Rhode Island’s only district event takes place from March 24th to the 26th at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. The team list features lots of teams from around New England including teams from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
The past weekend’s play showed a stark contrast from most week 2 events, when fuel actually mattered. While four rotor bonuses were more of a commodity this past week than expected, fuel played a more significant role with teams like 125, 195, and 2648 finding success in 40 kPa bonuses in qualifications and eliminations. Expect to see more 3 (gears) and 3 (climbs) + kPa matches at Rhode Island this weekend with a diverse and deep field of fuel specialists and gear gobblers.
78 – Heading into the Rhode Island Event, AIR Strike is really hoping that the third time’s the charm. After overcoming the technical issues that hindered their robot at Granite State, 78 thundered through qualifications at SE Mass and seeded first. While their robot could easily score 4 to 5 gears with their effective ground-gear manipulator, they suffered an early defeat at the hands of a powerful 8th seeded alliance. Expect 78 to come into their home state’s event with improvements to their all-gear strategy and speedy climber.
88 – TJ2 didn’t surprise anyone with their blue-banner performance at SE Mass. Their two-speed tank drive allowed them to push anyone who opposed them and speed across the field to score gears with their passive gear mechanism. Team 88 also has a consistent single-stream fuel shooter tucked away in their robot, so expect them to break out their fuel game to ensure some strong wins at Rhode Island.
125 – While finalist medals match their team colors, 125 is planning on leaving the Rhode Island event with some blue. With incredibly close finalist performances this year at South Florida and Greater Boston, the NUTRONs clearly have the scoring ability to win an event, but haven’t had the luck. Their zippy 2+2 drivetrain and monstrous fuel-shooting turret make for one of the deadliest combinations in New England, and a new roller-based gear intake will make 125 a truly well-rounded machine.
190 – Gompei and the HERD’s 2017 robot demonstrates that simplicity is success. By totally ignoring fuel, 190 created a very fast gear-scoring robot that boasts a quick and reliable climber. Their active gear drop-off also makes the pilots’ jobs much easier, making 190 a worry-free partner for alliances who want to aim for four spinning rotors.
2168 – Coming off two consecutive wins at week 2 in SE Mass and week 3 at the Bridgewater-Raritan district event in MAR all eyes are on 2168 to see if they can continue their streak. Featuring one of the best roller gear intakes in FRC the Aluminum Falcons have been able to consistently put up 3 rotors in elims. However they may need to up their game if they want to come out on top of their deepest field of competitors yet at an event not hosted in Bridgewater.
121 – One of Rhode Island’s recognizable powerhouses, the Rhode Warriors have produced one of their best robots in years. Their ground-gear manipulator ensures that they have a role on any alliance, and they demonstrated that they know how to use it with a 2nd seed performance at SE Mass.
157 – The Aztechs might have gone down hard at SE Mass, but we know they’ll be back on their feet and running strong for Rhode Island. This blue and yellow robot will continue to score lots of gears and climb consistently, earning them key wins to rank high.
467 – Continuing on their long streak of using custom swerve drives, 467 has demonstrated just how much maneuverability helps when placing gears. While they only advanced to the semifinals at Granite State, having a competition under their belt will only make the Colonial’s machine more successful.
1768 – There are some teams that you simply can’t ever count out, and the RoboChiefs are one of them. Their turreted shooter showed strong promise at the WPI Competition, so if they can focus more on scoring fuel and solidify their climb, they will be a potent alliance partner.
4151 – With a simple robot and a simple strategy, SCRAP made a deep eliminations run at SE Mass as the “41’s” alliance captain. Their mastery of scoring gears with their passive manipulator, as well as playing some strong defense, make them a constant contender.
Chairman’s Top Teams:
467: Winning a 2016 District Chairman’s award and a 2015 NEDCMP Chairman’s Award, 467 is a strong candidate for the 2017 RI Chairman’s Award. Using their informational youtube channel that reaches over four countries, mentoring Jr. FLL and FLL teams, and many more resources, 467 could win the 2017 Chairman’s Award this weekend.
2877: Winning the NEDCMP Chairman’s Award in 2015 and Entrepreneurship in 2016 at the WPI District, 2877 continually spreads FIRST through numerous demonstrations throughout the year, hosting an FLL competition, being student run, and more, 2877 is a role model team for the Chairman’s Award.
Chairman’s Honorable Mentions
78: With a 2013 Regional Chairman’s win, 2014 NEDCMP Chairman’s, and being one of two teams to win NEDCMP Engineering Inspiration in 2015, Air Strike continues to be a strong contender for the Chairman’s Award.
Special Rookie Shoutout to teams 6617 NASA BHS Black Hawks Robotics Club, 6620 The Northmen, and 6730 Belmont Robotics.