Introducing The Open Alliance

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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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).

For the sake of our sanity during build season, we decided to make the #openalliance small this year. It’ll help with organization and communication as our teams also try to win events.

We absolutely encourage teams to openly share their information throughout the season. Let’s use this topic as a hub for open teams and discussion of the open concept in general. As 95, 6328, and 2826 have already done, all teams are welcome to post links to their information repositories here.

That said, we also don’t know how this experiment will change over the coming seasons, which is why we decided to make this informal. We may find that some sort of central resource hub is beneficial, or that one already exists and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We may also find that the #openalliance should be more like #teamturret or #teamdye and be simply a unifying hashtag for teams with a common goal. In the meantime, we’re going to play this by ear and see where it goes.


This, as much of this as we can.

@Lil_Lavery (and others who have the same inquiry I’m sure) Even if it’s not official or comprehensive like the above open builds we want other teams to be open. This does not need to be official or part of a big thread/blog/whatever. Simply more transparency, and each team can define what it means for them.

I will be elated when one team starts a thread: ‘hey, we are struggling with this mechanism’ and another team posts a picture or video of their mechanism explaining how it works and any insights they can share.

Edit: I see @MrForbes has liked this post, and it reminded me that he is one of the best at this. His lego-based posts last year were a wonderful example of sharing insight without a huge commitment. Those simple prototype mechanisms influenced many teams and raised the bar (more like raised the 4-bar, amirite?) for 3rd tier climbing.


I am encouraging an open build season for 5826 as well. We have an offer of help from a guy who has won several Emmy Awards for video journalism. We are in the process of setting up a small studio in the shop for regular video updates.

Hopefully this happens…but what is Build Season if not the sifting out of the Possible into the Realized…



We, Team Rembrandts, are thrilled to be a part of this initiative! We’ve been semi open the last couple seasons, shared info with different teams, learned a ton from blogs like 3487’s and with the no-bag changes this season we’re looking forward to the 2020 season.

We’ve started our build thread on CD: FRC 4481 Team Rembrandts 2020 Build Thread

Happy Kick Off!


Wave’s 2012 robot is now public on Onshape, for those looking for good shooters from 2012, i think we were pretty decent…

edit: it seems our final shooter version is not in the model. I will post pictures of the final shooter in a blog post later this week. But for clarity ignore the top wheel we took that out and used the ribs as the back of the hood.


Here’s a link to our build thread!


Spectrum’s Blog has already begun. Here is the CD thread for it Spectrum 3847 - Build Blog 2020 and our blog site -


All #openalliance blogs / threads are now up and running. I’ve linked them below. The CD Mods alo graciously created the #openalliance tag for easy linking.


#openalliance Week 1 Update

With incomplete reporting we have the following numbers:

Total Blog/Thread views: 171,100
Total Video Views: 126,684
Total Video Minutes Watched: 30,528
Total Photo Views: 1,288,142 (I wish I could track 95’s photo views…)

Events Participated: 4
Teams Competed: 5
Awards Won: GP, Chairman’s, Engineering Inspiration, Team Spirit, Dean’s List Finalist, Industrial Design, Event Finalist, Event Winner


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