Welcome to the Team Rembrandts 2023 build thread, presented by #openalliance.
This will be Team Rembrandts’ 10th season of competition, leading us to the roman numeral X. We started wondering, what is X? We defined it as both an undefined variable, as well as the part of something that makes it unique and sets it apart from the rest, the X-factor. This coming year, we we’ll be partially rebranding to TR-X
Some Background Information - Who is Team Rembrandts?
- Team Rembrandts is mostly a group of young engineers mentoring around 50 students from the Brainport Region in and surrounding Eindhoven. Our team is heavily inspired by engineering in general. We strive for advancing respect and appreciation for engineering while utilizing strategic methodology to solve design problems in order to compete with a competitive robot every single season. We celebrate enthusiasm and spirit through coopertition where knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.
This offseason the team has been working hard on the sustainability of the team. As an international FRC team we have a unique set of challenges on top of the challenges all teams face. We are honored to have been selected for @teamREV and are beyond excited to welcome REV Robotics as one of our new Partners.
Besides REV Robotics we’ve attracted extra partnerships and looked for opportunities to reduce costs on other budget categories like the shipping cost of our pit. We’ve designed and are currently building a new pit flightcase which we will import to the United States indefinitely and store locally. Which we’ll talk about more in detail below.
Besides that we’ve strengthened our collaboration with FTC Netherlands, now branded as FTC Benelux. Working together with the Gene Haas Foundation as our title sponsor for the foreseeable future in order to grow FTC in the Netherlands and Belgium.
- Design isn’t the only thing that is an iterative process. As our team continues to grow we must also continue to review and evolve our structure. As said our team is heavily inspired by engineering in general and the companies we partner with. Where 95% of our mentors are basically alumni who combine their professional life and mentoring the team. Bringing back knowledge to our team on many different subjects like design for manufacturing, management experience, systems engineering and many others.
This off-season we changed and improved a couple things:
- The way how our leadership team is organized
- How our departments within the team are being led
- Improved our robot development process for the build season (structured teams and roles subsystems, design review guidelines and spread out more ownership amongst team members for ordering parts, managing tasks etc)
If anyone is interested in these subjects then we can do a deeper dive on this topic.
Offseason Projects - Swerve Development
- We think that it comes as no surprise that this offseason, the mechanical and controls departments have been devoting a large amount of time to the development of the teams first running swerve drive. We are proud to say that we successfully have two swerve drive chassis running and are continually using them to develop both robust software and driver skills.
SDS MK3 Chassis
- At the end of last season we were able to purchase a set of used SDS MK3 modules (Thanks FRC5895!). This was the first running swerve drive chassis in 4481’s history and helps to set the benchmark for future swerve drives. The software team started with this chassis and leveraged the software from other teams (and SDS) to get the chassis running before beginning to develop software of our own based on our software architecture.
This chassis will now primarily be used for driver training, and is additionally getting a modified intake and shooter assembly from the 2022 robot installed.
3in MAXSwerve Chassis
REV ION - 3in MAXSwerve Launch
We were also selected by REV Robotics to be beta testers for the new 3in MAXSwerve modules. As one of the first teams to assemble these and get them running we have been providing feedback to REV and are impressed with the overall design of the modules. Our initial feedback:
- Module fabrication and design is excellent
- The motor keyway can be a challenge to install / align
- Modules are very compact, lightweight, and easy to mount
- The 3”x1” wheel tread does seem to wear quite quickly (on a very underweight chassis)
Our next post will be about the software development we’ve done for our swerve drive chassis. This will include some footage!
Offseason Projects - Pit and Cart
- With the rising costs of shipping (and all things in general we are working on a redesign of our travel pit and cart). The goals of this project are to reduce the overall shipping costs as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to set up our pit at events, without reducing (and hopefully increasing) the effectiveness of the pit. Our partner FAES has agreed to produce the new case design for us and we are in discussion with a shipping partner and partner in America to hold our pit for us between seasons. A new cart will also be designed that is able to be stored inside the pit between seasons. Shout out to 4414 and 1678 for posting extensive information about their pit in the offseason!
2023 Season Goals
- Use our data driven decision making (3DM) process to drive the robot design
- Design a modular robot that is assembled and disassembled easily and quickly
- Spread out responsibilities and workload more evenly amongst the entire team
- Control our fate at all of our events (rank within the top 8)
- Win an Engineering Inspiration Award
- Win an Engineering Design Award
This post was written by:
@RonnyV & @Justin_Foss