Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, lifeforms of all ages. It’s time for what you all (or at least, a good dozen of you) have been waiting for:
The MARtian: IN SPACE!
In 2019 marks a new year for
MAR FMA, and of course that means The MARtian is back to fill that empty void in your heart. After all, who better to guide you along this outer-space journey than the prediction account that’s out of this world!! From sandstorms on Primus to snowstorms in MAR, who knows what might happen as we venture into Deep Space. As per usual, the 8th Mid-Atlantic District season all begins down at Hatboro-Horsham, and just like always, the MARtian will get down and dirty with what the MARtian does best: MARginally accurate predictions, of course!
Why did the chicken cross the road? Why does Rice play Texas? Why is the rum always gone? Or the more important eternal question, hatch panel or cargo? Which should you start with? How should you preload your cargo ship? Smart teams will have already figured out their plans before the match begins. Others will play it by ear as competition goes on, roughing out the edges to form the perfect puzzle-piece alliances. 35 of MAR’s 128 teams are set to liftoff this weekend, and here are some that the MARtian felt might outshine the rest:
- Swerving into Week 1 is Hall of Fame team 103 . These Hatboro 2017 victors had a rough 2018, not making it past the quarters in any of their events after falling short in the finals of Springside Chestnut Hill. While the only clip of their robot so far shows them elevating to HAB 2, you can safely bet that the Cybersonics will be back on top soon.
- Like 103, 2607 also won Hatboro back in 2017 (and 2015, too), but faced a hard fight throughout 2018. While they did emerge victorious at Westtown last season, they lost in the Quarterfinals at Bridgewater-Raritan and failed to get picked at MAR Champs. Not much is known about 2607’s 2019 robot, other than they spent some time at 103’s practice field on Bag Day, but expect the RoboVikings to start the year off strong.
- Voyaging back to Hatboro-Horsham is last year’s event finalists 1218 . Last year they captained the 2nd-seeded alliance all the way to a silver medal, and are looking to bounce back for one better this time around. While it doesn’t appear that Vulcan can pick up hatches off the ground in 2019, their extruded aluminum HAB 3 climber is sure to launch them into the playoffs at warp speed.
Ascending to Orbit:
- Hats off to this weekend’s host, 708 . Last year’s Westtown winners did not make it past the Quarterfinals at the 2018 Hatboro District or the last MAR Champs, but they are fresh off a finalist appearance on the Tesla Division at the Detroit World Champs with 2590. Perhaps some of Nemesis rubbed off on the Hatters, because it appears that this year 708 also has two separate elevators – one for game piece scoring and other for climbing to HAB 3. Sporting a vision-tracking limelight, a seemingly-unique hatch-and-cargo combo intake, a hatch mechanism reminiscent of a 2015 can-burglar, this red-and-black team is looking for the gold this weekend.
- There’ve been mice, chimps, and dogs in space before, but ever a moose? 1391 is looking to be the first! They ranked 4th at last season’s Hatboro-Horsham District Event and at MAR Champs, and captained the 8th-seeded alliance to the Finals at Seneca. So far all that’s been seen of the their robot is a short clip of their chassis and elevator, but these Moose will be putting the pedal to the Metal in no time at all.
- The Atomic Dragons are fueling up for 2019. Ranking 7th at Westtown and 6th at Springside Chestnut Hill, 3929 fell short of making it to the semifinals at either district in 2018, and went unpicked at MAR Champs. Will this Philly team fly high again in 2019?
- After flirting with Einstein in their sophomore year, no one would have expected 2018 to be so rough for 5895 . White they did rank 1st at Seneca in 2018, they failed to reach the semifinals at any MAR event and did not qualify for World Champs. Now Peddie’s got a lot to prove, and they’re hoping to eclipse the competition come Sunday afternoon.
From a Galaxy Far, Far NEway
- Blasting in from New England is 319. They’re Big, they’re Bad, and they’re….named Bob? 2018 was a breakout year for this New Hampshire team, winning both of their NE District Events as well as NE Champs, and making it to the finals of the inaugural Central New York Regional. For 2019, they’re rocking a ground intake that hands off cargo to a multi-jointed arm-evator, as well as an additional Level 1 Hatch mechanism on the back of their robot. There’s no doubt that 319 will use their visit to MAR to iron out some kinks in their machine before competing back up north, so be sure to check out their Public CAD thread for any changes after this weekend: FRC 319 - Public CAD 2019!
- On the Launch Pad and ready for lift off, 7414. Sponsored by big names Apple and Lockheed Martin, PV Robotics hails from Perkiomen Valley High School in Collegeville, PA. The MARtian wishes you the best of luck on your first trip around the sun!
- Since 2015, 708 has been making a Deep Impact off the field just as much as on it. Taking home a District and District Championship Chairman’s Award in 2015, a District Chairman’s Award in 2016, and another District and District Championship Chairman’s Award in 2017, 2018 marked the end of a streak for the Hatters. Nonetheless, they did earn last year’s Hatboro-Horsham District Engineering Inspiration Award, and are almost a shoe-in for another culture changing award this weekend.
- 2016 was the last time 1218 won Chairman’s, but prior to that they were a perennial regular each year since the inception of districts in 2012. They did receive the Engineering Inspiration Award at the 2017 and 2018 Springside Chestnut Hill District Events, and are certainly a heavy-hitter in any MAR awards ceremony.
- With 3 Entrepreneurship Awards, 3 Imagery Awards, and 8 Team Spirit Awards, 203 has been stirring the pot since winning Chairman’s at the 2017 Seneca District event. This SOUPer team is just starting to boil, but don’t be surprised if they serve up something great.