Male student flying Parrot Mambo drone through 2020 RAD competition field
Chelsea Bladow
Chelsea Bladow
2020 RAD Aerial Drone Competition

The National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) was proud to sponsor the 1st ever RAD Aerial Drone Competition in the Nation! This event took place in conjunction with the VEX Robotics Minnesota State Championship at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, MN on Friday, January 31st.  


The teams racing in the RAD Competition used pre-built Parrot Mambo drones. There were two components to the RAD competition – Drone Racing and Package Delivery. The object of the Drone Race was to navigate the racecourse and land on the starting platform faster than your opponent. In this head-to-head simultaneous race, racers had to avoid obstacles as well as their opponent! The object of the Package Delivery was to navigate the racecourse, accurately deliver the payload, and return to the starting platform as quickly as possible. The teams were ranked on their skills in flying and operating the drone. 


Thief River 3277A won the package delivery event with the best time of 51 seconds. An all-girls Win-E-Mac 5300Z team won the VLOS Racing competition. Two teams tied for the ACE award – Win-E-Mac 5300Z and Newfolden 5450W. Both Win-E-Mac 5300Z and Newfolden 5450W received invites to the RAD World Championship tournament which will be held in Louisville, KY at the end of April. 

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