View the 2021-2022 challenge guide: 2021 RDL Challenge Guide Dragonfly REV 3.2

Robot Drone League

  • Combines the excitement of competition sport with science and technology
  • Provides a rigorous game, played with robotics and drones
  • Students develop skills used in the technology industry
  • 75% of students involved in Robot Drone League are more likely to attend post-secondary education
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Robot Drone League (RDL) started 6 years ago in Boca Raton, Florida by Dr. Scooter Willis. His team at TechGarage created and designed the robotics competition as an initiative to help serve at-risk youth in the North Miami area. The RDL season runs from September to January. It consists of a ten-minute match with a one-minute autonomous period at the start. RDL allows students to learn fundamentals skills in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Python coding, teamwork, communication, and mechanical and electrical engineering. Unlike other robotics competitions, students are to design, build, and code their robots without intervention from their mentors. Students work in teams of no more than fifteen members throughout the competition season to build a robot and program a drone. A Kit of Parts may be purchased for first-year teams. The Kit of Parts consists of aircraft-grade aluminum from GoBilda, vex motor controllers, a Raspberry Pi, a Raspberry Pi Camera, a Ryze Tello Drone, a Bluetooth Logitech Controller, and other essential parts to assist in completing a robot.

The 2022-2023 Challenge, “Bermuda Triangle”, is set to be released on May 1st, 2022.

In the 2021-2022 DragonFly challenge, teams must collect HydroPods, NitroPods, and CarbonPods to create molecular assemblies of molecules found on Mars’s surface. Teams also must transverse across the surface to survey for images placed around the field to identify the contents of the image. Robots must place a seismometer inside the mountain and measure seismic activity. Drones must deliver an Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to the great methane lake, Lake Photon. At the same time, these machines must fly over beacons, powered by ultrasonic sensors, to illuminate the alliance’s color. Drones also need to deliver satellites to the appropriately colored landing pads on top of the mountains.

Creativity and innovation are critical elements in advancing the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into the future. Robot Drone League is designed to provide students with open-ended challenges that allow for creation and innovation by engaging in hands-on design, engineering, and programming of interactive robots and drones. Working with robots in a collaborative game format can be a very powerful tool to engage students and enhance math and science skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. Through participation in RDL, students can develop the essential life skills of teamwork and collaboration, as well as critical thinking, project management, and communication required to become the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers in our global society.