FRC 4329 2023 Build Thread

Hello teams, FRC Team 4329 is going to again post a build blog for the 2023 Charged Up Season!

Team 4329 is going through a time of change with how we act for our build season. We are working to

  • Mechanical and Design Crew collaboration (improving our student designs so we don’t have misread cad models
  • Strategic design using better strategic resources (Forums, XRC Sim, Compared team mindsets)
  • Further CAD Development
  • Multi Team meetings (working with other local teams to build relationships and collaborate)
  • Weekly build season videos and interviews (showing off resources and our process working through this years challenge)

These are just some basic goals we wish to do for the further season and further team goals for each of our crews will be posted soon.

Team 4329 will Kickoff our next season with a blast and we will start adding more content once we get done with our finals week I will promise more news.

Some resources we will be using

  • (A “simulator” for FRC FTC & VEX, good to practice drive practice and to train drivers)

  • (A data website calculating with ELO to determine teams effectiveness, this helps us to look at our two regionals for what teams we want to observe during the season)

Please ask any questions as we are here to answer
-Kraig Sheck (aka Kraigimus Prime)


#team relations
getting ready for our Iowa Regional!


Our full team and our crews came up for some goals for the next season! We had a team lock in and retreat December 17-18 and we got together to mentally prepare for the season to come.


To prepare for the upcoming game and once we the 2023 game Charged Up, team 4329 will use the XRC Simulator Once kickoff happens a new version including charged up will be released, allowing us to plan paths and scoring methods in the game. Using it as one of the season resources that will come out during kickoff.

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Howdy there homies, as the timer goes down in preparation of build season, team 4329 is eager to get back into FIRST. Our Open Alliance Information we will have to share will be split between 3 major things I can support

  1. Strategy. Coming from me as we interpret the game and what match strategies could be seen, also showing team interpretations and simulated matches

  2. Code. 4329 · GitHub all be honest I don’t fully understand it but our repositories are open and will be updated as the season goes on, ask any question ill find someone who can answer it lol. (that’s a sign for I barely understand code)

  3. Design. good news bad news. Good news is that I will post CAD models as files and I will post pictures of our designs and prototypes throughout the season, explaining our ideas and parts used. bad news, we use fusion 360 which means we don’t have any open “repositories” of CAD as Open Alliance would like to have.

  4. Marketing/Awards. Going through and odd time this year with these two ill try my best to focus with what we have with these ideas, and what we are applying.

Screenshot 2023-01-02 232727
as of posting this. Team 4329 is ready to hear “Charged Up” at the start of every match this season, oh yeah.


What the timer till kickoff? oh yeah a couple of days, OH MY GOODNESS ITS A COUPLE OF DAYS. Luckily in preparation for this team 4329 sent a small tactical group to clean up our space and shop, all in preparation for the months to come. Oh boy I am excited my friends, it is weird though. This is 4329s first buildseason without Dave Zilz, the students are very excited but there is some fear looming, almost like a season without feels empty. We will prevail this season but this is a whole new chapter for us, and this will dictate our future.


Our Student Leaders are meeting today and we have our game analysis in our OneNote ready for us to put the pieces together for Charged Up



Team 4329 had our Kickoff day from 10-6:30 watching and brainstorming our strategy and understanding of this new game.

(some images from kickoff, ill put some more in a video uploaded soon)

We started the stream at 11AM our time and began to looking at the game, after the video our team ate lunch to slowly think about the game before we broke it down.

When we had the manuals set up we got into 8 table teams and each specifically went through a guide (here my table groups for example)

We went through to understand the game and then building a strategic priority list which we brought together.

We ended kickoff with this full excel of priorities which dictate multiple differing ideas to what could a needed mechanism before designing.

We also used the 1678 Rules Quiz to better understand the game (That quiz is found inside of that thread but there are more resources in it overall that can be used to understand the game)

Our team will meet again on Monday to review the game priorities and work to prototyping, with that we have some interesting concepts being through around, from yours truly.

Considering the rules we value want to bring around some concepts that can be applied to this years game without any prototypes, some research we went over included looking at robots that could score from one side and move to another, including

2481 2018 Robot
5460 2019 Robot
27 2019 Robot

These are some interesting robots from the previous pick and place games which show possible applications for not only a combination of scoring with and intake and an arm but also possible ways to intake from one side of a robot to score on the other side.

With this limited research we will begin prototyping and planning our prototyping on Monday, this will also been when our wooden field assemblies are built and place in our space. We also majorly try and figure if it we will use swerve that date, changing our full build process since we have used our SDSMK2s since 2021.

TLDR, we got some strategy and we are pretty excited to work through the game throughout this season, we will also get some more detailed videos out of our season and testing throughout.


Extended Kickoff notes (less general)

Questions and concerns

  1. Can we use swerve?

Yes, sorta. We are going to test when we get our charge station made but its possible that we might want an extended way to get onto the station without driving up it. A thought idea brought up is lifting onto the charge station almost like a miniature 2019 climb 2363 2019 HAB3 Climb.

  1. Do we score cones or cubes?

Cones first. We would most certainly like to score both cones and cubes but we know that the shapes provide and interesting problem, if we design say an compliant wheel intake like 2481’s 2018 bot theoretically we could intake both, just need the wheels to move more openly for a cube when its intaking that, this intake idea could be effective if done right.

(quick visualization I mocked up to think through it)

  1. Where do we score? high or mid or bottom?

Hybrid Nodes first. Most importantly after we can intake we can at least score on the hybrid nodes and we can also use this tactic of feeding to feed any other robot in the community, possibly linking in with a robot that has a scoring device. Could be good for game strategy to limit the amount of robots inside of the community after auto.

  1. What about targeting?

We do most certainly want to work with targeting this year simply to understand april tags but we can also consider where it can be applied. If you consider scoring on the cone nodes you could easily aim these with manual targeting (driver skill), anything lower though and definitely some of the cube nodes are hard to see and might require targeting to effectivly score
(Edited WPI Photo for reference)

Targeting could be vital to truly grasp the places you are scoring. Moving on from scoring the loading zone is another interesting problem. Having somewhere so far might make it hard for drivers to manual aim an intake, which could lead to a need for targeting, like lining up with the April tag at the double substation then grabing a cone placement
(Edited WPI Photo for reference)

More intensive questions and design problems will come out on monday but for now thats what I have idea wise, stay tuned

Is it me or do these lights seem overly bright. They create a reelection and seem like a hinderance.


Maybe so, they come directly from the WPI photo library so I dont think they are a problem. Same lights last year so I dont think it will be a problem driver station wise.

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After Day we started some of our Paper Prototyping using our KNOT logic, We are also starting to organize ourselves into CADing our prototypes



The Student Leadership Team on Team 4329 had a meeting yesterday to plan out and organize the prototyping groups. Considering all the main leaders on our team have not played a “Pick and Place” game we got together to put out paper planned prototypes and to set up groups

From There Team 4329 started to work on visualizing and testing our main functions or prototypes

Floor Prototype.
Working around the concept of the most simple prototyping ideas we wanted to see some test for physically shaped prototypes that could simply drive over a game element to bring them in, pictured here is our wooden intake

What did we learn?
A guided floor ramp can work quite effectively this season, just moving through can bring elements easily in.

What do we need to learn?
We need to figure out how to get the cone for example out of stuck situations, for example when the cone is sideways it wont bring itself easily into the robot, here makes a major problem for grabbing cones off of the floor.

(Videos on discord since CD doesn’t like file format)

Claw Prototype.
Our CAD lead got to work in understanding the intaking claw idea. Working through fusion soon to fabricate a intake wheel system to understand how active intake claws work with the prototypes

What did we learn?
Compliant wheels can work quite effectively against a cone/cube so we can easily cross a major piece off our claw out of the way.

What do we need to learn?
How do we make a working intake design, currently most of our intakes are based off of other teams so right now we have to figure out ourselves how we can use claws and compliant wheels to grab game elements, especially with the diameter difference from one element to the other

A very experimental idea and unconventional idea we had a group tackle the effects of Suction in relation to these prototypes

What did we learn?
Suction can actually work for both cones and cubes. Suction does have problems with softer surfaces such as the cube though. When the cube goes under enough force the suction cups start to lose control as it deforms the cube.

What do we need to learn?
Increased strength, Applications of multiple suckers?

(Videos on discord since CD doesn’t like file format)


Our Extension group worked on analyzing the numbers needed before full cadding a extension prototype

What did we learn?
The needed length to score on the highest nodes is easily within the reach of a thriftybot extension, which we should be getting by tonight, a major planned piece of our extender

What do we need to learn?
How does actual extension take weight, and how to we keep consistency with an thriftybot extension

The orientation group worked on figuring out how to pick up cone and keep it the same orientation and still being able to flip it around and over a robot.

What did we learn?
If you press into the cone you can keep its orientation the same if you balance your pressure on a swivel, considering how the forces react the gravity of the cone will keep itself pointing the same direction even as you move it up and around.

What do we need to learn?
We need to apply our knowledge to this orientation and figure out how well the cone is held, this prototype swivel requires direct connection to the cone which means no active shooter or scorer can be used. This control aspect will be tested as we progress with the orientation.

Those are our main 5 prototyping groups this season but we do feature another couple projects we are putting on the back burner for now.

Buddy Climb
Certainly an interesting idea but something that is not relevant currently, we would love to work on such an idea but the current needs will take a moment here now.

Yeah I know the Karthik Quote, but still. its very possible that this year we could try and implement a turret, we know that we will be competing with the best of the best this year so planning a design that can be maximized to cycle times could be needed this year.

Extension Framing?
Once we get an Arm where do we put it? triangle assembly maybe?

Bumper math!
Can a MK2SDS still get on the charge station. We want to use swerve this year but an intesring question was how do we get onto the charge station with it? Do we need a balance bar or alignment bar? or do we need to move the swerves.

Here showing a simple comparison of lifting bumper mounts up to increase the distance from a bumper to a resting chargestaion

Team 4329 Meets tonight to bring further progress towards our prototyping but in the mean time check our Open Alliance for prototypes and prototype videos!



Floor Prototype

Hasn’t changed too much but its concept is finished (videos with it on OA Discord)

Intake Prototype

Has changed much, CAD and Physical Progress

Suction Prototype

Developed Slightly (video with it on OA Discord)

Orientation Prototype

I can speak for this one more and there is finally a more developed update to this
Orientation is all about how to grab a cone and keep it the same orientation as it moves up and around through an arm. Basing off of the concept proven through RI3D Redux we got our first physical prototype to work

(videos with it on OA Discord)


You may want to read R402, specifically example two in the blue box.


True which is why we looked through with how much space we can move our bumpers. Our bumpers can only give us an inch with how they were setup. Thanks for the pointer but we had brought this into the equation. The bumper mounts being put lower to lift the bumpers up does infact help just by such a minimal amount.

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I edited it a little bit but its a good pointer to how you can work with your bumpers to get a closer swerve. Goes from Highest to lowest (picture order)

How about if you put your buddy forks out while on flat ground, they drove onto them, and then you drive up to the top of the charge station? That seems to be the way to do it. Other than the whole cantilevered weight-tipping problem, which I’m not sure how you solve.

It seems you can’t drive up with them hanging off the side, so you’d have to just use the forks to assist them up while maintaining control, and then you extend/drive them halfway off the ramp to make more room for a third robot.

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You can, however, do the inverse. Be on the floor, put arms up on top of the platform (also help hold it steady), then another robot drives on top of the arm and then you lift your bot off the ground utilizing the weight of the other robot.