FAQ | Aerial Drone Competition

Aerial Drone Competition

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions about the Aerial Drone Competition.

What is the Aerial Drone Competition?

Supported by the REC Foundation, The Aerial Drone Competition offers an exciting educational drone sporting event that focuses on hands-on, student-centered learning. 

Teams learn about drones, flight principles, programming, documentation, and communication skills while expanding their understanding and building interest for Drone-related workforce and career opportunities.

When does the season begin?

For the 2022-2023 Season we are planning the following:

  • September: Season Kick off and 2022-2023 Game Reveal 
  • October - March: Local Qualifying Tournaments
  • March - June: Championship Events

What equipment do I need to compete in the Aerial Drone Competition?

A Drone, controller, a computer for programming, and spare parts (motors, propellers).

What drones are legal for competition?

For the 2022-2023 Season, there are 2 legal drones. The CoDrone EDU and the Parrot Mambo.

Where do I order these drones?

The CoDrone EDU can be ordered from Robolink for $214.99. The Parrot Mambo is hard to find/order at this time (July 2022).

Are there teams/events in my area?

Aerial Drone Competition is a developing program at the REC Foundation and we are growing nationwide. We encourage you to check RobotEvents.com for the latest events. As this season gets underway, new teams and events will continue to be added. Please reach out to the program manager at Drones@roboticseducation.org to discuss your development in your area.

How many students are on a team?

We recommend 3-5 students per team. Each team has one drone. 

A school or organization can register multiple teams to accommodate student interest. Each school/organization registers a base number, such as 1234, and each team within that base number has a letter, such as 1234A, 1234B, etc. A base number can support up to 22 teams from a single organization.

How do I register a team and how much does it cost?

Visit RobotEvents.com to register. We offer single and organizational rates: 

The first team registered for a base number is $200, additional teams can be added for $150 each, and after 4 teams, additional team registrations are free for that base number. 

  • One team registration is $200 
  • Two (2) teams registration is $350 
  • Three (3) teams registration is $500 
  • Four (4) to Twenty-Two (22) Teams registration is $650 (New for 2022- 2023 Organization Flat Rate)

How much time do teams need to practice?

This can vary program to program based on resources and age of the students. A typical team will practice 2-4 hours per week after school.

What is a competition like?

The Aerial Drone Competition includes three competitions at one event! 

  1. Piloting and Teamwork Competition: An exciting challenge presented in the form of a game that changes each year. For the 2022-2023 Season, Four drones made up of two alliances fly around the field to score as many points as possible. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance. The 2022-2023 Game Rules will be revealed in September 2022. 
  2. Autonomous Flight Competition: One team competes against the clock to score as many points in a 1 minute match. Students will program their drones to score points entirely autonomously. 
  3. Judging: Students showcase their workforce development skills through teamwork, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. Teams will be interviewed by judges and submit their documentation for evaluation.

Competitions typically take place on a Saturday and run from approximately 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Some areas also have a league format where teams meet 4-5 times after school over a period of time to compete (typically two months).

What is the cost to attend competitions?

Once you are registered with the REC Foundation, the fee to attend a local competition varies by state and region. Typically costs range from $50-100 per team. Championship events will be higher. Please visit RobotEvents.com to determine the cost of events in your region.

When/Where are the Aerial Drone Competition Championship events?

The Aerial Drone Competition Championship events will be held between April and June in various parts of the country. Exact dates and times TBD.

How do we earn a spot at a Championship Event?

Our team is working hard with teams and Event Partners nationwide to create the season. At this time, the plan is for most events to qualify teams to Aerial Drone Competitions Championship events. More details will be released in the fall.

Where do I purchase a field and game elements?

You can purchase field and game elements from Drone Competition Gates.

Does the field and game change each year?

The field elements (Arch Gates, Keyhole Gates and Landing Pads) will be used from year to year. Each year we will reveal a new game that will include different game elements, therefore new game elements will need to be purchased each year.

How can I learn more?

Contact the Aerial Drone Program Manager at Drones@roboticseducation.org.

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