The 2018 season was named “CrossOver.” The field was a 40 ft x 40 ft square split into a Blue Alliance and a Red Alliance. With a teetering bridge separating the two sides, teams had to cross the bridge to obtain field elements to score points. There was also a Low Scoring Zone and a High Scoring Zone for scoring by drones. The RDL Challenge CrossOver provided an opportunity for students to build a robot to solve exciting engineering challenges, with the guidance of an adult mentor. Students collaborated with their teammates and other teams in a teamwork format to strategically place CrossOver blocks and balls, color-coordinated to match assigned alliance into scoring zones. Teams scored points by moving the red alliance, blue alliance, or green (neutral) scoring elements (3-inch cubes and 2-inch foam balls) from starting positions (aft of the yellow dashed line towards each respective team station) to the scoring zones (low or high goals). Teams were given the opportunity to earn additional points for stacks on each alliance color’s base in a 10-minute match. Alliance robots were outfitted with one balloon each at the beginning of each match. Drones received points if able to “pop” the opposing alliance’s balloon. Alliances were allowed to replace one balloon for each robot during the match. During the match, there were TVs placed on each alliance’s side that displayed science and math problems for the teams to solve via drone video feed.
The second season, in 2019, was named “Towers of Titan,” based off Mars’s largest moon. The primary scoring elements were PeeWee Power Pellets, Zapper Zots, and Mega Power Orbs. The object of the game was to score as many scoring elements (PeeWee Power Pellets, Zapper Zots, and Mega Power Orbs) as possible within a ten-minute match, with the first one minute in autonomous function mode only. Scoring elements were placed into three assorted holes located on the scoring towers in each alliance territory. Students would also have to land a drone atop the scoring tower to illuminate the beacons controlled by RFID chips.
In the fall of 2020, a new mission was released, named “Dragonfly”. Due to the pandemic, this annual challenge will be re-released as the 2021 Challenge. Dragonfly is based on NASA’s mission to send rotorcrafts to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in search of life. This mission is expected to launch in 2027.