flux capacitors.  Ultimately, the key requirements were summarized as:


With the basic requirements agreed on, the team moved forward with concepts.  After many concepts, the chosen one had the following key attributes:


With the basic concept chosen, the students moved forward with the following design activities:

The students designed then entire system in SolidWorks to ensure the design materialized as envisioned.


With the design complete, fabrication began.  TSLOTS fabricated all of the extrusion pieces (cut to length), while additionally providing accessories such as t-nuts and linear bearings.

Dynamic Design & Manufacturing and Star Precision laser-cut the flat sheet metal parts (e.g., gussets), while Kenray Manufacturing laser-cut and bent the non-flat sheet metal parts such as the monitor mount.

S & S Anodizing and Specialty Plating anodized all of the aluminum parts black, while Line-X of Northern Colorado coated the wooden work surfaces with a protective coating.


Having designed the entire system in SolidWorks prior to fabrication, the process of assembling the 1000+ components went relatively smoothly.  To minimize potential exterior discoloration of the carts if they were to inadvertently get caught in inclement weather, we used stainless steel hardware wherever possible.

The Result

With everything assembled, we quickly put the carts to use and are looking forward to enhancing them in the future.  

Thanks again to Dynamic Design & Manufacturing, Kenray Manufacturing, Star Precision, TSLOTS, S & S Anodizing, Specialty Plating, and Line-X of Northern Colorado for their generous support!