Ideaventions Academy "Daedalus" team from Reston, Virginia, won first place in the northeast regional Bell Advanced Vertical Robotics (AVR) competitions held on November 19 and 20th in Owings Mills, MD, earning them a spot at the National AVR competition on December 3 in Arlington, Texas.
This is the first year that the Ideaventions team "Daedalus", comprised of students in grades 7 - 11, participated in the Bell AVR program. This year's theme simulates an Emergency Firefighting situation, and as described on the robotics education website, "Students use hands-on, industry-standard tools to design, build, and compete against teams from around the US with the most advanced aerial robotics technology available today."
"This was a great opportunity to think like engineers, apply engineering practices, and of course, fly a huge drone," said Arya Lohia, Daedalus Project Manager and junior at Ideaventions Academy.
The competition requires teams to build a large drone, incorporate thermal and visual sensing, design and build a system to gather and dispense "water" (25mm plastic balls) from the drone, and fly during the competition to accomplish tasks and earn points. A second drone and ground vehicle are programmed by the team to autonomously navigate through the game course, while three small manually controlled robots complete tasks to earn additional points. The teams prepare an engineering notebook and present their designs and game strategy to a panel of industry expert judges.
"This competition gave students a chance to experience real-world engineering to analyze and solve problems using aerial robotics," said Ryan Heitz, Head of School. "By adopting a systems engineering approach, the team tackled complex challenges and gained inspiration to become future technologists."