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ROAVcopter Mini - Elementary Rules: 2019-2020

  1. The Quadcopter

1.1. The Quadcopter that is being utilized for this competition is the DJI Tello EDU.  Drones can be purchased from https://store.dji.com/product/tello-edu?vid=47091 or other sources such as Amazon. 

Note: The Parrot Mambo is grandfathered into the 2019-2020 ROAVcopter season. 

1.2. A smart phone or controller is necessary in order to control the DJI TELLO EDU.

1.3. A tablet such as an IPad is also required to program autonomous flight using apps such as DroneBlocks.

1.4. Additional propellers, batteries, and battery charger may be purchased though DJI, Amazon, or other sources.

1.5. Other third party batteries may have slightly more capacity and are permitted in competitions provided the battery fits in the standard battery holder and is authorized for the drone.

1.6. Only DJI, or other injection molded plastic propellers may be used. All other propellers, (e.g., carbon fiber) are strictly forbidden.


2. The Field

2.1 The field for the ROAV Quadcopter Challenge consists of two canopy tents fastened together to form a flying envelope 32' long X 16' wide X 12' high.

2.2 Netting is hung to isolate the quadcopters from participants and spectators, see figure 1.

 ROAVcopter field

Figure 1. ROAVcopter Field Design

 

3. Safety Practices 

3.1. All team members and event personnel directly participating at the field will wear designated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Safety glasses are required to be worn by anyone flying or assisting in the flight of the quadcopter. 

3.2. Only one team member will power up and operate the quadcopter — this includes the hand held controller, connected smartphone/tablet, and quadcopter. All controlling devices will be in the possession of this individual when they turn on the quadcopter.

3.3. If the skill challenge allows for a team member to be in the netted area while competing, the student will be required to wear a face shield with or without a helmet along with safety glasses (e.g. softball type face mask, or forestry safety headgear)

3.3. Power cannot be applied to the propellers until all non-essential personnel are out of the field and behind netting, and the referee begins the countdown (“3, 2, 1, go”)

3.4. Power cannot be applied to the propellers unless quadcopter is in a netted area. 

Safety Practice Penalties 
Violation of other safety practices 3.1 - 3.3 will result in a formal warning followed by levels of disqualification from individual runs to tournaments to seasons. Violating rule 3.4 will result in the disqualification of that team. A second offense will result in that team being disqualified for half of a season. A third offense will result that team being disqualified for an entire year.

 

Skill Challenge Rules

The 2019-2020 ROAVcopter Mini Challenge will focus on three different precision challenges: Manual Flight, Autonomous Flight, and the development of a portfolio. With the exception of the development of a portfolio, each skill challenge is required to be completed by a different pilot. 

Manual flight leverages the Tello's ability to maneuver around an obstacle course. Students will fly their Tello drone through various obstacles as quickly as they can.

Autonomous Flight leverages the Tello's ability to be programmed. Teams will be required to program their quadcopter through the same course used for the manual flight. See details below.

Portfolio Development A portfolio will be submitted by each team competing in the ROAVcopter challenge. A portfolio will consist of three categories: autonomous flight plan, flight log, and the presentation of the portfolio to the judges. This portfolio is to be submitted for judging at each ROAVcopter competition. Judging of the portfolio will be conducted by judges and will be ranked ordered. The ranking of the portfolio is used to calculate overall tournament champion.


4. Manual Flight

4.1. Field Configuration: For this challenge, teams will navigate the obstacle course detailed below in figure 2.

4.2. Each team will set their quadcopter on the starting/finishing tile (2' X 2') at one end of the field. After the start of the match, teams will fly around the vertical rope at the other end of the field. After flying around the vertical rope, teams will fly through the upper vertical portion of the  PVC tall chair hoop in the North to South direction and then back around the vertical rope. After flying around the vertical rope the second time, teams must then fly though the lower portion of the  PVC tall chair hoop in the East to West direction, then land on the starting/finishing tile (2' X 2') (see figure 2).

4.3. The race will begin with a countdown (“3, 2, 1, go”) and end when the quadcopter comes to rest on the finish tile.

4.4. To be considered a good run, the quadcopter must be in contact with the starting/finishing tile when the word “go” is announced. In other words, quadcopters cannot take off till a referee announces ‘go.’

4.5. Challenge clock will stop when the quadcopter comes to rest and some portion is touching the start/finish tile.

4.6. Teams will have 1 - 3 attempts to achieve their best score based on the discretion of the competition manager.

4.7. Scoring: Winning team will be based on the team that completes the course in the least amount of time. Teams will be ranked on their flight times, lowest flight time wins.

 Autonomous dimension
manual layout
manual elevation

Figure 2. Elements and Flight Path for Elementary Skill Challenges.

 

 

  1. Autonomous Flight

Field Configuration: For this challenge, students are required to program their quadcopter to navigate through field elements. A rope is hung at the far 8' opening from the top of the 12' flying envelope forming a 4' to 4’-6" half-loop; see figure 2

5.2. The programming platform suggested for this competition is a tablet based drag-and-drop application called Droneblocks, which is freely available through the Apple Store. Other applications such as Scratch can be used. 

5.3 Various points will be assigned for flying through each field element along with a precision landing. See scoring below. 

5.4 Navigating through field elements can be done individually with multiple flights, collectively with a single flight, or any combination in between. 

5.5 If using a single flight, the quadcopter must successfully return to the start side of the taped line to be considered successful. If the flight is not successful, no points will be awarded. 

5.6 If using multiple flights, the quadcopter must return to the start side of the taped line. The team member within the field may pick up the quadcopter, and move it back to the start tile for an additional flight. If the quadcopter does not return to the start tile side of the taped line, the challenge ends. Points earned for previous successful flights will be awarded. 

5.7 Only the final flight will be eligible for points earned though precision landing. Only flights that are completed within the allotted one minute will be counted. 

5.8. Obstacles do not need to be navigated in any specific order as points are awarded based on successfully navigating individual obstacles. 

5.9. Each team will set their quadcopter on the starting tile (2' X 2') at one end of the field. At the ‘Go’ signal the timer will start and participants will activate their program, and their drone will navigate around various obstacles.

5.10. Teams have one minute to earn as many points as possible.

5.11. Only flights crossing the taped line outbound and flights crossing the taped line again inbound are eligible to earn points.

5.12. Additional flights can only be attempted if the quadcopter comes to a rest on the starting tile side of the taped line. 

5.13. If a quadcopter does not make it back to the start side of the tapped line after one or more successful flights, the points earned from the successful flights will be counted. 

5.14. Teams will have 1 - 3 attempts to achieve their best score based on the discretion of the competition manager.

5.15. Scoring

5.15.1. All points must be earned within the time allotted, one minute. 

5.15.2. Obstacle point values are as follows:

5.15.2.1. Flying around the rope: 2

5.15.2.2 Flying through the half-loop rope: 2

5.15.2.3. Flying through the upper vertical hoop: 2

5.15.2.4. Flying through either horizontal hoop: 2

5.15.2.5. Flying through either two parallel lower hoops: 2

5.15.3 Landing point values are as follows: 

5.15.3.1. Landing on the 2’ X 2’ starting tile on the final flight: 3

5.15.3.2. Landing on the 6’ X 6’ landing zone on the final flight: 2

5.15.3.3 Landing on the start tile side of the taped line on the final flight: 1

5.15.4. Direction of flight for traveling through hoops and going around ropes does not matter. Any successful navigation of these obstacles will result in awarded points.

5.15.5. Obstacles can only be scored once. 

5.15.6. Teams with the most points wins. Ties will be decided based on which team finishes the challenge in the least amount of time.

5.16.   Scoring Example:

5.16.1. A team opts to complete the tasks in one flight. They navigate around the rope, through the upper vertical hoop, and through both horizontal hoops. On the return to the starting tile, they land on the 6' x 6' landing zone. Elapsed time: 36 seconds. Points earned: 10

5.16.2. A team opts to complete the task using two flights. The first flight, the team travels both horizontal hoops, the upper vertical hoop, and returns to the starting side of the taped line. The student then moves the quadcopter to the starting tile, changes the drone battery and the program. The second flight the student flies around the rope and lands on the 6' x 6' tile. Elapsed time: 52 seconds. Points earned: 10

5.16.3. The two teams in the examples above are tied based on points, however, the first team completed the tasks in 36 seconds will be placed ahead of the team that completed the tasks in 52 seconds. 

6. Portfolio Development 

A portfolio will be submitted by each team competing in the ROAVcopter challenge. A portfolio will consist of five categories: the design process, design and fabrication, autonomous flight plan, flight log, and the presentation of the portfolio to the judges. This portfolio is to be submitted for judging at each ROAVcopter competition. Judging of the portfolio will be conducted by judges and will be ranked ordered. The ranking of the portfolio is used to calculate overall tournament champion.

6.1 Autonomous flight plan

6.1.1 Teams will submit their autonomous flight strategy, pseudo code, programming code, as well as any other pertinent information such as mathematical calculations used to figure distance traveled based on time.

6.1.2The autonomous flight plan should reflect the flight plan required for the autonomous ROAVcopter challenge.

6.2 Flight log

6.2.1 Teams are to submit a flight log outlining all pertinent information from all practice flights leading up to the competition.

6.2.2 The flight log should consist of the name of the pilot in command, the drone used in in the flight (e.g. Parrot Mambo, DJI TELLO EDU), the goal or mission of the flight, the date, time, and location of the flight, and any notes related to the flight (e.g. percentage of battery charge).

6.2.3 These notes should include information regarding any drone crash and any repair made to the drone.  Flight log templates are available online from numerous websites. See https://thedronetrainer.com/free-drone-flight-log-book/ for one such example.

6.3 presentation of the portfolio to the judges

     6.3.1 Teams will be required to present their portfolio to a panel of judges at the ROAVcopter competition. 

7. Calculating Tournament Champion

7.1. At the end of each skill challenge teams will be ranked based on performance.

7.2. The team that performed the best during a skill challenge will receive a ranking of 1. The second best performing team will receive a ranking of 2. This process will continue through the field of teams.

7.3. After all skill challenges are completed, each team rankings will be added up for their overall score. Lowest overall score wins the tournament champion.

7.4. Calculating Ties

7.4.1. If two teams tie after calculating overall tournament score, the highest ranked team in the Autonomous Challenge will receive the higher ranking.