FRC 4481 Team Rembrandts 2023 Build Thread

Totally true and something our programmers are planning on. The reason I don’t mention it in this post is because here we’re kind of reasoning from a position of playing alone: as in what can we do to maximize points, this is so we can consider what we need to design. Of course in actual matches we will have to be adaptable and try and maximize the points of our alliance, or more specific maximize the difference in points between our alliance and our opponents (defence is a totally valid way of winning matches).


Roughly something like this, but it does take a significant footprint.


Here’s the current sketch we’re working with, in millimeters :wink:

The bottom roller in this design is based on 4" wheels. The distance from the carpet to the 4" wheel is 60mm. This plate was mounted on our REV MAX swerve tube frame and we wanted to adjust the height. But narrowed it down to 60 based on this design.


Interesting concept for sure! I assume the diagonal element is fixed and can’t rotate? So it’s a carrier with a linear actuation moving on an slider/fixed angled elevator?

And any thoughts so far on powering the wrist? As far as I can tell from the sketch you’d only need 2 positions? Pneumatics for it could be interesting.

Or look look into having a rotation joint that is done passively at the bottom of the elevator stage which would be very slick, this was talked about in 2 of the Opa Foss posts…
1538 2011 and 1625 2011 IRI redesign!

We talked about these options as well. Where we wouldn’t do the belt/cable system, but rather with a sprung joint (gas springs, surgical tubing, etc) and a wedge/cam follower design.

Here you can see 1538 robot in action with its passive wrist motion: The Holy Cows 2011 - Daisy Maize - YouTube


There are some nice thoughts, so thanks for that. I hadn’t seen the holy cow wrist, but I do like the gas spring idea, although it definitely is a little more tricky if I have a slider also.

The elevator/slider combo is fixed and the wrist rotates up, and my thoughts would be more towards passive, possibly incorporating some spring action in the wrist joint itself so that it was rotated up when out and reacting against the lower slider section when fully slid back in to rotate it down.

It would be a cascade-style slider, I expect. And adding the structure at the end without interfering with the slider itself or pulleys for cascade, is the most tricky part. And as far as pneumatics/gas springs, the trouble is just not having a fixed arm to mount to with the slider and also keeping the wrist and upper part not too long, though a pretty short cylinder could work in a wrist action.

edit: Crudely something like this with a spring-loaded hinge.

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You spin me right 'round, baby. Right 'round like a record, baby


As the team was working over the past week, we discussed many times how a robot from last year could play this year’s game scoring low and likely mid with a shooter for cubes. This discussion led to rewatching reveal videos from 2020-2022, which lead to the idea…

What if we could use a spindexer… for CONES? So the team set to work, and here are the results:

First concept

Fixed Latch

Flexible Latch

Next Steps

The next steps are to move our concepts into CAD and see if we can make it all fit together. This is an age old problem in FIRST robotics, it’s systems engineering time! For 4481 this challenge takes a whole new level. If you followed along with us last season you know that we try to follow a “unit build philosophy” that allows us to build modular subsystems that can be disassembled into check-on bag size sections so that we can fly with our robot and reassemble it when we arrive for competition.

This post was written by: @Justin_Foss


We were looking at doing a similar spinner mechanism. Have you done any tests with how cubes interact?

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I absolutely love the creative and unique prototypes y’all are coming up with. I can’t wait to see what gets built next!


Spinner looks familiar. What are you doing to address cones that may land upright?

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What height was this prototype at? Any dimensions would be useful, but since it was a rough prototype, it’s understandable if you don’t have the numbers.



Good question, I don’t think we wrote it down anywhere. Do you still remember @Niels_Heijden @Matbet ?

I think your best shot is eye balling it based on this screenshot.



Unfortunately we didn’t write down the dimensions of this. Sorry about that.
But as @RonnyV write you can easy derive from the video. We used the star wheels from andymark, and the square of the cone can just pass under the hex axis.

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Welcome to a new update of the Team Rembrandts 2023 build thread!

First of all, we hope everyone is having a great time in buildseason and is going as planned regarding prototyping!

In this post, we will be informing you on how we regulate and maintain the branding of our team. Within Team Rembrandts we have the Marketing & Communication department and within this department, we have the sup-department Media & Branding. This department consists of five active students & mentors and takes care of the branding of Team Rembrandts. Within media & branding, we keep ourselves busy with all different kinds of projects. We make sure our social media stays up to date and we design all sorts of things such as our polos, banners, videos and social media posts.

How does the Media & Branding team operate?

Start with social media, to keep our friends, family & partners updated we make sure to post three times a week. During week 1 of buildseason, we uploaded more than three posts. Our posts on Instagram & Facebook are the same, on Linkedin we try to focus our posts more towards our partners and other businesses. Besides this, we also regularly post on our Instagram stories or upload YouTube shorts.

To make sure we can post three times a week we have created a content calendar. For every part of the FRC season, one is made. So this means that we have three different types of calendars: Off-, pre- and buildseason. These calendars all start with the same format: Three posts per week and this every week for the entire season part. Our content calendar for the month of January can be found below. More of how we use Notion can be found further in the post.

The posts for social media are created by one person and she then runs a feedback round past the team to take out any mistakes or incorrect information. To make the communication in the feedback round as smooth as possible we have created a feedback system. Our team fully communicates through slack. Within this platform, you can react emojis to a certain message. If you have read the post you react with the “blue banner” sticker and if you agree with the post you react with a “mentor Foss approval face”. After everyone that read the post agrees with it, we post it on our social media. To give a clearer view of this concept, the text that is often added under a feedback round can be seen below.

Looking at our projects, it works a little differently. Before the start of every different period of an entire season, we try to think of all the projects we will get that season part. For example, for buildseason, we already knew that we wanted a kick-off video, a reveal video, an engineering notebook and we needed a new polo design. Besides this, other departments can also ask us if we want to help or design certain things for them.

In order to make our videos and design projects we mostly use Adobe programs. For our videos, we use Premier Pro and After Effects. For designing, we mostly use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For some projects, we combine these programs. For example for our Safety Animation Submission of this year, we designed the robot and pit in Illustrator and in After Effects we made it move.

For our standard FTC masterclass videos or our REV review videos, we normally would use two cameras. One for a still-standing establishing shot and one handheld camera for B-roll-like shots. We use two to three lights to make sure the video is well-illuminated. For audio, we use lavalier microphones, so even when we are recording a video in a busy and loud room, you can still hear the talking clearly. Previously, all of the equipment we used was coming from our department members. Our lights, cameras, standards and microphones were all borrowed and often brought from home. This year we were able to buy lights, standards and softboxes from our team budget. Our department is more than excited to use these upcoming seasons!

How do we use Notion to keep our Media & Branding organised?
For all of these projects, we have created a notion page. Within this page, we have a table with different kinds of tabs. These tabs are “To-Do”, “In Progress” and “Complete”. With this table, we can easily oversee what projects we are currently working on and who is working on the specific project. This makes it easy to communicate over projects or for other departments to check if a certain project is already being worked on.

On this same notion page, we have more than just these calendars. We also have pages dedicated to our Team identity, branding & logo’s. Within these pages, our team identity and branding guide can be found. Here our team members can find the colour codes of our team colours, our logos, intros & outros of our videos and white papers. Within the same group of pages, our partners’ logos can be found together with the FIRST logos of the seasons we participated in. These pages are made for other team members so they can access this branding material easily.

On Notion, we also keep a video archive. Since Notion gives us an unlimited amount of storage space. This platform is perfect for easily organising our material made during seasons. We started using this last year, all of our other videos are on a platform called videostation.

Our participation in the REV challenge?

REV is a big name when you’re talking about robot parts. They create a lot of awesome products such as their planetary gearboxes, neo’s and their swerve module. This year REV introduced something new, they organized a season-long challenge and selected teams to participate in this. Within this challenge, you can gather points by completing tasks. For this challenge, every month we make sure to post at least three team update posts and one review video about one of their products. We also create stories to show off our volunteering within the FTC community.

Since this challenge requires a lot of content creation it takes up a lot of time and is currently one of our biggest projects.

What are some tips we can give to teams who would like to improve their media & branding?

For the ones within the team that like to make photos and videos or would like to expand the media & branding in their teams, we have gathered some tips.

  1. Start on time with your posts. For all of our posts, we try to finish it the day before we need to upload them. So on Monday, you finish the post for Tuesday and on Wednesday you finish up the post for Thursday. This gives everyone in the team enough time to give their feedback. Since we post multiple times a week, one day beforehand is the best time so you do not get tangled up with any other posts.

  2. As said before, the best amount to post per week is three times. This is the right amount to keep everyone on track of everything, but not spamming them too much.

  3. It is very important to create a structure in your post. With this, we mean that you should create a calendar with the same type of posts every week. For example, during pre-season, we had our Partner posts, Opa Foss Posts & our Team Member posts. In order to make uploading these posts as easy as possible we created a template and a list of questions for the team member posts. If you’re planning on posting three times a week or want to start with it, we strongly advise creating at least one, maybe two, templates in your posts!

  4. Another tip is to engage with social media as much as possible. Use hashtags, and tag partners or members. These small things can recommend your posts to more people and get more people to view them. These things can help you grow your social media accounts. Besides this it is also smart to comment or repost posts you like, more teams or maybe future partners will notice you this way.

  5. Keep your stuff organized. In order to maintain a good M&B department it is important to keep everything organised. Make sure that your department can access your logos and team colours without all too much effort and keep your archive clean. Give your folders easy and simple names and use dates to easily find back footage. For example, in the folder [buildseason 2023] you can find all of your buildseason footage. Within this folder, you can find more folders such as [01-07-2023_Kick_Off] or [01-11-2023_Swerve_Review_Video].

  6. Another small tip is when you are editing videos in premiere pro is dividing your footage into folders. Use for example [VIDEO] and [AUDIO] to separate your music and sound effects from your filmed material.

What were the results of our activity last year and what did we learn?
When coming to our social media posts, we learned that keeping a calendar and structure in our posts helped us a lot with deadlines. We could start on posts on time and upload them on the right dates. We were happy to receive a lot of positive feedback from our friends, family & partners. Besides this, we have also noticed more engagement on our social media when posting more often. More followers and more likes are two of the biggest changes we have seen. Recently we passed 1000 followers on youtube which was a big achievement for us.

What do we hope to achieve this year?

For this year we hope we can create awesome content again. We have some interesting videos and clothing planned this year. We can not be more excited to show this off on our social media.

This post was written by: Tessel Meulepas


Week 2 | Team Rembrandts Build Season 2023 Recap video

Keep on prototyping and remember, design is an iterative process!

We’ve continued to explore design options for manipulating these game pieces, and we have to say cone may be the biggest challenge the team has ever faced! If you haven’t been following along we post all of our prototypes on our YouTube channel, in the Build Season 2023 - Robot Development playlist. Please take a second to like, comment, and subscribe to us to stay updated.

Let’s look back to a very productive but most importantly a very fun week through our week 2 recap video!

We also had our Parents & Partners Kick-Off Event 2023, here’s the recap video from that:

This post was written / compiled by: @Sandwich21 and @Justin_Foss


Week 3 Recap, It’s Week 4 Already?!

Wow, we are officially three weeks deep into the 2023 build season, where has the time gone. Through much blood, sweat, and a few tears we have down selected an initial design and put our heads together in SOLIDWORKS to turn ideas into CAD. If you’ve been following along on our YouTube channel and even more specifically the Build Season 2023 Playlist you know that we have been trying just about everything, from our own ideas to trying to replicate concepts from Ri3D and other teams who have been sharing ideas (OA teams and others).

Week 3 Recap video:

This year we are stretching our capabilities and attempting to build the most complex robot in Team Rembrandts history. Does this come with risks? Absolutely. We believe however it’s worth the try and because we have so many prototypes developed and the community has shared so much we feel confident that if we have to change paths in week 5 it will be rough, but possible.

Robot Design - CAD all day and all night

CAD is progressing and the details of the robot are getting sorted out, we set a deadline for the chassis, spindexer (yes, we’re going to really try and go for it!), and arm assembly for Sunday the 29th and we are happy to report that we met the deadline and all the laser cut parts have been set to our partner, all the 3d prints are now in que to be printed, and the mill parts have been arranged. Shout out to the mechanical subteam for burning the candle at both ends over the weekend. You can take a look at the robot in the images below, It’s an ambitious project to be sure!

QuickClaw McGraw

The claw design shown above is one of the concepts we have decided to go fully detailed on, you can see more of its testing in the videos below. This design was inspired by the design from 2363, also shout out to 3005 for some design inspiration as well. We really like the form factor and its ability to collect both game pieces and its forgiveness of angle of approach, here are some selected videos (more on our youtube channel are available).

Cone and Cube Collection

Cone Launch

Cube Launch

Floor Intake

Development is ongoing on this subsystem as it has the most variables to dial in, wheel selection, wheel positioning (compression, spacing, etc) nevermind actuation (single pivot point vs linkage designs, some of which we have posted on YouTube) and motor placement. We believe we have a solid path forward and the next prototype revision is in construction. It is inspired by a combination of Ri3D redux this year and FRC319s intake from 2019. Steal from the best, design the rest, right. Image of the next design to be tested below, you will note that the motors are placed on the intake right now, this is for development purposes and the design will be adjusted before going into competition production. We are also exploring linkages for deployment and storage to improve the space for the spindexer and arm assembly, more on that later.

Here’s some of the recent videos of testing:

Lessons Learned

Maintaining momentum was a bit more difficult in weeks 2 and 3 this season due to many of our students and mentors having exams. In the future we will need to look at how to balance the speed of our build season with the resources available.

Next Steps

Wait, no seriously, part of week 4 will be waiting for parts from our partner companies and also COTS suppliers. That aside we will be continuing to develop the intake assembly and actuation, finalize the design of the QuickClaw McGraw and begin looking at what improvements and changes we will make between the development robot and the competition robot.

The software team has been on point this season in support of the mechanical prototypes and they are now focused on code for specific subsystems as well as the AprilTags tracking and autonomous. They are also looking into the slew rate limiting and other swerve tuning to be ready as soon as the development robot is mechanically and electrically complete.

This post was written by: @Justin_Foss


I had wondered if you were going to go with a turntable, based on some of your earlier videos. It seemed like the best play. Honestly, your team’s work has been one of the only things that keeps me from believing that most of the robots that work well will follow exactly the same path. Honestly I hope that other teams are doing turntables as well.


Looks cool! Is that the PwFusion Telescoping Arm in CAD?


I’m absolutely loving the “QuickClaw McGraw”. Are you able to share any cad on it yet?



have you thought about how you will be deploying your ground intake? We are also going for a similar design but space and the method of deployment have been 2 major headaches… your design also looks more compact.


We have several options we are working on, in the post above we linked to a few of the sketches we took videos of. The current prototype is a single pivot in order to dial in the geometry of the rollers themselves, then we will look at other methods of movement to improve packaging when inside the frame perimeter.