3D Robotics

Announcing T-3, Round 3: The Reliability Round


It's time for the third round of the third round of the second season of the Trust Time Trial (T3) competion! Now that the weather is improving, there are no excuses for not participating. Valuable prizes await!

This the Reliability Round. Our Judge, Gary Mortimer, describes the rules below:

--------------------------------------   RULES   ------------------------

Point of order first: All T3 entries should be flown away from built up areas. Should you have any fly aways or incidents its best to have them miles from anyone else.

The aim of this round is to show reliability.

A very simple task: autonomously fly to a point that you have chosen that is at least 300 metres from your takeoff point (100m for copters). At an altitude of 75 meters (25m for copters) autonomously take a single photo of your point, then return to launch, land (manually or autonomously) and do it all again. Repeat this for a total of five flights.

Your entry should show your take off and landing times for each flight as well as KMLs showing the slight path. As always, post your entries in the comments below.

Each individual image will be compared and the person with the most shots with the chosen point in the centre of the image wins.

Honesty is everything here, don't discover that by chance a point you didn't select is in the centre of each shot and then tell us that's what you were after all along.


If you can make something interesting with your shots extra points will be forthcoming

You might make a map using MapKnitter Have a look around here to find out what its all about hereDo something with Photosynth, ICE or any of the other similar mapping products springing up. Wouldn't it be nice to have a DIYD generated layer of opensource map images out there!

So in summary one day, five flights, five photos. Extra points for creative use of mapping software/services.

What you do with any other images is up to you. Impress us.

Why the pub challenges in the image above? Well I was looking at a dart board when I thought of it. 

As an aside the area in the picture will be underwater next year, a dam wall is being built on the right. The big circles are irrigation centre pivots just the sort of thing a farmer might be interested at looking at from a UAS


There will be three winners in each category (planes and copters), with the #1s getting a $100 gift certificate at the DIY Drones store and #2 and #3 getting $25 each.

All entrants who successfully compete the course with a copter, regardless of place in the judging, will receive a flying robot merit badge!


Deadline is Sunday, May 13th, at midnight PST. 

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  • Any news about the new round ?

  • 3D Robotics

    Darren: thanks for the nudge! Are you up for a plane, copter or both round? Speed or precision? 

  • Tried again this morning and, except for the first flight where it didn't log again, the remaining 6 flights worked great.  Link to kmz files and photos here.  Hardware is: Parkzone radian with stock motor/esc, APM2, Spektrum DX6i Tx and Spektrum AR500 Rx.  

    Example flightpath in google earth and photo:3692462067?profile=original


    There was a pretty strong headwind (at least strong for a powered glider) causing the plane to weave on the way out.  Return flights were a lot straighter.

  • Well I had a go at this challenge this morning with my parkzone radian fitted with an APM2 and GoPro (standard def) camera.  I was imaging a fish-shaped sandtrap in the golfcourse next to our flying field and all 10 flights I tried got the image well.  For some reason my APM2 isn't recording the logs properly and I was only able to capture 2 of the flights (rest of the logs were basically empty except for the waypoints).  I know this contest is closed but thought I'd post my results/progress anyways in case someone's interested.  Attached are the 10 photos and 2 kmz files.  I plan to give it another go next week, if I can figure out the logging problem...if anyone has any diagnostic suggestions please let me know!

    Images & kmz files

  • Any clue abount the new round ? When it will be announced ?

  • well, i went to my flying site on wednesday prepared for the challenge. made the first flight, my target was a cell phone tower 350m away. getting closer, i figured out that 75m would not be enought, as the tower stands in a place higher than the tekeoff, and decided to abort, and change the target for a tree standing about 340m. 

    for my surprise, APM2 didn't conenct anymore. i tried lots of possibilities, and i'm sending it back to 3DR because i still don't know what is wrong. if you extend the time, i'll submit my results as soon as i get it working back.

    i still think that the challenge is simple, but there is no need to send the plane 1km away just to make it harder. going 300m is enought to test flying capabilities, and enables 5 flights in a single battery pack, for those who doesn't have more.

  • Moderator

    Well the concept was discussed over some ideas fluid last year and I think it probably should be tried.

  • I love the idea of some sort of pylon race.  Just throwing it out there but maybe you could look at doing a T3 and  a Pylon Race for each round.  The T3 challenges would continue to push new and old pilots and developers focusing on the UAV practical use.  Then the pylon race could mimic different Pylon racing fields.  For both RC fields to a small scale setup of a Red Bull Race.  Plus a Drone Pylon patch would be cool ;)

    So this wouldn't really be a 2 tiered system but a system that focuses on pushing the UAV/diyDrone field forward and a system that pushes tuning, efficiency, and performance forward.

    I was really looking to try this one, and may just try it in the future, but shipping delays, weather issues, and unforeseen building 'fun' keep me from making the cut off date.  I would say that my quad is more of a bucking bull at this point than a stable craft, but i'm sure i'll get there.

  • Moderator

    So what are you saying KB a two tier competition system?

    You are right this was not a difficult challenge, it has made me wonder where all the pioneers are these days. I suspect everyone that was in the game first time round has moved onto professional stuff and people joining the site now are just not upto speed. Even though they are starting to play with better cheaper tech.

    The taking off five times in a row was the difficult part. Seems like the result proved that!

    You can make pretty amazing image stuff with all sorts of freeware now, again a resounding fail.

    My fault I thought plenty of people would find it a useful exercise to see if there systems really could be put to work in a real situation. Perhaps back to straight speed or height gained again! At least a few camera points were raised in this thread.

    T3 was never going to be about the prize, it should have been about sharing ideas.

    I had thought by now that we would be running some sort of race series for known prop and motor combinations, home built airframes. With your 3m alt control you ought to be able to win pylon races hands down KB.

  • T3

    For those who did it before, this year's rules were uninteresting because the altitude was not permitting to obtain something fresh, unwilling to spend time and risk cameras on that for merit badge and 40USD expected gift value.

    For amateurs, taking off several times in a row with custom, often asymmetric payload was a real eye opener how far are they from practical application.

    For autopilot achievement-braking geeks, 300m distance is totally not challenging. There is no glory in gathering dust several times in a row in order to take single photo 300m away. 'Phew, you could have walked there or use RC model' a neighbor would say and he would be 100% right.

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