So it's my second NERC Franklin Institute event coming up, and I thought I'd dedicate this blog post to talking about who I think will win this year, and who looks the most deadly. If you robot isn't here, don't feel bad. Let's start with the antweights.
For me, I think Poco Tambor is one to watch out for. It's been competing for years and has done well before. Gyroscopic is a destructive eggbeater that beat me last year to get first. I hope to get Sean back this time! I've seen Capricant in videos from Gulf Coast Robot Sports, and it looks impressive. It can push other robots around with its little wedgelets and is very zippy (I think it's using Kitbots' 1000 rpm motors). My friend Brandon (aka Headbanger142 on youtube) told me about Antelope. it's really difficult to get underneath, but I think I can do it. It looks durable, too. All in all, I feel more confident with my new wedge that is stronger than before.
Now the beetles! Mondo Bizarro is definitely the one to watch. They've been undefeated in this form (originally it was a UK beetle with a plastic drum, but now it's a Weta kit). The durable and powerful Grande Tambor is also gonna be there. They were runner ups two years ago, and just came off of a third place finish at Motorama 2013. The same team that made Capricant are also competing with Ramvac, a wedge that's improved over years, and is quite fast. We've also got the Biohazard toy Bazinga that got first last year. I think it's the last Bohazard toy still competing, after D12 retired after last year's Franklin. It's got a good amount pushing power, but it's made of plastic! Brandon also told me Mr. Croup is a good spinner. I believe it's sent several bots to the ceiling. My robot Thunder Child will be competing, and I do think I'll be able to stand up to these spinners. The Trilobite kits are very durable, and my scoop can get underneath most anything.
In the hobbyweights, the only bot I've ever seen before is Fiasco. It got second last year, and should do well. As far as the others, I don't have an opinion on them.
Upheaval has been winning for years in the sportsman class, so there is probably no doubt it'll win. I would say the veteran Tyrant, but I don't think Al is going to be there this year (Confirmed: he will not be there). Gigarange is a four bar lifter which I've seen at Motorama before. Phoenix is another flipper to watch out for. I'd love to see a flipper frenzy with it against Upheaval. Jack Reacher is a cleverly designed flywheel powered flipper. Its builder, Zac, made a scaled up version of his smaller robot Threecoil. I want to see more of Jack Reacher, since it's cool to see new designs in the Sportsman class.
Finally, we come down to the Featherweight class. Like a reincarnation of lightweight Ziggo, Tetanus has splattered many a good robot around the box. I give it my vote. We've also got Whammo, a wedge that actually fought Tetanus two years ago. It survived for the judges' decision, since Tetanus wasn't as destructive as it is now.
So what are your predictions? Tell me!
Update: Antelope, Ramvac, and Capricant have pulled out of the competition.