NEforecast /// Rhode Island Event, March 10 - March 12, 2023
The Blue Alliance | Statbotics | Webcast (nefirst_blue)
NEforecast is back! Well, not exactly, as we’re just back for a one-off post for the Rhode Island District Event. Based on our calculations, this event could prove to be one of the most competitive districts of the entire season here in New England, and so we couldn’t resist taking our own shot at analyzing this event. Hats off to NE_Projections for their great work so far this season!
After week one at Granite State and SE Mass, we saw the importance of the Charging Station RP determining many of the top seeds. Any alliance can attain it by triple balancing in the endgame or having one alliance member dock/balance in auto plus two endgame balances. Alliances who miss this RP risk hurting their seeds, and the teams who seed high will by default be the most consistent in the endgame. In addition, we saw at SE Mass that many of the teams with the highest peak teleop scores struggled to stay reliable, and as a result, higher seeded alliances lost out to those with more consistent players in the lower seeds. We believe that RIDE could be a continuation of this trend.
The Links RP is quite the opposite to the Activation RP, with it being obtained just 9 times at SE Mass, out of 120 possible opportunities (60 qualification matches * 2 alliances each). As teams become more consistent about balancing, the Links RP will be the determinant that separates the solid performers from the powerhouses. The data supports this claim; at both SE Mass and Granite State, the teams with the highest Links RP EPA also had the number one seed.
We’ve provided teams’ unitless EPA which takes into account year over year performance and events in the current season.
6329, The Bucks’ Wrath (EPA 1609):
Back after a triple silver season in 2023, this team has come out swinging with possibly one of the most novel and effective solutions to the Charged Up challenge we’ve seen yet. Their robot SHOCK sports a pneumatically tilting two-stage cascading elevator, a modified Everybot-style intake on a motorized wrist, and SDS Mk4i swerve, allowing them to simply fly around the field, playing any role with ease. Coupled with a host of multi-game piece and balancing auto modes and plenty of drive practice, 6329 is poised to have their best season opening showing in their team’s history.
6328, Mechanical Advantage (EPA 1618):
You’d be wise to not bet against Mechanical Advantage any year and 2023 is no different. Their robot Banana Split sports a three-jointed arm plus a vertical roller claw intake, over bumper cube intake and an impressive range of automation and control innovations to make it all work together, as documented in the team’s Open Alliance thread. Coupled with SDS Mk4i swerve and a veteran drive team who has spent tons of time at the community practice field at WPI, 6328 is poised to have a very strong start to their year. After a five-banner season last year, the expectations are high for this Littleton-based team, and we expect them to play very late Sunday.
78, AIR Strike (EPA 1644):
Simplicity and robustness have always been key tenets of AIR Strike’s robots and this year is no different. Opting to skip scoring high level cones in favor of making a simplified two-joint arm work across the rest of the grid, this tiny swerve robot is fast. After a disappointing on-field disablement in finals at SE Mass this team is galvanized and energized to go for gold in Week Two. With some development and practice since last week you can expect another consistent, solid performance from this Rhode Island-based team at home.
1153, Timberwolves (EPA 1576):
After a finalist appearance at the Week 0 event that went all the way to overtime, the Timberwolves are looking to level up. Featuring an Everybot-style intake on a Pink arm with swerve, this team has plenty of potential to fill up the high levels of the grid with style. With a bit of practice and software refinement under their belts in the last few weeks, 1153 has a high-potential concept that could very well thrive in the competitive field at RIDE this year. Look for Timberwolves late in the playoffs on Sunday.
319, Big Bad Bob (EPA 1545):
Rounding out our Top Teams this week is the only tank drive robot on our list, and you can never count out 319 to be in contention. This year Big Bad Bob has one of the most elegant concepts yet, sporting a tilted elevator and WildStang claw which can give them a solid edge in the staging marks over teams who need to cycle to the Substations. Combined with a great selection of versatile auto modes that can balance, score and more, this very orange team is coming to RIDE ready to play. If they’ve had time to get their drivers and software honed in, Big Bad Bob is going to be a force this weekend.
4909, Bionics (EPA 1569):
Electing to focus solely on cone scoring was always going to be a consequential choice, but after a win at Week Zero we may have been proven wrong. This robot’s sleek tilted elevator and well-tuned handoff make it a cone scoring specialist, but if they’ve added the ability to score cubes, it could firmly catapult them into Top Team territory. Paired with the right team, the Bionics could make a deadly combination come Sunday.
5813, Morpheus (EPA 1551):
This year Morpheus’s robot sports a 6 wheel tank drive with a turret carrying a multi stage elevator, wrist, and horizontal roller claw intake. With lots of practice and autos and a pedigree of playing late in eliminations, 5813 will absolutely be in the hunt for a spot on a top seed come Sunday.
166, Chop Shop (EPA 1529):
After a short outing at the Week Zero event sorting out robot issues, Chop Shop is coming back swinging. With a telescoping “sushi-style” arm, this robot can score all pieces on all levels, and is mounted atop SDS Mk4i swerve. In the past few weeks some practice and refinement have helped this robot level up, and if they can stay consistent, RIDE be a great showing from this Merrimack-based team and find themselves in the mix.
8046, LakerBots (EPA 1513):
Another dark horse who has been steadily improving over the past few seasons, this young team has an absolutely gorgeous robot this year. Rocking a telescoping arm, SDS Mk4i swerve and 111-style claw giving them a leg up on the open field cycle, this team is a swerve veteran, winning an offseason last year and making an impressive showing. Their investment last season could give them an advantage in the year second year of swerve revolution, so stay on the lookout for the LakerBots this weekend.
2423, The KwarQs (EPA 1454):
Our sleeper pick for the event, the KwarQs brought a slick multi-stage telescoping arm and roller claw intake to Week Zero, riding on REV MaxSwerve, and we were impressed. With a few more weeks of testing, programming, upgrades under their belt, this team has all the makings of a breakout season.
Special Rookie Shoutout this week to Team 9286, The Oaker Association!
Good luck teams! See you in retirement…maybe.