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ROAVcopter Challenge: High School Rules 2017-2018

1. The Quadcopter

1.1. The Quadcopter that is being utilized for this competition is the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV. First person view (FPV) is essential in competing in the Manual Flight Skill Challenge.

1.2. A smart phone is necessary in order to use Parrots FPV hardware. Drones can be ordered with an educational discount through the following website:

1.3. Additional propellers and battery charger may be purchased though Parrot or Amazon.

1.4. Other third party batteries may have slightly more capacity and are permitted in competitions provided the battery fits in the standard battery holder on the Bebop drone.

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

2. Data Acquisition Package

2.1. The data acquisition package used in this competition is called the ROAVcopter Sensor Kit sold by Because Learning.

2.2.The sensor kit consists of the Ardusat Space board and Moteino boards for wireless transmission.

2.3. This system can be acquired through

2.4. Access to the Ardusat experiment ehub is required to upload code and to view live data.

3. The Field

3.1. The field for the ROAV Quadcopter Challenge consists of two canopy tents fastened together to form a 32' long X 16' wide X 12' high-flying envelope. Netting is hung to isolate the quadcopters from participants and spectators, see figure 1.

ROAVcopter field

Figure 1. ROAVcopter Field Design 

4. Safety Practices 

4.1. All team members and event personnel directly participating at the field will wear designated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). During the Manual Flight Skill Challenge, safety glasses are required.

4.2. Only one team member will power up and operate the quadcopter; this includes both 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.

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

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

Skill Challenge Rules

Introduction: The 2017-2018 ROAVcopter Challenge will focus on three different precision challenges: Manual Flight, Relay Race, and Remote Data Acquisition.

Manual flight leverages the Bebop’s FPV capability to maneuver around an obstacle course. Students will fly their Bebop drone using First Person View through various obstacles as quickly as possible.

The Relay Race challenges students to design a mechanism to secure a baton, and their flying skills with moving the baton around the field. Students are to move batons as outlined in the Relay Race Section as many times as possible in one minute.

The Remote Sensing Challenge leverages the payload capacity of the Bebop to carry a sensor package which sends specific information back to a computer. Students are required to design a mounting system for the ROAVcopter Sensor Kit. Teams are then to pilot their drone through obstacles to designated field elements and report pertinent data. Teams will have one minute to report back data for as many field elements as possible.

 5. Manual Flight

5.1. Field configuration: This challenge utilizes the Bebop's FPV capability. Using first person view, teams will navigate the obstacle course detailed below in figure 2. A net and a double hoop will act as field elements. 

5.2. Each team will set their quadcopter on the starting/finishing tile (2' X 2') at one end of the field, fly around a vertical rope at the other end of the field. After flying around the vertical rope, fly through the lower 5'-square PVC hoop and then back around the vertical rope. After flying around the vertical rope the second time, students must then fly though the upper 5'-square PVC hoop and land on the starting/finishing tile (2' X 2') (see figure 2).

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

5.4. 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.’

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

5.6. Scoring for the Manual Flight Challenge 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.

 Obstacle Course

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


6. Relay Race

6.1. The Baton

6.1.1. Baton is made up of 1/4” dowels and 3D printed connectors. For a visual representation, see figure 3.

6.1.2. Detailed drawing and STL file for 3D printing is available to download here, Baton drawing and STL files download.

 Figure 3. Baton     

6.2. Field configuration
 A net with an 8' opening at each end will be hung down the center of the field, forming an oval race course; see figure 3 below.

6.3. Teams will only have one minute to move the batons as many times as possible.

6.4. Teams will set their quadcopter on the side of the field with only one baton.

6.5. During the relay race batons will be flown in a counter clockwise rotation 

6.6 At the start of the race, the quadcopter will take off, fly half a lap around the race oval, pick up a baton, and place the baton on the quadcopter's starting location. The quadcopter will then pick up the baton that the quadcopter initially started out next to. This baton is then dropped off at the opposing side of the oval, where the first baton was removed. The remaining baton is then picked up, and moved to the opposing side of the field. This process is continued until one minute has elapsed.

6.7. Batons need to be placed on 2’ x 2’ color coded tiles in order to be counted for points.

6.8. For a visual representation of the race flight plan, see figure 5.

6.9. Scoring for the Relay Race Challenge: For each successful translocation of a baton, a team will be awarded points. For every baton moved and successfully placed on colored tiles, 3 points will be awarded. For every baton moved and successfully placed on any tile, 2 points are awarded. For every baton moved and successfully placed on the the required side of the course, one point is awarded. The team with the highest number of points is considered the winner of this challenge.

Relay Configuration
 Figure 4. Relay Field Configuration 

Relay Flight Path
 Figure 5. Relay Field Flight Path

7. Data Acquisition Challenge

7.1. Students will be using the ROAVcopter Sensor Kit to gather data from various field elements. Field elements may be light emitting or heat creating elements. For light emitting elements, teams will have to use the red, green, blue, (RGB) luminosity sensor data to indicate what color the element is emitting. For the heat emitting element, teams will have to use the IR sensor to indicate if the heat emitting element is at or above ambient temperature.

7.2. Field elements may be located above or on ground level.

7.3. Teams will have one minute to gather data from as many field elements as possible.

7.4. No FPV equipment will be allowed during this challenge.

7.5. Students must have the lens cap affixed to the Bebop drone before attempting this challenge.

7.6. Students must use ROAVcopter Sensor Kit.

7.7 Scoring 

8. Calculating Tournament Champion

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

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

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

8.4. Calculating Ties

8.4.1. If two teams tie, they will share those two places. The following ranked team will receive the next available position. For example, if two teams are tied for third place, they will hold the 3th and 4th position. The next highest ranked team will receive the 5th place position.

8.4.2. Tied teams, as in the example above where teams tied for the 3rd and 4th position, will have the lower place (higher number: e.g., 4) added into their final score.

8.4.3. If two or more teams tie after calculating overall tournament score, the highest ranked team in the Remote Sensing challenge will receive the higher ranking. Next the relay challenge will be used to break the next level tie. All other teams that are tied will remain tied.