INsight 2017: Tippecanoe District

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This weekend, 37 Indiana teams and 1 Michigan team (Shoutout to team 141 for visiting our great state) will descend on West Lafayette, Indiana to compete in the FIRST STEAMworks challenge. Here our are teams to watch for this weekend:

Top Contenders:

The TechHOUNDS are a perennial contender and will likely continue being competitive against the rest of the Indiana teams. They’ve put all their chips in Indiana events this year – will their all-in strategy get them to St. Louis?

Can they keep the streak going? 1024 will look to continue their stranglehold on the top spot, after sweeping every event last year and having won the 2015 Indiana State Championship. They won’t be sweeping the floor, however, with their hopper- and loading-station-only intake capabilities.

Coming off of their Archimedes division win and Einstein appearance, 1501 has huge momentum going into this competition season, and their gameplay will be riveting as always.

The host team is another group coming off of a strong season. They hope to amaze with their bold strategy of a hyperfocused, mass volume fuel scoring machine. The question is, will it pay off, Cotton?

Rising Teams:

Red Alert is making the transition to a swerve drivetrain this year, and after spending a torrid offseason perfecting their design, they’ve had no trouble making the leap. In addition to swerving around the field, their climber could be among the fastest in the state.

Munster Horsepower won’t be lightning fast, but they will make their shots count when they are aiming for the boiler. Their dual-purpose intake & climber will be sure to catch the attention of judges and spectators.

Can we consider the captains of the 2016 State Championship winning alliance to be rising? Dynamic autonomous modes will prime the do-it-all Roborioles to soar high this year after a magical Stronghold season.

This team has impressed with their gear-centric robot. With the ability to put up at least 5 gears per match reliably, the Mavericks will be a valuable asset when going for the gear ranking point and elimination bonus.


After a disappointing-for-them 2016 campaign, Cyber Blue looks to rebound and reclaim their place among the Indiana elite.

The CyberCards have embraced the KISS philosophy and will be giving 4272 competition for title of best gear robot in the state. 1529 will look to capitalize on other teams’ Week One Jitters with their floor gear pickup and ludicrously fast driving.

The CyberTooth team always builds a quality, robust robot. Will this be the year where they can break through and take a bite out of their competition?

Strategy discussion:

  • Most teams will be focusing on gears to start the year. How will the fuel-centric robots be treated in the alliance selections?
  • Last year, Indiana teams were among the best in achieving the Ranking Point bonuses. In the second year of the Ranking Point bonus game dynamic, will Indiana be able to stay ahead of the competition?
  • How much of a role will defense play in the qualification rounds? We’ll definitely see defensive roles develop in eliminations, but who – if any – will make a name for themselves in qualifications by playing a more defensive strategy?

Good luck to all teams competing this weekend!

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