INsight: 2018 St. Joseph (IN)

Top Contenders:

Team Hammond is working on joining the 100-win club in Indiana Districts (Current membership includes: 234, 1024, 1501), currently sitting at 97 wins. While match wins are nice, they would prefer to feast on a blue banner, which has eluded them since 2013’s Midwest Regional. Don’t let the absence of wins the past few seasons fool you - they’re always in contention. Never count out the BEAST.

The Kil-A-Bytes kick off another season and will again be a force to be reckoned with. Since Indiana made the move to districts, 1024 leads the way amongst Indiana teams with 6 event wins in 11 playoff appearances, and only once have they been knocked out early in quarterfinals. Expect their neon yellow and blue work of art to be playing late into the weekend.

Don’t blink when watching THRUST’s robot this year, you might miss the elevator to the top floor. 1501’s entry into this year’s competition is another in a line of strong robots for the team from Huntington.

With nearly 4200 Watts of motor on their robot, it seems like HBR is looking to simply overpower the competition. Students on their controls team placed 9th out of 16 in a primarily collegiate international supercomputing competition earlier this year. The Pandas are a team that needs to string together consecutive years of wins to break into the upper echelon of Indiana lore. They’ve recently trended strong in even years; will 2018 be the start of a winning cycle with this blend of power, speed, and control?

Rising Teams:

How does Pike follow up a breakthrough season with one of the most devilishly simple designs in the world leading to their first Blue Banner? By keeping that singular focus, this time with their eyes on the scale. No frills, just a quick and efficient pile of Power Cubes several feet high.

The Quadrangles literally raised the competition floor, with their crowd-favorite lift-ramps. Coupled with a switch-focused manipulator, the Bloomington team is a strong addition to any alliance. Look for a strong focus on getting the extra ranking points from these guys.

This team has consistently taken the fight to the perennial contenders in the state with a strong grasp of strategy and fearless play in the heat of competition. The Roborioles are fielding a simple scale capable elevator and a huge set of pneumatically actuated ramps. Will a double lift be enough to elevate their whole alliance or will they fall flat?


A perennial contender for the Chairman’s and Engineering Inspiration awards (2 State Chairman’s and 1 State Engineering Inspiration), the Black Knights are also competitive out on the playing field carpet. 135 is a mainstay in playoff alliances and consistently make it past the quarterfinals. However, they’ve only made the finals once in 9 tries within Indiana districts.

After posting only 3 wins and finishing the weekend 32nd out of 61 teams over in Ohio, how will Cyber Blue bounce back? Within the borders of Indiana, it’s been feast or famine for 234; with 5 event wins being matched by 5 exits in the quarterfinal rounds.

While Olympus Robotics isn’t a household name, they have quietly put together a strong program that has consistently been competitive within the district. They have appeared in playoffs at every Indiana district event they’ve attended and will look to continue the streak and compete for their first blue banner.

Week One observations

Global Trends
The winning alliance in qualifications owned the scale 61% of the time, owned their switch 83% of the time, and denied their opponent’s switch 26%. These values changed in Playoffs to 68%, 84%, 16%, respectively.

The vault was largely ignored by teams in qualifications - on average, 4.3 Power Cubes were placed, mostly for the Levitate bonus. In playoffs the Exchange was slightly higher valued: 5.6 cubes were placed on average. Of course, there were exceptions to this trend; see 7179’s strategy in Dallas as an example. The past two years, Indiana has played a slightly different game than the rest of the world - will the bonuses and absolute points found in the Vault be that twist that teams exploit?

The biggest areas that teams struggled during this week’s competitions were related to collection and control of game pieces. Many teams had a hard time collecting cubes on the field or lost them in the process of handling them between the point of collection and the scoring areas. Also observed was a large number of instances where teams attempting to place cubes either missed the plate or knocked other game pieces that had been scored previously off of the plate in the scoring process.

Indiana Achievements
Of the 7 teams who participated in Week 1 events: one advanced to Finals, one was a Semifinalist, and two were Quarterfinalists. Indiana teams also received a Industrial Design award and a Imagery award.

Good luck to all teams competing this weekend!

When did you start counting up the wins for 71? Something tells me a team that has won the Championship four times would have reached that milestone already.

Since Indiana moved to districts, so 2015 to present. OP has been updated to make that clearer.

Pretty sure we all are aware that 71 has won WAY more than 100 matches in their storied history.

Dognaux’s Week 2 prediction: 71 & 1501 team up to bring home the gold.

or Michigan absolutely kills it because Michigan.

Good luck everyone!

After looking at all of our great Indiana teams today at Penn High School, here are my thoughts from who I was able to catch at the practice matches:

234: At least from the practice matches, 234 looks to be the strongest team out there on the field. With a competition already under their belt, 234 has a distinct upper hand and could easily be a big contender this weekend. The only issue, however, seems to be their ejecting mechanism, which often times seems to overshoot.

1501: 1501 is easily the quickest elevator in Indiana. All depending on how well practiced the robot and the drive team are, they could easily be one of the top seeds at the competition. I would be very surprised if we don’t see them far into Sunday.

1024: Always a very sleek looking robot, 1024 looks incredible out there on the field. They could easily be playing deep into the playoffs like always.

135: Perhaps under practiced, but the complex robot looks very good, but seems to play a little under its true ability. Give the robot a few games and it is difficult to count out the hosts.