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The RADC 2021-2022 Season Game (DownDraft 2)

What is the RAD competition?

The Robotics Education and Competition Foundation Aerial Drones (RADC) Competition is a thrilling drone challenge in the form of a game. 4 drones made up of 2 Alliances fly around the field to score as many points as possible. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance. This helps future innovators (students) develop their teamwork, communication skills, critical thinking and project management. 

350 teams joined the RAD Competition in its pilot season.

DownDraft 2 Game Description

REC Foundation Aerial Drone Competition (RADC), in partnership with For The Win Robotics, is presenting a new challenge for the RAD Competition 2021-2022 called RADC DownDraft 2, which is played on a 28’ x 28’ field. Teams will be able to compete in Qualification Matches, Elimination Matches and Programming Skills Matches.

Qualification Matches and Elimination Matches: Two (2) Alliances – one (1) “red” and one (1) “blue’’- composed of two (2) Teams each, compete in a Three (3:00) minute Match.

Skills Challenges: One (1) Drone attempts to score as many points as possible in a 1 (1:00) minute skills Match

The scoring objects in RADC DownDraft 2 are Large 55mm diameter Balls and Small 40mm diameter Balls. There are a total of 36 Small Balls and 5 Large Balls. The object of the game is to score as many points as possible with your alliance partner by scoring balls in corner goals, floor goals, and landing drones on landing pads or in neutral zones.

What Drone to use?

Teams must use the Parrot Mambo as their stock drone. Parrot Mambo is one of the most inexpensive miniature drones and considered one of the best drones for education in the market too. This mini quadcopter drone is perfect for beginners with its automatic stabilization system and easy-to-use controls (via the mobile app or with the included FlyPad controller). Parrot Mambo reviews

Modifications and attachments are permitted in the game but the Parrot Mambo is the only allowed source for the batteries, electronics and motors. No additional of those may be added to a drone.

Each drone may not use more or less than four (4) motors and the battery allowed is the one in an unmodified state.

Each team can have 1 spare drone in case catastrophic damage happens to their primary drone. It should be identical to the primary or stock drone including the attachments and modifications.

Parrot Mambo Fly price is $59 on Amazon. RADC is offering RAD bundles starting from single ($390) to 12 Pack ($5,400) RAD bundles.

Tournament Format

All teams must compete in a tournament format which consists of the Qualification matches (matches comprising alliances competing to earn win points), Alliance selection (alliance captains will select their alliance partner for elimination matches) and Elimination matches (a bracket format of matches used to determine the champion alliance. 

If you are interested in participating, you may register your team here.

Other information: RECF brought its annual aerial drone competition to Southlake last year with Carroll High School as the host. The winners got the chance to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship in April in Kentucky.

Reference:

https://www.roboticseducation.org/radc/

Upcoming Workshops with RAD

Hi RAC community,

The RADC season has launched and the excitement has begun. Teams are registering and event partners are calling to plan their events. RADC is a developing program at the REC Foundation, we are growing nationwide and as this season gets underway, new teams and events will continue to be added. 

VRAD is in its final planning stages and details will be released soon!  It will be very similar to last year, but with MORE features and options. 

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to Louann at louann_cormier@roboticseducation.org. She will support you and your teams this season.

Workshops

They have a number of upcoming workshops to discuss the RADC season. Here are links to registration and more information:

Wednesday 9/29 – RADC Information Session for Coaches 

Thursday 9/30 – RADC Drones Introductory Event Partner Training

Tuesday 10/5 – RADC Information Session for Coaches

Wednesday 10/13 – RADC Drones Introductory Event Partner Training

2021-2022 Season is open DownDraft 2

The new season is open!  Check out the game manual 

When does the RADC season begin?

For the 2021-2022 Season we are planning the following

  • September 15th: DownDraft 2 Begins
  • September – November: Kick off events and workshops
  • December – February: Qualifying Tournaments
  • February – March: Regional Championship events
  • May: World Championship

FAQ about RADC

As questions come in, I capture the common ones on my FAQ sheet.  Check it out to see what the community is asking. Have a question you need to be answered? Email Louann and she’ll be happy to help.

Register your teams

Planning to compete this year, register your teams now.  By registering early, it helps us determine how many events they need to have in your area.  

Post your RADC event on Robot Events and the High Flyer award may earn a spot to the RADC World Championship!

As they work out qualifying to championship details over the next 2 months, they can offer you this opportunity now!  Post an event by Monday October 4th and the High Flyer Award will earn a spot to worlds if the following conditions are met.

  • Event must be posted and approved in Robotevents.com by Monday, October 4th
  • Event must take place between December 1st and February 13th
  • Event must be for 24 teams or more
  • Event registration must be open to all teams (no invitational events)
  • Event must have at least 14 teams registered and paid 1 week prior to the event

RADC and VRAD

  1. RADC – In-person drone competition played on a 28’ x 28’ Field.  4 Drones made up of 2 Alliances fly around the field to score as many points as possible.  The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance.  Competitions also offer skill challenges and judging.
  2. VRAD – Global multiplayer virtual aerial drone competition that is played 100% online.  Teams will use real-time programming to fly their drones and complete the challenge while earning points.  

Tip: If you register for both RADC and VRAD at the same time, you will save $50

Questions

Have a question about either of our RAD programs?  Send an email to louann_cormier@roboticseducation.org and she will be in touch.

Thanks for your online support of their programs at the REC Foundation. They look forward to seeing your students in action soon!

Why Are Drones Important for STEM Learning?

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STEM-Feature-Image

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects are essential to our modern way of life. Advanced technology is already involved in our day-to-day activities. In line with that, many of our industries have become more dependent upon technology so STEM-proficient workers are getting more in demand and important. 

A lot of people these days, especially professionals, use drones for different purposes. Top industries, such as agriculture, chemicals, conservation, construction, delivery, filmmaking, mining, etc., consider drones to help them save money, improve safety, and enhance the efficiency of their operations. It’s one of the top reasons why a lot of parents want their children to be involved in STEM education. 

To get children interested in STEM, most educators use drones to make the learning fun and educational. Like video games, flying drones can be a very enjoyable experience to keep the kids entertained and active these days. Aside from learning how robotics work, they can also study the electronic parts of the robot. 

According to statistics, the number of drone enthusiasts will grow drastically by next year, 2022. STEM degree holders will also get higher income even in non-STEM jobs.

CoDrone Mini

One of the best educational drones that’s out in the market is the CoDrone Mini

If you’re looking for a lightweight drone with a small and sturdy frame that is perfect for all ages who want to try drone coding for the first time, CoDrone Mini would be the best fit for you. Meet the Robolink CoDrone Mini quadcopter that only weighs 20 grams with a battery. This is one of the most popular drones that offers free online tutorials to teach you how to program and code with text-based coding, Python or block-based coding, Blockly. You will get a chance to learn how basic and educational drones work and at the same time enjoy flying them while learning coding and programming.

The Robolink CoDrone Mini is a great drone that will help you learn the fundamental topics like conditionals, loops, and variables that show how drones fly. On top of that, you can gain knowledge on how to code at your own pace with their free online videos and tutorials. With their technical support on the side available to help you through video chat, email or their community forum, you can enjoy your CoDrone Mini longer even when you encounter some technical issues which is very rare when you check their quick guide and follow the instructions to fly it. CoDrone really does an awesome job in helping kids learn STEM in a fun and interesting way.

References:

https://www.gettingsmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/STEM-Feature-Image.jpg

https://shop.robolink.com/products/codrone-mini

Introducing the REC Foundation Aerial Drones (RAD) program

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Molokai-High-School-HI-RAD

The REC Foundation Aerial Drones (RAD) program is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to establishing a competitive and educational platform for students of all ages. Specifically, the REC Foundation’s Aerial Drones program focuses on student opportunities in training and participating in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) related competitions involving aerial drone operations.

This program is designed to provide students with opportunities that go beyond the traditional classroom experience, including hands-on training and mentorship experiences.

The REC Foundation encourages students to not only involve themselves in activities that encourage STEM education, but also those that offer a direct connection to the sciences as it is practiced by professionals within the industry.

How does the Virtual Aerial Drone (VRAD) program work?

The following is a general overview of how the REC Foundation’s Virtual Aerial Drone (VRAD) program operates. The article will provide a more detailed look at the VRAD program in Part II.

Virtual Aerial Drone programs offer students an opportunity to explore and experience drone applications through virtual simulations, while still providing access to some hands-on training and mentorship experiences.

In brief, participants in this program operate aerial drones that are controlled by virtual reality systems. In order for this to work correctly, participants must be wearing goggles that allow them to view their computer screen from within the headset itself. This allows them to have a first-person perspective on their actions from within what they see on their monitor.

Participants are allowed to choose their preferred flying methods, including an Xbox controller or joystick. Usually, participants are able to select between “easy” and “intermediate” level flight options in order for them to gain an understanding of how VRAD works, while still allowing for room for error when learning.

The program is self-guided, allowing participants to learn at their own pace.

Students are able to log the amount of time they’ve spent learning how to operate virtual drones, which can be used for qualification purposes later on.

This way, students have access to a much larger library of drone simulations to choose from in order for them to gain experience.

For example, if one student prefers flying over racing, that participant could select a flight simulation setup that allows him/her to fly above the land instead of flying through it at high speeds. This program provides users with multiple ways of operating aerial drones within virtual reality systems. Although VRAD programs do not completely replace hands-on training experiences by the Aerial Drone communities (e.g. training camps), they do offer a platform for those interested in aerial drones to gain some familiarity with how these drone technologies function.

The benefits of participating in this program and why you should apply for it 

The REC Foundation provides a platform to students through their VRAD programs for interested individuals to gain knowledge and become a part of the Aerial Drone community.

Specifically, if you are already involved in this community or would like to be, the VRAD program offers an excellent starting point for learners of all ages who are interested in aerial drones. In addition, VRAD is designed not only for those interested in learning how to fly drones but also for those that wish to experience applications of drone operations without having the ability to do so firsthand.

VRAD also provides a virtual environment that can offer much more interaction with drones than simply reading about them from a book.

In fact, there have been participants within these programs who have had limited knowledge of radiocommunication systems or drone technologies in general but have still been able to learn how to potentially fly an aerial drone through virtual reality simulations.

DSP-2018-0426-at9i6926-e1551941601572

How to apply for this program?

Participants in the Virtual Aerial Drone program can be at any skill level, from advanced to beginner. VRAD programs are open for all students around the world who are between the ages of 8-18 years old. The REC Foundation does not currently have an upper age limit on applicants.

Participants in this program must be willing to commit a minimum of 4 hours per week to their participation in VRAD.

As mentioned earlier, participants do not need prior knowledge about drone technologies or radiocommunication systems in order to join a particular type of program because they will be taught about these topics themselves through the means of virtual reality and flight simulation.

This is why we recommend that participants be able to commit a minimum of 4 hours per week to their participation within the program, as it will take some time for them to become accustomed to learning how to use VRAD as well as immersive simulation aircraft Virtual.

Screen-Shot-2021-08-03-at-2.24.55-AM

Conclusion:

Virtual Aerial Drone programs allow for participants to gain knowledge and familiarity with drone technologies, as well as providing a way for interested individuals to learn about these technologies without having the ability to explore them firsthand.

This program is open for all who wish to join and encourages applicants of all skill levels. Come and join the REC Foundation’s Virtual Aerial Drone program!

Reference:

https://www.roboticseducation.org/radc/

Best Drone for Education

cdm_with_logo_square_2048x (1)

Robolink CoDrone Mini – STEAM Educational Drone

Robolink was established in 2012 and its main task was to encourage students all around the world to learn about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) way of education. By this way of learning, students will gain a lot of new experience which they will be able to apply for the real tasks they will have.

Robolink doesn’t only produce educational drones but they also include the curriculum learning platform. They are currently located in San Diego and have two learning centers. If you want to order your CoDrone Mini educational drone, you can do it, because they have delivery all across the world.

CoDrone Mini Educational Drone

CoDrone Mini uses radio frequency to connect the remote and drone, so the range and connection is stronger compared with other drones.

By using CoDrone educational kit, you will learn how to program drones by using text-based coding in Python or block-based one with Blockly.

Keep in mind that the CoDrone Mini’s increased durability and smaller size over CoDrone Pro/Lite makes it the ideal choice for beginners. It can do all of the same basic flight movements as CoDrone Pro/Lite, with the added capability of being able to do flips in four directions. While a smaller drone means fewer programmable LEDs and a shorter flight time, it’s a compact and affordable option to make drone coding accessible to anyone.

CoDrone Mini Price

The current price of this educational model at the time of writing this article is $89.99.

CoDrone Mini Specifications

  • Flight Range: 160 feet (48 m)
  • Flight time: 5 min
  • Weight: 0.71 ounce (20 g)
  • LED: 1 full color programmable (RGB) LED
  • Communication Protocol: Radio Frequency (RF) 2.4GHz
  • Sensors: High resolution air pressure sensor for altitude control, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer for attitude control

CoDrone Mini Kits For The Educational Purposes

If you are interested in Robolink drone kits that are suitable for classroom, you can get them for:

CoDrone Mini Set of 12 kits – $1025.00

In this package, you will get 12 CoDrones Minis that also come with 12 remote controllers. Robolink has suggested that 2 students are recommended for one drone. In the following video, you will see how to fly your CoDrone Mini with remote control.

Reference:

https://shop.robolink.com/products/codrone-mini

Should I get a CoDrone Mini or CoDrone Pro? What are the differences?

CoDrone Mini

CoDrone Mini is the latest programmable drone kit from Robolink. At only 8cm wide and 8cm long, its small and sturdy frame is perfect for all ages who want to try drone coding for the first time. CoDrone Mini’s increased durability and smaller size over CoDrone Pro/Lite makes it the ideal choice for beginners. It can do all of the same basic flight movements as CoDrone Pro/Lite, with the added capability of being able to do flips in four directions. Similar to CoDrone Lite, you can program CoDrone Mini with Blockly or Python. While a smaller drone means fewer programmable LEDs and a shorter flight time, it’s a compact and affordable option to make drone coding accessible to anyone.

With the support of students, educators, and members of our community, we recommend the CoDrone Mini as the best choice for the classroom. Unlike CoDrone Pro, CoDrone Mini comes already paired with its remote out of the box. The compact remote is preprogrammed and doesn’t have any loose bolts, wires, or extra components that could be damaged or lost. For large classes with multiple drones, radio frequency communication makes it easier to fly more drones  at a time with fewer disconnections and no pairing conflicts. You can be up and running in the first class!

DroneCoDrone MiniCoDrone Lite/Pro
PriceUSD $89.99USD $119.99/$179.99
ColorBlack/YellowBlack
BatterySingle cell Lithium ion battery (3.7V 220mAh 30C)Single cell Lithium ion battery (3.7V 300mAh)
Charge Time40 minutes40 minutes
LED1 full color programmable (RGB) LED5 full color programmable (RGB) LEDs
Flight Time< 5min5-8 min
Communication ProtocolRadio Frequency (RF) 2.4GHzBluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 2.4GHz
Range48 meters20 meters
Sensors-High resolution air pressure sensor for altitude control-3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer for attitude control-Infrared-High resolution air pressure sensor for altitude control-Optical flow sensor for auto hovering-3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer for attitude control
Weight20g (with battery)37g
Dimensions (cm)8 x 813 x 13
Programming LanguagesBlockly, PythonBlockly, Python, Arduino
Best for ages8+10+

References:

https://shop.robolink.com/

https://learn.robolink.com/

Get early learners hooked on programming with Sphero indi

Sphero indi

With the recent situation, kids are staying more at home with their gadgets, watching on YouTube, playing games alone or with their siblings. It is more challenging to get them to learn at home as they are more likely to get bored with some traditional learning devices.

Aside from engaging our pre-school children in traditional school activities, why not give them something they would really enjoy while learning and boosting their critical thinking and problem-solving skills?

Sphero has recently introduced a very exciting robot that will get your kids hooked on programming and robotics. Meet Sphero Indi, a robot that is driven and programmed through color.

What is Sphero indi?

Sphero indi is the most approachable, entry-level, learning robot for kids. indi inspires imaginative play-based learning by empowering kids to design and build their own mazes while teaching critical problem-solving and computational thinking skills. With its on-board color sensor and color tiles, Indi provides endless opportunities to rev kids’ creativity with or without the need of an app.

Screenless Programming

indi is a screenless programming robot that doesn’t require devices like laptop, tablet or smartphone to operate. With its color card programming, it would be highly appealing in a different way to early learners as it would allow them to move freely and collaborate with its more dynamic physical process. Kids can learn different skills such as pattern recognition, cause and effect, problem solving, critical and computational thinking, colors and directions. 

indi in action

Actions of indi include Go, go faster!, Slow down, Stop, Celebrate!, Turn 90° left, Turn 90° right, Turn 45° left and Turn 45° right, They can be executed through specific colors that can be read by Indi through its sensor underneath. You can build mazes with endless combinations of color tiles.

What can we learn from indi?

  • Learn skills such as colors, pattern recognition, directions, cause and effect, problem solving, and computational thinking
  • Be inspired through open-ended, imaginative play-based learning with real-life scenarios
  • Be nurtured to explore and create – kids’ natural instincts
  • So much more – the only limit is their imaginations!

indi Kits

indi can be learned at home and in the classroom. 

indi student kit is being offered at $124.99 which includes the ff:

  • 1 robot
  • 20 durable silicone color tiles
  • 1 student case
  • 15 Beginner’s Programming Challenge Cards
  • 1 quick start guide
  • 2 decorative sticker sheets to customize indi
  • 1 charging cable

indi Class Pack (8 indis) is being offered at $1,199.99 which includes the ff:

  • 8 indi robots
  • 8 durable student cases
  • 1 charging case to charge and store 8 indi robots
  • 1 Educator Guide Book
  • 1 classroom tote • 160 durable silicone color tiles (20 per student case)
  • 8 sets of 15 Beginner’s Programming Challenge Cards (15 per student case)
  • 2 sets of 30 replacement color cards with adhesive tape sheets
  • 2 decorative sticker sheets for students to customize indi
  • 8 charging cables

Learn more about indi here: https://sphero.com/pages/sphero-indi

References:

https://sphero.com/pages/sphero-indi

https://sphero.com/blogs/news/meet-sphero-indi

VEX: An Educational Robotics for Everyone

VEXcode

Why should I learn robotics? What are the benefits of learning it? Why educational robotics? Does it help me in the future? Some of the questions that pop into my head when I hear about robotics. Is it something useful for me to know? Nowadays, a lot of kids and adults are getting interested in AI and robotics. It influences every aspect of work and home. It’s becoming the driving technology underpinning a whole new generation of autonomous devices and cognitive artefacts. In view of this, I have gotten a chance to look at one of the world’s famous robotics competitions, VEX Robotics Competition. 

VEX competitions foster skills in thinking, questioning, experimenting and playing and capitalize on the motivational effects of competitions and robotics to help all students create an identity as a STEM learner.VEX Robotics has a wide variety of robotics kits from Grades Pre-K to Collegiate. Each kit has its own skills set that is designed to cater to student’s needs of all grade levels. It’s a complete educational robotics continuum that allows school admins to both vertically and horizontally align their STEM curriculum K-12. 

VEX Robotics2

With their VEXcode layout, students can start right away and easily. It’s consistent across blocks and text with all of their kits. Students can focus more on creating with technology rather than navigating a new layout as they progress from elementary to high school. 

VEXcode

On top of that, if students are away from their robots, they can still continue their learning with their newest VEXcode VR. It’s a 100% online, browser-based platform that allows students to experience all of the features of VEXcode platform with a virtualized robot. 

VEXcode VR

If you ever need a supplemental educational resource for free, VEX Robotics gives you access to their STEM Labs. It’s an easy to follow STEM lesson plan that aligns with educational standards. It contains hands-on lessons that encourage teamwork and collaboration.

STEM Labs

Experience the VEX technology now to get started with STEM education: https://www.vexrobotics.com/

References:

https://www.vexrobotics.com/competition

https://www.vexrobotics.com/vexcode

https://www.onlynaturalenergy.com/why-is-robotics-important

Start your Coding and Drone Journey with CoDrone!

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Drones have momentously shaped the education of today’s generation. There are quite a number of drones in the market, but only a few are used in learning. These past few years, drones in education are widely used and programmable drones are being utilized for STEM learning.

types-of-drones

Robolink, which is a company that aims to make STEM education accessible, engaging and fun for all has created one great drone for all to experience. CoDrone is the first ever programmable drone that was designed to teach you programming. It’s light, sleek and flies with an appeal. It is a perfect way to start your code programming journey!

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CoDrone comes in three (3) drone kit types – CoDrone Pro, Lite and Mini. Each one has its unique way to cater to your needs whether starting with a small version of the CoDrone which is the CoDrone mini that’s smaller cousin of the Pro/Lite or the CoDrone Pro which is pretty much the same as the Lite version that includes a buildable remote that allows you to expand into Arduino, Python and Blockly while with CoDrone Lite, programming languages used are Python and Blockly only.

CoDrones

These drone building kits come with all the parts you need to build a programmable controller and drone. It also includes step-by-step tutorials to get you coding in no time and these programmable drones give you the freedom to learn the basics of programming. It only takes 10 minutes to build and fly your CoDrone. Learn how to program by following free tutorials available online at Robolink.com.

Learning to code is fast and simple with CoDrone. Build your own drone with this light and easy to use programmable drone and explore the world of coding and be effective in your classroom and technology education.

References:

https://shop.robolink.com/pages/codrone-pro-lite

https://dronenodes.com/codrone-programable-drone/

https://shop.robolink.com/pages/about-us

https://www.stemfinity.com/CoDrone

https://3dinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/types-of-drones.jpg

Start a Great Introduction on Robotics with Robolink’s Rokit Smart

rokitsmart

Ever wonder what to give your kids for their birthday? Or perhaps you want them to learn and be involved with robotics with the gift that you’ll give them? There is just the right product for you and your tech savvy kids – Robolink’s Rokit Smart, one of the best robot kits for kids! It is Robolink’s original programmable robot kit perfect for those who want to start coding. This is considered a beginner robotics tool and a great introduction to both robotics and programming – a good robotics gift for children ages 12 years old and below and a good way to learn robots for elementary students in middle school.

rokit_smart_bugs_20160412

The kit includes a complete set of tools for building real robots – these are structural pieces that make up the body of each robot, and an Arduino Microcontroller, which controls the movements and actions of the robot as defined by whatever code is loaded onto it. 

FullSizeRender-1

No need to worry on how to jump start with the kit as the creator’s website, Robolink.com gives you programming lessons and instructions for building 11 robots using the Rokit Smart. Yes, you heard it right, 11 different robots from one awesome kit! The programming lessons are well-written and very easy to understand. These instructions must be followed precisely or else, the upload will fail.

This specific robot will let your kids learn design thinking and further code programming. By simply just creating their own design, they are able to build skills and even challenge themselves positively.  The Robolink website also enables their users to experience engineering scenario, where their designs are constrained by the rule of competition.

smart1_20160412

Rokit Smart has also been featured in Wall Street Journal and endorsed as one of the best robot toys for building STEM skills. One feature that’s worth noting which the Wall Street Journal pointed is that ability to program Rokit Smart with Arduino and how Rokit Smart robots can be programmed to navigate paths and mazes. Now that’s one great robot to start from – it is indeed a great introduction to engineering and design thinking for kids.

References:

https://shop.robolink.com/pages/rokit-smart

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-robot-toys-for-building-kids-stem-skills-11588334425

https://www.robolink.com/rokit-smart-featured-by-wall-street-journal/

https://engineering.purdue.edu/INSPIRE/Reviews/kits/rokit-smart

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