Fly. Repair. Compete. Build.


That's the GoDroneX approach.

First Person View (FPV) is where the fun starts. These drones are not autonomous.  They require operator skill and stick time. Our approach engages students quickly with hands-on skill based flying.  

What happens next?

The drone breaks and it's repair time just like in our Drone Clan Wars competition.

Think e-Sports

E-sports require operator skill and strategy; something that is lacking in typical robotics competitions.

Since the course is dynamic, teams constantly adapt their battle plan.

“The Force Field is down.
Do we take the shortcut on our next attack?”

That’s critical thinking.

That’s Drone Clan Wars.


Not all robots have Wheels


We think of our robotic engagements as kinetic art.

Students design, fabricate and program engagements that sense the drone FPV frequency triggering lighting and motion. Think Drone Fly Swatter!

Let’s put the ‘A’ into STEM.

Who said robots have to be a bucket of bolts?


Students enjoyed the challenge of planning ahead, problem-solving, repairing drones, and of course flying through challenging obstacles. I would highly recommend this experience for any upper elementary, middle or high school.

Julie Nelson
Westgate Elementary

The GoDroneX program removed all the fear of starting a drone robotics program. All the research was done, the correct equipment is all spelled out and his training is really geared to get the extreme novice up and flying quickly!

Nick Iodice
Quest Academy

Competition is always a motivator for kids, not just for the racing aspect but also for course design, students are already thinking of what they can do to make next year’s course even better.

Chip Fink
New Trier High School

What Students Learn



Drone Clan Wars takes the course and transforms it into a robotic battlefield. Robotic engagements encompass design, fabrication, programming, circuits and sensors.

Project Ideas

#1 Force Fields are Down Captain
Skill: Intermediate
Program two lighting scenes. Run one for two minutes with a red color and the other for 20 seconds with a green color. When red teams can take a shortcut from where ever they are on the course straight to the Emperium X Command and launch an attack quicker. More points means more wins!

#2 Video Meter
Skill: Beginner
Continually read all the inputs of the 4 video channel signal strengths. When one gets to 60 turn the Versa Gate edge lighting to one of the 4 corresponding (Red, Green, Blue, Pink). Then use one pixel to function as a meter showing the relative signal strength


From one of our robotic warrior teams . .

“We created a new boss for the Emperium called ‘Eagle Eyes’. She waits patiently for FPV drones to come through. We read the video strength from the FPV drone transmitter with a sensor inside the Brain and when it gets to a 68 reading Eagle Eyes preys on the drones by swinging the claws. The Eagle billboard glows red and the edge lighting does an animated purple chase scene. We want to add some sound effects next maybe then some animatronics to make the eyes move. That would be cool. Also since we can identify which team they are by their channel frequency, maybe have the claws selectively chose who they attack. Maybe glow Blue so the Blue team know we are waiting to pounce on them. You know, get inside their heads a little.”

Blue Team you better watch out! Eagle Eyes is gunning for ya’.


Get Started with Bundles


Our Starter Bundles target:

  1. performance FPV drones

  2. robotic engagements

  3. curriculum


Basic Bundle is FPV drone equipment for 1 team complete with spares. No engagement robotics.

Club Bundle handles 4 full teams with spare parts and drones. It adds robotic engagements and programming into the mix for deeper learning. Throw in the pro engagment Force Field so warriors use more strategy during drone game competition.

Class Bundle adds Air Stairs as well as access to advanced classroom modules such as programming menu design, advanced lighting scenes, motor acceleration, timing sensors and IoT advanced communications.

You don’t like our bundles? No Problem. Buy your own. Use what’s lying around. At GoDroneX we DON’T force you to use our recommendations. Just meet the drone and engagement specs.

And finally there is training. Jump start your e-sports aerial robot program with Professional Development or half day Drone Camps.

Scholastic Competition


Scholastic Drone Gaming Competition

The year is 2099.

The evil Emperium X gained control of the galaxy.

But the Federation is determined to take back control. They have organized Warrior Clans to pilot small but highly effective drones to take back what is rightfully theirs.

Can these bold Warriors take down the Emperium X bosses?

Can they keep the drones damage free?

There is a whole lot of STE A Ming going on.


Team Competition
“Clan Battles”

Teams of two warriors battle the Emperium for 8 minutes taking turn navigating robotic engagements. We use a points based gaming approach where competitors earn credits by attacking the Emperium X Command. But keep a watchful eye out when the Force Field drops. That means you can take the shortcut.

Strategy. Critical thinking. E-Sports.


Solo Competition
“Orbit Blaster”

Time for individual warriors to show their stuff and impress the Federation. Who can orbit the complexities of the galaxy the fastest?


Robotic Engagement Competition
"Xponent Challenge"

Reports to the Federation say the evil Emperium X has attacked planet Anterees. Sadly our current warp drive energy system will not get us there in time. If we only had a portal that could transcend time and space to save Anterees!

Your 2019 challenge is to build a Hyper Space.

It's up to you Warriors. Antrees need your brainpower!

  • Grades K - 8 (elementary & middle school)
  • Grades 9 - 12 (high school)

Engagement Criteria

  • Portals openings must be at least 4 square feet
    (576 square inches).

  • Theme

  • High visibility with FPV

  • Easy to setup and take down

  • Portable and store compactly

  • Programming LEDs, motors, sounds, sensors

  • Scene Complexity

  • User Interface

  • Durability




  • Weight : up to 60g
    (all up weight including batteries)

  • Prop Guards: required
    (does NOT have be fully ducted, partial guards are allowed)

  • Video Transmitter: 25mw

  • Battery size, cell count, prop size: No restrictions

There are very few restrictions. Having a maximum weight and prop guards addresses all saftey concerns allowing team members to be on the course during competition.
60 grams = weight of 2 tablespoons of butter.
Dodge ball , football and soccer are dangerous.
GoDroneX’s Drone Clan Wars is not.


Dragon X


As the leader of Imperium X DRAGON X guards the Narrows, a tight planetary section of the galaxy that leads to Imperium X's command center. If you can't go around him go through him!



IDIOM sits at the top of the Air Stairs . His job is to keep you from reaching the sky summit by swirling the clouds. Round and round you go.



The GATE KEEPER controls the Exodus from the Emperium's command central. The portal morphs in size so timing is everything.



The TOLL TAKER is the blacksheep of Imperium X. With no loyalty to anyone, he will let you pass though the Skyway portal maze but at a cost of all your energy. Sorry buddy, no spare change.



The Federation recently detected the Imperium X's secret 4th dimension Time Warp portal overseen by Willow. Adapt the flight path or get swatted like flies.



The Federation Warriors have a trick up their sleeve that Imperium X doesn't know about. Hyperspace catapults the drones through the time / space continuum. You need more power? You got it!



Team Competition: “Clan Battles”

  1. Clans of two warriors fly for 8 minutes earning points. Each attack on the Emperium X Command (orbit) is worth one point. Warriors complete their last attack which also counts as 1 point once the battle ends.

  2. No restriction on the number of clans per school. Example: Winston Varsity A, Winston Varsity B, Winston JV A.

  3. A clan can only use 1 shortcut per engagement cycle.

  4. Clan event results are based the combined point of the 3 best battles.

  5. If there is a tie going into the last round the roster is shuffled so tied clans in their respective class (JV or Varsity) go head to head. The winner is who flies the most attacks fastest.

  6. There still can be ties from clans not in the same heat. In this case there is a run off of 4 minutes. Each pilot must fly 40% of the attacks.

  7. Clan event points for season scoring use a percentile method. Note this is at the clan level and not the school or individual level. Clans compete against all other clans including teams from their own school.

  8. Clan members can change from event to event. An improving student can earn their way to say “Winston Varsity A” during the season but the team of “Winston A” is still the same team in terms of season points.

  9. A warrior can be on two clans for a single event provided:
    - there is an odd number of competitors from a school
    - the double duty pilot is from the same level (Varsity or JV)

  10. Season Team Scoring: Count best two regular season points and double Champs points. So half the team’s score is from the regular season and half is from Champs. Clan awards / trophies go to whomever is on the clan at Champs.


Solo Competition: “Orbit Blaster”

  1. This is a separate solo competition held after Clan Battles.
    Usually 25 - 30 minutes.

  2. Four chairs are removed from the flight line leaving 1 chair for each frequency.

  3. It is open seat meaning there is no designated order. First come first serve. Form a line behind each of the 4 warrior stations.

  4. Fly as many orbits within two minutes.
    Then the next set of warriors take their seats.

  5. Shortcuts are not in play during Orbit Blaster.

  6. After each heat the official record keeper records the student’s name, best attack time and course (Varsity or JV).

  7. Scoring is at two levels; JV and Varsity.
    Each warrior flies the appropriate course (JV or Varsity). Since this is a separate solo competition a student may compete at a different level than Clan Battles.

  8. Event Director will declare start time and end time. No new heats can be started after the declared end time but warriors currently flying can finish their two minute time allotment.

  9. Event points are percentile based.

  10. Season Solo Scoring: The final season ranking is identical to Clan Battles. Count best two regular season points and double Champs points.


School Competition: “Xponent Challenge”

  1. Robotic Engagements are scored only once during Champs not at regular season events.

  2. Judging is at the school level not team or individual.

  3. Schools can bring their engagements to regular season for real world shake downs.

  4. It is up to the Event Director to determine if the engagement is event worthy. For example if an engagement were to breakdown during the middle of the round that would create an unfair advantage to others following the breakdown in the same round.

    See downloads for Xponent judging form.


General Information

  1. At-Large individuals who don’t have a participating school are allowing into competition. Ask the event director to get a teammate for Clan Battles. Pairing should be at the same level (Varsity or JV). For example a Varsity warrior can not be paired with a JV At-Large.

  2. Warriors who miss the Participant meeting may at the discretion of the Event Director be penalized one round.

  3. Reruns may be granted by the Event Director if there is a video issue NOT caused by the warrior / team.

  4. A warrior who misses any engagement / portal must return back and fly through it if notified by any judge. Failure to due so means no future attacks points are counted until the issue is rectified.

  5. Four minutes is the maximum staging time between battles. The Event Director can override this on a case by case example. Participants are expected to be at the staging area 4 minutes prior to their battle. It is the responsibility of the competitors to stay informed as to what the current heat number is. It is NOT the Event Director or Pit Boss’ responsibility to locate the next team up. However teams arriving late to their round may still participate with the remaining time left in the battle as long as their video is set to the correct channel.

  6. The Event Director is responsible for submitting results to the Regional Coordinator for validation and entry into standings.

  7. Event Director has the final say on anything that happens at the event.

  8. There is no overall / combined winner of the Clan Battles, Orbit Blaster and Xponent Challenge. Each has their own separate competition.

Q & A


regarding Jump Start
and Drone Clan Wars.

Q1: What's a typical budget?

First Year: $3,000 (which includes stipends)
First Year: Equipment Only: $1,200 (4 drones, monitors, chargers, batteries and spare parts for one year )
Second Year: $200 (new batteries & replenish spare parts) to $1,000 (upgrade to Varsity Drones and robotic supplies for Xponent Challenge).

What’s the absolute minimum?
For $480 you can purchase our Basics Bundle which will get 1 team in the air.


Q2: Do we have to buy the equipment from you?

You can purchase the equipment from anyone. The only restriction is for the Xponent Challenge you must use the XP Brain.


Q3: Do competitions have entry fees?

Competitions vary from free to a nominal charge to cover trophies and misc.  You bring your own lunch. We try to finish by 1 pm.


Q4: How is the competition funded?

What's left of the Jump Start fees after school equipment purchases go back into the program to pay for the Championship course maintenance. Plus a lot of volunteer time. The program was designed to be low cost, high stick time and intergalactic fun.


Q05: Is this a classroom style program or an after school club?

Both. There is free training and a subscription based curriculum with lesson plans for more detailed modules.


Q6: Is there programming?

The Xponent Challenge involves design, programming, wiring and fabrication of robotic course engagements.


Q7: Can we 3D print anything?

Yes. The Xponent Challenge allows ample opportunity for creative designs.


Q08: Do we build our own drones?

It's optional. Most schools leave that to their second year of competition. But repairing drones is on-going.


Q09: What do materials cost for an Xponent Challenge obstacle?

All parts if purchased new would be under $250.


Q10: How much time is needed after school?

The standard is 1 hour for 15 weeks.


Q11: Is there a cap on club size?

Highly recommend no more than 10 if you have active flyers. We can fly 4 FPV drones at the same time. Anymore and our analog video reception suffers. The goal is 5 flights per student per session. Most schools use a 5:1 teacher to student ratio. Two teachers is recommended for the first year especially with younger warriors.


Q12: What is the lowest grade level?

We have 5th graders who competed at the Junior Varsity level after just five club meetings. Your success will be determined on

  • Did you run our Jump Start or Drone Camp program?

  • How many flights the students get?

  • How structured are your club meetings?

  • Are you running it like a sport or club?


Q13: How long does it take a student to be proficient?

A: 30 flights for the basics (Junior Varsity) and 50 flights to be competitive (Varsity).


Q14: I don’t have any of the sophisticated obstacles. How do I practice?

Everything can be used as an obstacle. Most schools don't build anything special. They use what's around them: chairs, tables, gym mats, etc. GoDroneX brings some of the Championship course materials as well.

Designing courses is part of the STEAM activity and incredibly fun for students.


Q15: I see the students are in the middle of the course during races. Is this safe?

The main competition drone weighs the same as a  two tablespoons of butter (2 ounces). The heaviest drone (advanced, Varsity)  weighs the same as 4 tablespoons of butter. Dodgeball is dangerous. The GoDroneX STEAM program is not.


Q16: Can different teams share equipment?

Absolutely! In fact, this is a HUGE advantage over typical Robot competitions.

Q17: What is a typical event like?

Course setup on Friday night prior. Events are on Saturday mornings.

7:45 Doors open / Registration / Frequency assignments
8:15 Warrior Briefing
8:30 Clan Battles (team)
12:30 Orbit Blaster (individual)
12:50 Awards
1:00 Course tear down


Past Battles

2018 SCHOLASTIC CHAMPS @ Quest Academy, Palatine IL USA

Second year in a Row

Out with the old, in with the New. New Trier wins Varsity for the second year in a row. But newcomer Westgate Elementary easily wins the JV battle with 5th graders.



1st ) New Trier, Winnetka IL
2nd) Quest Academy, Palatine IL

Junior Varsity

1st ) Westgate Elementary, Arlington Hts IL
2nd) At-Large (Westgate / Palatine HS) IL
3rd ) New Trier, Winnetka IL

2017 SCHOLASTIC CHAMPS @ Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago IL USA

Witness History 

GoDroneX ran the worlds first scholastic drone competition perhaps in the world.
28 student Warriors took on the evil Emperium X as teams battled the evil bosses.

Adult competition was held the following day with the first area adult team competition ever. 



1st ) New Trier, Winnetka IL
2nd) Marine Leadership, Chicago IL

Junior Varsity

1st ) Marine Leadership, Chicago IL
2nd) Quest Academy, Palatine IL
3rd ) New Trier, Winnetka IL
4th ) Aptakisic, Buffalo Grove IL

Student Fast Lap

Nicholas Hansen, New Trier


Let's Light it Up!

Drone Clan Wars visiting the galaxy of Madison for their Makers Faire. Thousands of onlookers witnessed the spectacle of our robotic battlefield.  The 40' x 40' cage meant we had to vertical. But hey, that is what drones are for. All the Emperium X's evil bosses were in full rage mode. 

Plenty of crowd interaction with drone demos and the NERD version of $10,000 pyramid. 



1st )  Mark Jambor & Randy Mack
2nd) Mark Spoerder & Garret Frakes

Fast Lap

1st )  Mark Jambor
2nd) Gregg Novosad
3rd ) Garret Frakes