Indiana Robotics Invitational
IRI. The best of the best. The creme de la creme. The Pappy’s of barbeque restaurants. This year, 5 top MAR teams have been invited to compete with the most elite teams from around the world at the prestigious Indiana Robotics Invitational, returning to its home at Lawrence North High School.
Last year’s IRI finalists **225 **
finally got their first win of 2017 at MAR’s MidKnight Mayhem offseason event in June. It took a while for TechFire’s flame to catch this season, after being upset in the quarterfinals as the #1 seed at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and again as the first pick of the #1 alliance at Bridgewater-Raritan. They were again picked by 303 as the first overall pick at MAR Champs, but were extinguished in the semifinals as 222 was left hanging just inches short of the touchpad. But FireStorm raged on to the Archimedes Subdivision at the St. Louis World Championship, where they captained the #2 alliance to the finals. After winning Finals 1 by just 10 points, they ultimately lost the series in 3 (well, 4) matches to 1640’s alliance. But, they did add plenty of hardware to their trophy case this year: Innovation in Control Awards at both of their district events, Excellence in Engineering Award at MAR Champs, and the Archimedes-Daly Division Industrial Design Award. After finally going home victorious from last month’s MidKnight Mayhem, will their fire still be burning after the drive out to Indianapolis?
The pride of Delaware **365 **
had a great robot year this season, making it to the finals at all four of their 2017 events. As the first overall pick at Westtown, they lost in the finals in 3 matches, but captained the #2 alliance at Seneca to victory after another 3, where they also took home the Innovation in Control Award. Their LocoMOEtive roared into MAR Champs, ranking 11th after Qualification Matches and taking their place as the first pick of the #4 alliance. They lost in the finals by just 14 points. As one of the two teams representing MAR down at the Houston World Championship, they ranked 7th and were the first pick by the #2 alliance in the Roebling Subdivision. They were again able to make it to the finals, but ultimately lost to the eventual Houston World Champions. It certainly wouldn’t take a miracle for MOE to earn a fifth medal to hang around their necks this weekend, returning to IRI for their first time since 2009.
So far this year, swerve-drive specialist **1640 **
has gone winless for their first season since 2010. At Westtown, they ranked 18th, were the second pick of the #6 alliance, and were eliminated in the semifinals; at Seneca, they ranked 10th before being the first pick of the #3 alliance and were again being knocked out in the semis. Sab-BOT-age seeded 34th at MAR Champs, but rounded out the #7 alliance, who were eliminated in the quarterfinals. DEWBOT XII ranked 33rd in the Archimedes Subdivision, but ended up as the second pick of the #1 alliance. Although 1640 was only on the field for two of their alliance’s matches, their alliance won the subdivision and went on to Einstein. While their alliance ended the Round Robin in last place, with 1640 only playing once, this marked 1640’s third appearance on Einstein since 2013. Furthermore, they won the Innovation in Control Award at both Westtown and MAR Champs this season, and ranked 4th at MidKnight Mayhem, where they were the first pick of the #3 alliance by 2590 before being upset in the quarters by 225 and 1676. 2017 will be Sab-BOT-age’s 6th, yes, 6th, consecutive Indiana Robotics Invitational. They made it to the finals back in 2015, and they’re still hungry for a win.
The path taken by the 2017 St. Louis World Champions **1676 **
this year was certainly not an easy one. Their journey started off down at the Southwest Virginia Chesapeake District Event, where they ranked 32nd out of 38 teams. Nonetheless, they were the first pick of the #8 alliance, but lost the quarterfinal series in 3 matches. Back in MAR two weeks later at Bridgewater-Raritan they were the third overall pick, but again found themselves packing up after the quarters. The Pi-oneers finally made it to the semis at Montgomery after ranking 16th and being the first pick of the #5 alliance, but lost to the #8 alliance who would go on to win the event. Their robot Brazin’ eventually made its debut as an alliance captain at MAR Champs where they ranked 5th, but their quarterfinal curse struck once more. Continuing down the rocky road, their trail led them back to St. Louis and to the Daly Subdivision, finishing off the #1 alliance as the fourth robot. While they were on the sidelines for most of the eliminations, they were subbed in for Finals 2 and helped 254 pull off the win even after 2767 lost comm halfway through the match. Moving onto Einstein for their first time ever, Pascack was again benched for the first three Round Robin matches but were put on the field for the final two and ultimately made it to the finals. After two close matches, winning Finals 2 by just 3 points, 1676 brought the World Championship back home to MAR as just the 2nd New Jersey team and 3rd MAR team to do so. But, their victory didn’t stop there. At MidKnight Mayhem, they were the first pick of the #6 alliance and went on to help 225 earn their first win of the season. They’ve previously competed at IRI in 2012 and 2013, and later this month they’ll be playing against the Houston winners at the inaugural Festival of Champions. Who knows what hardware they will be bringing back by the time this summer is over.
With over 50 match wins and three finals appearances so far in 2017, perennial New Jersey powerhouse **2590 **
is also attending their 6th consecutive Indiana Robotics Invitational this year. Nemesis started off this season ranking 13th at Hatboro-Horsham and being the first pick of the #3 alliance, but wound up losing the finals in 4 matches, ending the last match just 5 points shy. At Springside Chestnut Hill Academy they seeded 15th and were the first overall pick in the playoffs, but were upset in the quarterfinals. They were also the first overall pick at the Montreal Regional where they ranked 17th but again made it to the finals and came up short. Their robot Eris finished Qualification Matches at MAR Champs seeded 18th, but was the first pick of the #2 alliance and finally got their team their first event win of 2017. Following 225 and 1640 to the Archimedes Subdivision at St. Louis, they ranked 12th and joined the #6 alliance as the second pick, but lost to 225’s alliance in the semifinals. Along with winning the Industrial Design Award at both Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and MAR Champs this season, 2590 captained the #3 alliance at MidKnight Mayhem in June, but were upset in the quarterfinals by 225 and 1676’s alliance, the eventual winners. 2590 made it to the quarterfinals of IRI in both 2012 and 2013 but have gone unpicked each year since then. Nemesis hopes to be on everyone’s good side this weekend and make this their year to bring home the gold.
Good luck teams and may the boilers and rotors be ever in your favor. MAR will be rooting for you!
A MAR Team in Need
As we enter Palindrome week, Palindrome Robotics is in need of some help. 4954 has recently lost two major sponsors and without sufficient funds, they are in danger of losing their workspace. For assistance, they have begun a Go Fund Me fundraiser, which can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/SavePalindrome. Any donation made is completely tax deductible since their program is a Non-Profit Organization. Additional details can be found on their fundraiser page.