Vertical Robotics Competition FAQ

Drone Competition FAQ Section

This section has been designed to publish all of questions we have received from students, teachers, and mentors. In return we have provided the correct responses for the competition. We will continue to update this section as we receive new questions.

What is the role of both the spotter and the flight leader on the flight team?
The spotter is the pilot’s “partner”. While the pilot must keep an eye-on the drone at all times, the spotter’s job is to survey the surrounding area for flight risks and assisting in any other way necessary. FAA guidelines dictate that all first-person-view pilots have a spotter, but it is also advised to have someone in this capacity for line-of-sight flying as well.
The “Flight Lead” is more specific to our competition purposes. This position simply provides the opportunity to have someone “coaching” the pilot and spotter based on strategy, as well as to help aid communication between the pilot/spotter and the operator, who will be operating the ball chute.
Overall, the idea is that the pilot focuses on nothing but the drone, the spotter helps make sure the pilot can do their job. The operator interacts with the field (or acts as an extra set of eyes from a different angle), and the flight lead coordinates the whole flight crew.
This question was submitted on March 24, 2018
What are the specs for the Porcupine Balls and the green balls?

Rather than providing the specs for the two special balls (porcupine and the green power ball), we decided to give a sample to each of the teams to use in the design efforts.  Unfortunately we did not get those added to the Trinity and Richland drone kits.

Your mentors will be able to pick up those sample balls on Wednesday and can bring them to your teams at the next working session.  Please coordinate with your mentors if you need to get them earlier.

This question was submitted on March 27, 2018

Troubleshooting Windows 10 and NAZA Software Drivers

Click here to read the PDF Manual if you are having difficulties getting the NAZA Software Drivers to work 

Do Both Drones Need to Have Similar Configurations For The Competition?

Both drones must be exact replicas of one another. The intent and purpose of having a second drone throughout the competition is only to replace the first drone, should it malfunction or crash.

This questions was submitted on March 28, 2018

Section 3.3.6 States All Drones Must Have Working FRONT and Rear Lights. The Kit Comes With Only One Light. Section 3.3.1 Doesn't List an Exception for Adding an FRONT Light. What is the Ruling?

Only a rear light is required on each team’s drone. Teams are allowed to add more LED’s improve safety and visibility, but only a rear light will be provided in the kit.

This question was submitted on April 1, 2018

What Are The Safety Rules When Flying The Drones For Practice?

Safety Requirements

  1. Flight should be performed in a large room, a cafeteria or gym, with a 15ft ceiling or better. Avoid classrooms and hallways.
  2. A teacher or mentor is always present when students are flying.
  3. Pilots and teacher or mentors will lay out a line on the ground where students stay one side and the drone is flown on the other, the line acting as a visual barrier between students and drone.
  4. A student acts as a spotter and keeps others from walking into the flying area.
  5. If someone walks into the flying area, the pilot lands the drone immediately.
  6. Pilot and spotter must keep the drone insight at all times.
How will the video be relayed back to the user during the search and rescue event?

The simple answer is that your team will not have to assemble or practice using the camera. The flying for the search and rescue event will be completely based on line of sight and person-to-person communication.

Question submitted on April 15, 2018

Will there be a pit area for the competition teams and what size will it be?
Each team will have a 6 foot long table for the “pit area”. It will be an open area and each team will have a table.
Question submitted on April 17, 2018
With reference to the repairs and time-out rules, will a time-out be required to "Right" a drone that has tipped over during the competition?
Please keep in mind the maximum number of time-outs is two per match.
Question submitted on April 20, 2018
For the high school competition, what is the official due date for the team presentation?
The due date is Monday, April 13 for Middle Schools.
Ideally submissions for the High School Event (if submitting power point and/or video type presentations) will be due on Friday by noon.
If you your team has nothing to submit (which means the team will only conduct a verbal presentation), then there is no need to submit anything.
Question was submitted on April 22, 2018
What if the drone battery does not last for the full duration of the event?
If your drone runs out of battery power during an event, an official time-out will be called (not to be confused with a team time-out).
Additional batteries and chargers will also be provided and on hand so that all teams may have access to a fresh battery for the duration of each event.
Question was submitted on April 23, 2018
What counts for points if we attempt to drop the balls into the basket and the net system we use has some of the balls inside the basket and some of the balls outside?
Only the balls that end up inside the ring (of the basket), which either partially or fully break the top plane of the basket, will qualify as points.
Question was submitted on April 24, 2018