What is RDL?

Robot Drone League (RDL) had its start in Boca Raton, Florida by Dr. Scooter Willis. His team at TechGarage created and designed the robotics competition as an initiative to help serve at-risk youth in the North Miami area. The RDL season runs from September to January. It consists of a ten-minute match with a one-minute autonomous period at the start. RDL allows students to learn fundamental skills in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Python coding, teamwork, communication, and mechanical and electrical engineering. Unlike other robotics competitions, students are to design, build, and code their robots without intervention from their mentors. Students work in teams of no more than fifteen members throughout the competition season to build a robot and program a drone.

A Kit of Parts may be purchased for first-year teams.

The 2022-2023 Bermuda Triangle Challenge includes an exciting Robot Drone League (RDL) game, centered around real-world aspects of undersea technology. Machine design and collaboration are key to scoring maximum points. 

In the 2021-2022 RDL Dragonfly mission, teams retrieved samples from Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. While completing tasks and collecting samples, some unique, never-before-seen samples were found on Titan’s surface. These samples, extremely time-sensitive, were rushed back to Earth for observation. While the returning space craft was in descent through Earth’s atmosphere just over the Bermuda Triangle, all signals and controls were lost, which led it straight to a splashdown in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Teams, partnering with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), are assigned with the mission of retrieving this crucial sample from the bottom of the ocean floor. WHOI has asked teams to maintain connection with Underwater Acoustic Transponders (UAT) and to collect manganese while also retrieving the sample boxes.

RDL implements Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the completion of grade-appropriate science and math questions.