Introducing The Open Alliance

I’m excited to introduce several teams that have decided on an open build season for 2020. The #openalliance members all believe that FRC can have a greater impact on all teams if our ideas are shared throughout the season. With the end of The Bag, there’s a chance that FRC teams may become more secretive than they are now, and we’re hoping to stop that trend before it has a chance to start. We think that teams can share information and still be competitive, and that a rising tide lifts all boats.

The #openalliance will be small and informal in 2020 to give the concept a chance to grow and evolve organically. All #openalliance teams will have open designs and code, and will be happy to answer questions and provide help where able. Some teams will have open build blogs and there may even be a few videos put out. I’ll let the other alliance members chime in with specifics via replies to this topic.

The 2020 #openalliance teams are:

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This is very cool. Thanks.

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A collection of all my favorite build blogs. I’ve taken so much inspiration from the teams in the #Openalliance already and I look forward to doing more of the same in 2020.

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We’re incredibly excited to be joining this crew! I think sharing the process is incredibly helpful for the growth of everyone on both sides.

6328 is planning to publish daily blog posts which can be found here and on our Facebook.

Any questions, feel free to reach out, always happy to walk through any choices we make over the course of the season.

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10 blue banners between this group in 2019, with two Einstein appearances (one of them winning it) and one large-sized mobius as a kicker. Y’all aren’t playing around.

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The build blogs these teams share are perennially some of the best prototyping and design resources out there. Thank you all for taking this one step further. I can’t wait to see what y’all come up with.

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Wave is extremely excited to be apart of The Open Alliance. We’ve been semi open the last 3 or so years and felt it was time to jump on board and be fully open. We’ve looked at 3847’s blog and 319’s onshape in the past and its helped us a ton and would love to give back.

We will be posting on our new BLOG regularly during the build season showing our progress as well as all of our robots from the last 3 or so years are on Onshape and public, you can search for them using the tag FRC 2826 or you can go to our blog and see all the links to each robot.

GL to all teams this year can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

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Spectrum is happy to be a part of The Open Alliance.

For teams that are considering if they should be more open with their designs and build season, I can’t stress Ty’s point enough. Even if you don’t think you are “good enough” to share your designs, someone will find it helpful and inspirational. Ideas or sketches that we didn’t use on our robot have found their way on to other teams’ machines. It feels really nice to see your ideas get used by other teams.

It also doesn’t have to be completely altruistic either, Spectrum has benifited greatly from having an open build season. Every year we get advice and tips sent to us from some of the best teams in the world just because they saw something we were doing on our blog and wanted to an offer a suggestion of how to improve. We have made some of our best friends from teams who have read our season blogs and offered suggestions or asked questions.

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I often think it would be great to win champs. But I really think a better team goal is to be as organized and professional as the above teams. Producing such a great resource while building great robots isn’t easy.
Thank you all.

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This is an underrated aspect to an open build approach. I’ve given direct feedback to multiple teams in the Open Alliance in past seasons by following their progress. I really appreciate your approach and look forward to following y’all in 2020.

-Mike

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I was getting all set to quote and stress that part of Allen’s post…and Michael beat me to it.

Open design is win-win. Go for it.

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I bookmarked your blog, and I look forward to staying up-to-date with our friends in Littleton!

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I am new to FRC and I’m curious what this is. I’m guessing that this is just a database with a bunch of robot designs but let me know if I’m wrong. How will you insure that this is all published and some people will just keep there designs secret but take anyway? What are the benefits to joining?
Thank you!

This is just a group of teams who are committed to having an open build. Each team has chosen what that means to them.

There is no enforcement of anything. Nobody paid anything to be in this, we don’t have bylaws. It’s just us showing that secrets don’t actually lead to a competitive advantage.

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Understand your concerns, but this does not align with how these teams operate. We have followed most of them to some degree over the last few years to great effect.

These teams will be blogging about what they are doing, why they are doing it and how well it works. One learns much more from knowing the “Why” leading to the “What” than just looking at robots on videos, watching matches at events or looking at CAD with no explanations.

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@Ty_Tremblay here is the link to our build thread: FRC 95 The Grasshoppers 2020 Build Thread

@ZacharyR here is our build thread from last year: FRC 95 The Grasshoppers 2019 Build Thread it’s interactive, thorough (as much as we can), and (I hope) interesting for everyone to read.

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Is The Open Alliance an open group? Can any other teams which go about an open build process join in the alliance?

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I would hope that, unlike several Ri3D teams, they’d all hold themselves to the same high standards as 95 and others listed above - in terms of content quality and cadence of posts.

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Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but I don’t believe all the teams listed in the OP will be providing blogs (or blog-like threads like 95s).