Updated: Apr 25, 2019 @ 9:30 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: Apr 25, 2019 @ 9:30 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 next competition at SUNY Polytechnic Institute?

A:   Registration opens each season on Kick-Off Day around the 1st of October.   With the expected growth of teams combined with our new 2 levels of competition, slots will fill faster than ever.  Early registration gives you access to our mentors as early as possible & allows us to plan more pre-competition opportunities!

Q:  Who can compete?

A: For 2020 & beyond the Middle/High School level is open to ages 12 to 18.  The new College/Adult level gives younger participants interaction opportunities with their upper-level peers.    We encourage companies to consider sponsoring teams and showcasing employee-created showcase entries!  We’re looking for participation – specifically from schools surrounding the NYS UAS Test Site in Rome, NY & the NYS UAS Corridor, but we accept teams willing to travel to us here in Central New York!  

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 & Baja 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 2020?

A1:  This season’s Challenge Manual and scoring possibilities continue to be more extensive than our prior 2 seasons.  It is a MUST read – and only available in a complete form to registered teams.  

A2: Awards are subject to further differentiate team participation.  

A3: We’re tightening up our rules regarding a final drone spec & flight worthiness video clip prior to competition – be prepared!  

A4: A second level of competition has been added – a new College/Adult level adds to the excitement & will give younger teams interaction possibilities with college students & adult counterparts.  Each level will be limited to 12 teams, competing on 2 competition fields.

A5:  We’re working on adding the optional use of a 2nd micro drone with an additional pilot & observer.  Additional info to be released.

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.  Mentors can be reached by email, phone and during scheduled hangouts that coincide with our weekly Planning Committee meetings.  Questions should be posed by the Team Coach.  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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