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A sky high win: Robowranglers dominate drone competition

November 15, 2021 

A sky high win: Robowranglers dominate drone competition

The Robowranglers are already known for their dominance on the ground. Now, they're taking their engineering expertise to the air in drone competitions, including this recent win at the BELL Vertical Robotics Competition. The Robowranglers took first place in their event and the award for best overall design.
This year's competition also had real-world application. Students were challenged to design a drone that could search for and rescue earthquake survivors.

The Robowranglers' drone had to survey a mountain to find an open path, which then allowed a land vehicle to cross the mountain and rescue three hikers. The drone also had to drop off supplies to different buildings and then carry the hikers from the vehicle to safety across the beach. Scores were calculated by adding up the total scores from three matches and an engineering notebook and presentation score. 

The team even got to meet Alex Vanover, a world champion in the Drone Racing League, and show him the design. Team members include:
  • Andy Sheilds
  • Mille Escobedo
  • Joseph Grimes
  • Johnathan Bass
  • Caleb Yost
  • Angel Gonzolez
  • Brian Ward
"Getting back into competition mode with the students has been a wonderful experience that was much needed for the whole team," Robowranglers Coach Adrienne Emerson said. "This competition was a great addition to the robotics program as it provided us an opportunity in the fall, when we are normally not very busy, to practice engineering, designing, and manufacturing skills to prepare for our normal competition which starts in January. The students worked so hard to create a winning design and strategy that wowed the judges and event organizers. These students continue to compete at an extremely high level and represent the Greenville community in the best possible way on a world stage. But for now it's back to work for three weeks to iterate and improve our design and presentation to fight the 8 other qualifiers for a world championship win." 

This is the second year of this competition, and there were three events in Texas, with the top three finishers qualifying for the championship event coming up at Bell Headquarters in Fort Worth on December 4.