Volume X / 2021
The University of Texas at Arlington | College of Engineering

The Future of Autonomous Flight

In late 2019, teams from as far away as Blacksburg, Virginia, gathered at the Maverick Activities Center to compete in the Bell Vertical Robotics Competition. UTA was a sponsor, and several College of Engineering faculty and staff members assisted with the event. Though the event wasn’t held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is set to return to campus and a second site in Austin this November.

For the competition, teams of students combine unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based robotics to engineer a solution to a set task—in 2019, this was an on-demand mobility air taxi and food delivery challenge; this year, it’s a simulated earthquake disaster requiring humanitarian aid and relief. Students have five weeks to build their drones, then six weeks to create, build, and test solutions to the challenge once the competition parameters are revealed.