2021 Bell Vertical Robotics Competition Champions Announced

GREENVILLE, Texas, Dec. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- At the high-flying 2021 Bell Vertical Robotics Competition Earthquake Search & Rescue Challenge Championship, nine high school teams from around the country competed with their drones, with three teams recognized as champions at the event, hosted at Bell headquarters. Two teams from Texas and one team from Michigan received top honors. The Robowranglers from Greenville High School in Greenville, Texas won first prize; RoboChargers from Conrad High School in Dallas, Texas earned second prize; and RoboDawgs from Grandville High School in Grandville, Michigan took third prize.  

To add to the excitement of the event, professional drone racing pilot and 2019 Drone Racing League World Champion Alex Vanover showcased his impressive drone skills. 

A total of 52 teams from across the country competed in this year's competition, in partnership with the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation.

Two recent qualifying events led to the Earthquake Search & Rescue Championship that included a series of surveillance, rescue, and supply missions using custom-built drones. This STEM-based competition allowed teams to develop and implement various vertical lift prototypes to address dynamic transportation issues related to future emergency medical services, commuter travel, cargo movement, and more.

"Congratulations to the winners and all students who participated. Your drones and teamwork exemplify creative and strategic problem-solving in this competition's fast-paced challenge," said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. "We are very excited to have collaborated with Bell to host this event. The Bell V5RC program provides the opportunity for young innovators to learn the skills to help solve real-world issues using vertical robots."

"For the past five years, Bell has been a proud sponsor of this dynamic challenge and worked with the REC Foundation to deliver educational opportunities to the next generation of innovators," said Michael Thacker, executive vice president of Innovation and Commercial Business, Bell. "Together, we are thrilled to create a space where students can demonstrate their impressive capabilities, challenge each other, and lay the foundation for solutions our world will greatly benefit from in the future. Congratulations to the winners and all the participants for your excellent work."

About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation's mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs.

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we've been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA's first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we're defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

Media Contacts

REC Foundation: Jenn Goonan  - jenn@rocketsociaimpact.com
Bell: Alexis Baird - mediarelations@bh.com

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