NEforecast: Worcester Polytechnic Institute District Event, March 8 – March 10, 2017
The first New England event of Week 2 will be hosted on Wednesday at the WPI Harrington Auditorium in Worcester, MA. This is the location of the 2014 and 2016 WPI districts and 2015 New England District Championship, as well as BattleCry in the offseason. The melting pot is strong this weekend with at least one team coming from every New England state including Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine.
After week 1 we saw what New England was capable of with multiple gear focused robots up north at the Granite State District and a more fuel focused strategy at Waterbury. WPI is a great mix of north and south with several gear focused teams such as 1153 as well as some more fuel-literate machines in 1519 and 5813. With a more diverse mix of teams comes a more diverse strategy, and we will almost surely see more fuel in the boilers this weekend (that is, if it can count correctly). With an extra half-week to perfect their gear mechanisms after seeing a weekend’s worth of competition, teams will be looking to lock into four-rotor three-climb matches, which will begin to require the use of fuel to edge out the win. Regardless, there is no doubt that the WPI district event will have a strong field with lots of diverse teams from around the region, and should bring a new perspective to an already interesting STEAMworks season.
1519 – Back at WPI for the first time since their blowout victory at the New England District Championship in 2015, Mechanical Mayhem is sure to give a show. One of New England’s strongest competitors, 1519 is keeping it simple this year. With their passive gear intake and drop off system, as well as their lack of a floor intake for fuel, 1519 is attempting to show everyone just how effective passive collection mechanisms can be. Everyone should keep an eye on the mayhem 1519 will cause as they make a run for the blue banner.
1153 – Known for their out of the box thinking, this Massachusetts team is also looking for an early start to STEAMworks. While they usually suffer from a slow start at their first event, this year seems to signal a change for 1153 – if they can carry their momentum from their strong performance at Week 0, they should make a strong run into eliminations. We’re excited to see if this bunch of rebels can fuel up their airships, start their rotors, and take flight early this season.
1768 – An up-and-coming New England team, the RoboChiefs won two district events in Stronghold, and continue to improve and refine their winning abilities. After a change of pace in 2015, 1768 has been producing competitive works of art – few teams in New England can match the level of detail that is present in 1768’s CNCed aluminum build style. 1768 will surely wow the competition at WPI with both their robot’s performance and impressive mechanisms.
166 – Whether it comes to building bikes or building robots, Chop Shop is the team to call. After demonstrating their competitive abilities with their first Finalist finish at Pine Tree last year, 166 is definitely looking to convert their recent success into a Winner’s blue banner. Expect Chop Shop to shift into high gear and earn a lot of wins.
2877 – A common face at the WPI district events, 2877 comes back year after year to show off their impressive machines. Not afraid to trying something new, the Ligerbots pioneered the usage of Tank Chain in Stronghold, as well as producing some impressive 3D printed mechanisms to boost their collecting and shooting abilities. With their extensive experience with vision tracking, don’t be surprised to see 2877 automatically track the boiler or gear peg and score a whole lot of points.
5813 – The rookie sensation that captured the hearts of many New England teams last season, 5813 demonstrated that you don’t need years of experience to build elegant robots. This year they have a 3-wide shooter and hopper combo that piles the boilers with fuel as well as a passive gear system. Their performance in STEAMworks will solidify them as one of NE’s top up-and-coming teams – you can expect them to bring the drive and determination to earn their first blue banner.
126 – How could we not mention one of FRC’s oldest competing teams? As always, Gael Force produces competitive robots with effective strategies in mind, making them another force to be reckoned with at this strong event,
246 – If creative designs is the game, Overclocked is the name! Another very strong Massachusetts team, 246 never ceases to separated themselves from the competition with their innovative, and sometimes wacky, solutions. Expect them to clock some time in the elimination rounds of WPI.
1735 – One of Worcester’s hometown heroes, the Green Reapers are sure to compete hard, and maybe creep you out a little bit in the process. With their always-competitive robots, 1735 will definitely reap some success on Friday.
2370 – Coming from the great state of Vermont, 2370 is working hard to make a good name for their state, which only has four FRC teams. After building an adorable little robot last year and finding great success in its simplicity, the IBOTs will definitely come this year with the hopes to win their first blue banner since 2011.
4905 – Andromeda One is one of NE’s most well-rounded teams – in their three years of competing, they already have three District Championship appearances and two Chairman’s Awards! With the experience they gained competing at Week 0, Andromeda One will show up to WPI and create quite the storm of scoring on the field.
Chairman’s Top Teams:
1519: With their outstanding FLL outreach and multitudes of demonstrations, and as one of the only teams with a recent Regional CA under their belt, (2016 NEDCMP) and an EI award in 2014 & 2016, 1519 is one of the top contenders for the CA Award at UNH.
166: With their first District Chairman’s Award win in 2015, 166 continues to expand their outreach adding FIRST Helps now! available to FIRST teams around the world, as well as continuing their offseason event, lego camps, and much more. FRC 166 could bring home the Chairman’s Award.
Chairman’s Dark Horses:
2877: Winning the NEDCMP Chairman’s Award in 2015 and Entrepreneurship in 2016 at the WPI District, 2877 is a role model team for the Chairman’s Award.
4905: With their annual Tech Kid nights, CAD and Robotics Fun patches, numerous outreach events, FLL teams, and inspiring their school to have more STEM classes, this team has proven they have the potential to take home the 2017 Chairman’s Award at WPI.
Special Rookie Shoutout to teams 6329 The Bucks’ Wrath, 6337 Maine Central Institute Robotics, 6367 The ElectroLights, and team 6723 Mt. Greylock Robotics Team.