Who we are
What we do
Our Story
Our Robots

Who we are

We are a high school robotics team located in Westborough, MA that participates in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC). Through work on engineering, design, animation, and development, students are inspired and encouraged to explore the wonders of technology. More importantly, team members gain valuable insight in cooperation and teamwork through intensive activities that encourage members to design solutions with the help of their peers.

What we do

Robotics as a whole encompasses a broad range of specialties necessary for the functioning of a team. Our members are skilled and specialize in a wide variety of fields.


Programming is a key part of the competition. Matches include an “autonomous period” where robots must operate independently.


Design and construction require important skills. A good design balances the game constraints and requirements against the game play.


The annual safety animations contest reinforce good practices. Creating the animation is a combination of art and technology.

Project Management

In order to make a robot within the build period, team, time and project management are all essential. The end date does not slip!


The robot and the competitions are not cheap. We must balance our expenses with our revenue. Fundraising is critical to the team's success.


Safety is not negotiable. All team members are required to have a thorough knowledge of safe procedures and practices.

Our story

Team 4048 was established in the Fall of 2011 and had its rookie year in the 2012 FRC competition named Rebound Rumble. The team has since grown from 18 students our rookie year to 76 students for the 2017-18 academic year.

2017-18 Power Up
3/23-25/18 - RIDE District Event (pending)
3/1-3/18 - WPI District Event. 4-8-0. Rank 34 of 41. Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen
2/10/18 - Build Season Open House
11/6/17 - WEF Trivia Bee
10/28/17 - Homecoming
10/21/17 - Bay State Brawl
9/30/17 - Girl's Inc STEM event
9/10/17 - Westborough's 300th Anniversary Parade
8/23/17 - Freshman Activity Fair

2016-17 Steamworks
6/16/17 - Middle School presentation
5/20-21/17 - BattleCry at WPI. 2-6-0. Rank 52 of 59
3/24-26/17 - FRC Rhode Island District Event. 6-5-1. Rank 19 of 41. Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen
3/8-10/17 - FRC WPI District Event. 4-8-0. Rank 32 of 40. Semifinalist. Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen
2/27/17 - CPR Training
2/11/17 - Build season Open House
10/29/16 - Bay State Brawl
10/24/16 - WEF Trivia Bee
10/15/16 - Homecoming
8/23/16 - Freshman Activity Fair

2015-16 Stronghold
6/18/16 - Beantown Blitz at Revere High School
6/16/16 - Middle School presentation
5/21-22/16 - BattleCry at WPI. 4-4-0
5/11/16 - School Committee Presentation
5/7/16 - Spring Festival
4/13-16/16 - FRC New England District Championship. 6-6-0. Rank 21 of 63. Qualified but declined FRC World Championship
3/24-26/16 - FRC Rhode Island District Event. 10-6-1. Rank 8 of 36. Safety Award runner up. Motorola Quality Award
3/11-13/16 - FRC WPI District Event. 11-7-0. Rank 15 of 40. Finalist
2/8/16 - Named Safety Animation Contest runner-up. Our first ever submision
2/7/16 - Build season Open House
12/18/15 - Boston Celtics Fundraiser
11/2/15 - WEF Trivia Bee
10/17/15 - River Rage
(No Homecoming, same day as River Rage)
8/26/15 - Freshman Activity Fair

2014-15 Recycle Rush
7/13/15 - New England Board of Higher Education showcase
6/20/15 - Beantown Blitz at Revere High School
6/16/15 - Middle School presentation
5/23-24/15 - BattleCry at WPI. Rank 11
5/13/15 - EMC demo
4/22-25/15 - FRC World Championships. Rank 21 of 76 on Curie
4/8-11/15 - FRC New England District Championship. Rank 27 of 60
3/26-28/15 - FRC Northeastern University District Event. Rank 13 of 40
3/18/15 - Cub Scout visit
3/5-7/15 - FRC Pioneer Valley District Event. Rank 1 of 33
2/7/15 - Build season Open House
12/8/14 - Raytheon Visit
11/20/14 - Berkshire Bank grand opening ceremony
11/17/14 - EMC demo
11/8/14 - Wegmans STEM day
11/4/14 - Westborough Civic Club presentation
9/27/14 - Homecoming
8/20/14 - Freshman Activity Fair

2013-14 Aerial Assist
6/28/14 - Beantown Blitz at Northeastern University's Matthews Arena. 9-9-0. Finalist
6/17/14 - Middle School presentation
6/15/14 - PTC Global Live Conference
5/24-25/14 - BattleCry at WPI. 14-2-0. Winner!
5/14/14 - Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser
5/7/14 - Mrs. D'Onofrio's WHS lobby presentation
5/3/14 - Spring Festival
4/10-12/14 - FRC New England Championship. 4-10-0. Rank 41
3/21-22/14 - FRC Rhode Island District Event. 12-6-0. Rank 7 of 37 in qualifying. Xerox Creativity Award
3/13-14/14 - FRC WPI District Event. 8-7-0. Rank 14 of 39
2/8/14 - Winter Carnival
2/7-8/14 - Build season Open House
11/23/13 - Savage Soccer at WPI
10/12/13 - Homecoming
8/21/13 - Freshman Activity Fair

2012-13 Ultimate Ascent
7/1/13 - Ruland Visit
6/1/13 - Beantown Blitz at Northeastern University's Matthews Arena
3/21-23/13 - Boston Regional at Boston University's Agganis Arena. 3-6-1. Rank 39
3/2/13 - MIT Sloane School Sports Analytics Conference
2/2/13 - Winter Carnival
11/10/12 - Savage Soccer at WPI
10/6/12 - Homecoming
8/22/12 - Freshman Activity Fair

2011-12 Rebound Rumble
6/2/12 - Beantown Blitz at Northeastern University's Matthews Area
5/18-19/12 - BattleCry at WPI, backup robot only
3/22-24/12 - Boston Regional at Boston University's Agganis Arena. 3-7-0. Rank 45
11/12/11 - Savage Soccer at WPI

Our Robots

Satis, Steamworks, 2017

Satis was our team's first swerve drive robot. We opted for AndyMark's swerve module with 4 inch wheels; one in each corner of a roughly square robot. The chassis consisted of a climber along one edge, a "gear" placement device along the opposite edge and a ball hopper in the middle. A powered scoop ingested balls into the hopper from the ground. In the first iteration, the hopper had of a moving "floor" that would deliver the balls to the low goal. In a later iteration, a ball shooter replaced the moving floor to shoot balls at the high goal. The climber used velcro on the rope to start the winding process and worked great. The active "gear" system was difficult to align with the scoring Lift mechanism and the barn door servos mysteriously burned out. Eventually the swerve drives themselves proved to be finicky. With use, their reliability diminished and we often found ourselves driving on 3 wheels. That said, the field-centric drive software made driving extremely easy and with some work, this drivetrain will be much more reliable the next time we use it. The gear mechanism, ball shooter and climber was retired in 2017; its parts recycled for other uses.

Lepus Interfector, Stronghold, 2016

Lepus Interfector (killer bunny) was a 6-wheel drop center robot with 8 inch pneumatic wheels. Pneumatic wheels were chosen to help absorb the shock from the pounding the robot took maneuvering through the various obstacles. The core of the design is a boulder shooter that load a ball from the rear and shoots out the front. The intake mechanism at the rear is a floating roller that can be raised and lowered. The shooter is a catapult powered by Vulcan springs generating 90 pounds of force. The entire robot fits under the "low bar". The front arm lowers the cheval-de-frise. There is no climber. To help cross the "rock wall", there is a steel skid plate at the leading edge of the robot. Located on the front of the shooter is a camera to help aim the robot. The trajectory has a long relatively flat curve so driving the robot to the right distance is not as important as rotating it to the correct angle. Automatic shooting was implemented and tested but never used in competition.

Interstellevator, Recycle Rush, 2015

Recycle Rush had practically no defensive needs so the robot had no bumpers. The front end was a forklift. Two arms opened and closed to securely hold a crate. The arm assembly went up and down to help stack the crates. All told, it could hold 4 crates and one bin and stack 5 crates and one bin. At the rear of the robot is a bin grabber. The grabber is a fiberglass rod mounted to an aluminum head. During the autonomous period, the arm will drop the head into the bin's top opening and pull the bin forwards (in one match is also tore off the arm of a competing robot trying to grab the same bin!). Interstellevator has a mecanum drivetrain powered by four CIM motors. It was retired in 2016; its parts recycled for other uses.

Scorpio, Aerial Assist, 2014

Scorpio's core consisted of a 6 piston, dual stage pneumatic ball launcher. There were 2 shooting angles also controlled pneumatically. There's an intake in the front to collect balls from the floor but the robot was most efficient (and less likely to be exposed to damage by other robots) when fed by the human player directly into the hopper. The drivetrain is mecanum so we got pushed around a bit but we compensated by changing the gearbox gear ratios after our first district event. We gained more speed and had less torque - but you had to catch us first before you could push us around! The shooter was very capable and could easily shoot over the truss as well hit the upper goals. There is a rear-mounted telescoping blocker - it successfully did a double-block during the autonomous period in one match. The picture shows the robot without its bumpers. Scorpio was retired in 2017; its parts recycled for other robots.

U-turn, Ultimate Ascent, 2013

U-turn was a rectangular robot that was slightly wider than long. This made it less stable than desired but allowed us to put a frisbee shooter that still fit within our frame boundary. U-turn had 2 normal wheels in the front and 2 omniwheels in the rear. The shooting head was hinged at the rear and was adjusted via a mini-CIM and threaded rod. The picture shows the original robot with its top mounted frisbee loader (from the human station). In the post-season, 18 inches was lopped off to increase stability and a new loading mechanism was added. The robot could not climb the pyramid. The shooter is a U-shaped (hence its name) mechanism with a center wheel powered by a CIM motor. Since 2013, U-turn has been our best demo robot, having thrown hundreds of frisbees in numerous events.

Kitty, Rebound Rumble, 2012

Kitty was a foam basketball shooting robot. It had a 6-wheel drop center drivetrain powered by four CIM motors. The chassis is the KOP kit plus 80/20 aluminum extrusions. The ball elevator could hold 3 balls but due to the geometry of the parts involved, the last ball in the elevator could not reach the shooting wheel by itself. So you always had to have 2 balls in the system - one to push the other into shooting position. The last ball is wasted. The shooting mechanism consisted of 2 wheels to help center the ball. It was powered by 2 parallel BaneBot motors. The elevator had 3 independent segments - the top 2 are belt driven and the lower segment had an intake roller. To lower the bridges, Kitty had two pneumatic pistons that raise its front end higher than the lip of the bridge. This allowed the driver to place the bumper over the bridge and use the weight of the robot to lower the bridge. Kitty was retired in 2014; its parts recycled for other robots.


Team Redshift is run by a team of hardworking and dedicated students. Although we share a common interest in robotics, it is the individual qualities and personalities of each student which makes Redshift unique.

Year: Number of Students (Sr / Jr / So / Fr)
2011-12: 18 students (1 / 6 / 3 / 8)
2012-13: 24 students (5 / 3 / 11 / 5)
2013-14: 30 students (3 / 11 / 3 / 13)
2014-15: 56 students (12 / 2 / 20 / 22)
2015-16: 51 students (2 / 17 / 17 / 15)
2016-17: 64 students (18 / 17 / 15 / 14)
2017-18: 69 students (13 / 12 / 12 / 32)


The team would not exist without the teaching and coaching provided by our mentors, all of whom have wide ranging real world experiences. Mentors provide the team with invaluable advice and judgement.

2011-12: 7 mentors
2012-13: 13 mentors
2013-14: 10 mentors
2014-15: 11 mentors
2015-16: 10 mentors
2016-17: 12 mentors
2017-18: 17 mentors

Our mission

There are four parts to our mission.

Educate - infuse students with a wide range of knowledge and skills.
Apply - implement what you learn via robotics competitions.
Compete - challenge yourself with Gracious Professionalism and Co-Opertition.
Share - expand STEM education with others.

Our team operated under several core beliefs.

(1) Mentors are there to mentor. Students do the work whenever possible. This applies equally in the workroom as it does in the pit at a competition.
(2) The competition is for the students. Mentors do not belong on the drive team. Students learn valuable skills at all four positions on the drive team.
(3) The team's organizational structure is dictated by the existing student body. Leadership positions within the team only exist if there is student who can fill that role; there is no point in having a position for the sake of doing so.
(4) We do not let students sink or swim. Robotics is hard stuff. Building a robot in 6 weeks is even harder. Mentoring is necessary, not optional.

Aim high, land softly.
Westborough High School - Robotics
90 West Main Street
Westborough, MA 01581
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