Bell Vertical Robotics Competition

70+ Years of Inspiring Students

The future of flight is evolving, and so are STEM-based competitions. Participants of the 2021 BELL Vertical Robotics Competition (BELL VRC) develop and implement various vertical lift prototypes to address dynamic transportation issues surrounding future emergency medical services, commuter travel, cargo movement, and more. 

Students design, build and test their solutions during the 2021 Earthquake Search & Rescue Challenge. 

Dates to Remember

  • September 25 – Bell VRC Earthquake Search & Rescue Lift-Off Event
  • September 26 – November 5 – Phase 2: Design, Build & Test Solutions for Bell VRC Earthquake Search & Rescue

Competition Dates

  • November 6, 2021 – Bell VRC Earthquake Search & Rescue Competition Event in Austin
  • November 12-13, 2021 – Bell VRC Earthquake Search & Rescue Competition Events at University of Texas - Arlington
  • December 4, 2021 – Bell VRC Earthquake Search and Rescue Championship at Bell Headquarters, Ft. Worth, TX

Congratulations to the Senior Design Project Phase 1 Winners!

  • First Place: Emmett J Conrad High School - Dallas, Texas
  • Second Place: Blacksburg High School - Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Third Place: Young Women's Leadership Academy - Ft Worth, Texas

Graduating seniors provided documentation and a video presentation of the design process that was used to create and 3D print the propeller guards and mounting structure for the navigation LED lights. Their key research will support the upcoming Earthquake Search and Rescue Challenge. 

Thanks to Microsoft and NASA for judging the Senior Design Project!

Not Your Typical Drone Competition

  • Competition of the Mind and Maker
  • Combining Both Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Ground-Based Robotics
  • Multiple Skill Sets are required to optimize design solutions for Robotics, Actuation, Mechanisms, Coding, and Autonomy to achieve the mission.
  • On-Demand Mobility to Simulate Moving Payload, People, and Packages

Competition Events Include

  • Integration of Autonomous Ground and Flight Operation
  • Drone Piloting and Driver Control of Multiple Ground Robots
  • Team Logistics and Critical Thinking for Search & Rescue Mission
  • Team Presentations

All-Inclusive Pricing

Each team registration is $4,000 collected through

This all-inclusive registration fee provides teams with a complete aerial and ground robotics kit, Teacher/Mentor Orientation sessions, and the competition event.

Phase 1

Drone Kit Build - Assembly & Flight Test (Started in Spring 2021 and Continuing August 23 – September 24)

Teams assemble and test the VRC Drone Kit to include flight testing for indoor remote control piloting. Teams build and ground test the Peripheral Control Computer (PCC) to activate LEDs and Servo Actuators to prepare for Phase 2 Search & Rescue Challenge.

Phase 2

Competition REVEAL on September 25 and then 6 Weeks to Design, Build, and Test Solutions... then COMPETE!

  • Teams design, manufacture, and test their creative solutions for the drone and the ground vehicles to take on the Earthquake Search and Rescue Challenge.
  • Teams engage in Design, 3-D Printing/Fabrication, Electronics, Coding for Autonomy, Systems Integration, Kinematics, Piloting, Project Management, and Critical Thinking.
  • Teamwork includes Drone Piloting and Driver Control of Multiple Ground Robots requiring 8 to 10 students to participate and coordinate in any competition round.
  • Team Presentations are required and judged on competition day.

Thank You to our Sponsors!

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