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ROAVcopter Mini - Elementary Rules: 2018-2019

1. The Quadcopter

1.1. The Quadcopter that is being utilized for this competition is the Parrot Mambo Fly. 

1.2. A smart phone is necessary in order to pilot the Mambo.

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

1.4. Drones can be ordered with an educational discount through the following website:

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

1.6. 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 parrot Mambo drone.

1.7. Only Parrot 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 11'-4" to 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  Power cannot be applied to the propellers unless quadcopter is in a netted area, competition or test field.

3.2. 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. 

3.3. 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). 

3.4. Only one team member will power up and operate the quadcopter; this includes the hand held controller, connected smartphone/tablet, and quadcopter.

3.5. 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”). This does not apply to specific skill challenges that permit a team member to be in the netted area during a match. 

Safety Practice Penalties 

Violating rule 3.1 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. 

Violation of other safety practices 3.2 - 3.5 will result in a formal warning followed by levels of disqualification as outlined above. 

Skill Challenge Rules

The 2018-2019 ROAVcopter Mini Challenge will focus on two different precision challenges: Manual Flight and Autonomous Flight. Each skill challenge is required to be completed by a different pilot. 

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

Autonomous Flight leverages the Mambo’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.

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 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 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.

 comp field

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


5. Autonomous Flight

5.1. Field Configuration: For this challenge, students are required to program their quadcopter to navigate through the same field elements used in the manual flight skill challenge (see figure 2).

5.2. The programming platform suggested for this competition is a tablet based drag-and-drop application called Tynker, which is freely available through the Apple Store. More information can be found at: Other applications such as Blockly can be used. 

5.3 Various points will be assigned for flying through each field element along with a precision landing. See scoring guide 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 tile 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 A team will be awarded points for precision landing if during any flight the team successfully lands on the 2' X 2', 6' X 6' square, or the tile side of the taped line. Only flights that are completed within the one minute allotted 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. Batteries can be switched during the allotted time provided that the quadcopter lands on the start tile side of the taped line.

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

5.12. Only return flights crossing the taped line and return are eligible to earn points and are eligible to initiate additional flights. 

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

5.14. Scoring

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

5.14.2.   Obstacle point value are as follows: Flying around the rope: 2 Flying through the upper vertical hoop: 2 Flying through the upper horizontal hoop: 3 Flying through the two lower hoops as defined in the manual flight challenge: 2 Landing on the 2’ X 2’ finish tile: 3 Landing on the 6’ X 6’ finish tile: 2 Landing on the start tile side of the taped line: 1

5.14.3. 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.

5.14.4. Obstacles can only be scored once. 

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

5.15.4.   Scoring Example: A team opts to complete the tasks in one flight. They navigate around the rope, through the lower hoops, and through the upper hoop. On the return to the starting tile, they land on the 6' x 6' tile. Elapsed time: 36 seconds. Points earned: 8 A team opts to complete the task using two flights. The first flight, the team travels through the lower hoops, the upper 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: 8 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.  


 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.