Updated: Feb 20, 2019 @ 10:19 am

The full Team Drone Challenge Manual is available to registered teams starting at Kick-Off.  Kick-Off is on or around October 1 each year as part of our Annual Drone Info Day.  The manual covers everything from “Who can be on a team?” to “How big can my team’s drone be?”   We’re happy to answer any of your basic questions anytime, by email or phone.  CNYDrones@gmail.com or 315-732-1001 (leave message & your call will be returned)

If you would like to ask a question about the challenge that has not been answered in the manual or is posted on this website, please add a comment below and our members will try their best to get an answer to you.

If you have question that has nothing to do with the Challenge, please ask it on the Community Q&A Page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Feb 20, 2019 @ 10:19 am

Q:  Do I need to have a 30’x60′ field to practice?

A:  NO! We realize not everyone has access to a gym. A larger space is better, but not needed until basic flying skills are developed. Practicing indoors is best for beginners to learn the controls without risk of losing the drone. Just make sure to remove anything that could be broken by an impact with a drone. To reiterate, bedroom = bad, auditorium = better, empty gym = good. You can also fly outside, but make sure to start out on a large field with few obstacles. Also make sure it is relatively calm with no wind. Once you are comfortable flying then you can try more complex environments. Also to learn to fly First Person View (FPV), using a simulator is recommended. If you crash in a simulator, you can just restart. Here is a video from Flite Test that explains how to fly a multirotor (drone): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6btEFJJD4_o

Q:  How do I get the field elements to practice?
A:  CNY Drones creates an annual Team Drone Challenge with cost in mind.    Field elements are made with readily available parts to make it easy for teams to get started.  Any exceptions will be made available to teams that register for the competition.  We also provide registered teams with instructions for how to assemble field elements or recreate any needed heights or distances for practice.  Elements generally require maneuvering through obstacles, taking off and landing, the ability to land on a moving object, picking up items, dropping off items, and taking photos or video.  Additional elements, including any use of sensors, will be described in the Challenge Manual. We suggest starting with easier elements and working up to those that require higher level skills. Our Challenges are created to allow any team the opportunity to participate.

Q:  How do I get help starting a team?

A:  Ask us!  Use our Team Development Request Form  or simply email us anytime:  CNYDrones@gmail.com!


Q:  Does CNY Drones assist in placing team members?  

A:  Sorry, we do not get involved with team member placement.  We’ve made teams easy to form.  We’re an OPEN competition!   Start one on your own or bring the idea to your school.  Our thoroughly planned low-cost approach makes it easy to get started.

Q:  When should I register for the 2019 FOREST FURY at SUNY Polytechnic Institute?

A:   As soon as possible!  With the expected growth of teams, there is a strong possibility of our 16 team, 2 field competition filling quickly with teams planning early.   We’ve already had indications that some schools are developing more than one team.   We currently do not have a second competition for 2019 & are only considering a possible scrimmage date for registered teams.   Early registration gives us a heads up for this season & next — & allows us to plan more pre-competition opportunities for teams to learn and share!

Q:  Who can compete?

A: We are currently an OPEN competition for teams ages 11+.  We do target middle & high school teams, although all are welcome to join in!   We allow officially competing teams as well as showcase teams who do not wish to be scored.  School teams, home-school teams, after school programs, community groups, family and friend teams – any combination.  We encourage companies to consider sponsoring teams and showcasing employee-created showcase entries!  We’re looking for participation – specifically in the area of the NYS Drone Test Corridor, but we’ll accept teams willing to travel.  Last season we had a team travel from Connecticut.  We’re hoping they will join us again!   We ask that teams have at least one adult mentor at the competition.   We anticipate having a middle/high school division and a college division for 2020.  For 2019 there are 17 registered teams – all are middle/high school level.  

Q:  How do I build a drone for competition?

A:  Our mentors are working with students from SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s CGAM (Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing) student clubs  (AMA UMASC, 3D Printing & Design, Fabrication/Combat Bots & Maker Club) to create registered team-exclusive build information, build videos and hangouts/livestreams for looking for assistance with their first-build.  Here’s a basic build by Lead Mentor, Paul Brown.  YouTube Video

Other questions?  Just ask!   We attempt to respond to requests within 24 hours.  Please give us as much information as possible – contact phone number, best time to be reached along with any photos that could assist us in diagnosing your issue.

Q:  What are the drone specs for the 2019 competition?

A:   Maximum drone size is 500 mm motor to motor.   Drone motors maximum size: 2213.  Drone motors maximum kv: 2500.   Prop size maximum: 7 inch & under.  Battery size: 3S & under.    Further details are in the Challenge Manual provided upon registration.  Always refer to the latest update of the Challenge Manual.

Q. What’s new for 2019?

A:  This season’s Challenge Manual and scoring possibilities are more extensive.  Awards have changed to further differentiate team participation.  Regarding Inspection –  all teams must provide a final drone spec, drone photo & brief flight worthiness video prior to competition.  Scoring sheets are more detailed.  Safety rules and inspection are more extensive including quizzing of team knowledge in the pits as a part of Inspection.  To get details, register your team, and we’ll send you the Forest Fury Manual!

Q:  How much assistance can teams request from CNY Drones Mentors?

A:  Mentors are available to answer basic build questions to help get teams started.  As teams progress and attempt to add more technically challenging equipment to their drones, our policy is NOT give teams specific solutions that could give them a competitive edge.  

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