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. 

Views: 9638

Comment by Stephen A Boyd on April 11, 2012 at 8:53pm

G'day Mark,  if the camera can be fired using an electronic( not mechanical) shutter release cable,  it means that it can be operated by using a simple switch or a servo switch. There are a couple of different ones and I'll try and find an example and post it shortly.  The new APM2 has a set of pins for camera shutter control,  how I'm not sure but I would say you can program when and where the camera is fired.


Comment by Stephen A Boyd on April 11, 2012 at 9:03pm

G'day Mark,  here's the best of the lot.  I use this one for my astro gear.

The only problem I can see for those using plane or copter is the size of the camera you can put in the beast.


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 11, 2012 at 9:04pm

Brakar: Fair point. I think 100m is too high, since it's very close to the 400ft legal ceiling. But how about 75m?

Comment by Stephen A Boyd on April 11, 2012 at 9:16pm

G'day Mark,  ok the other alternative is to get a small cheap camera and do some minor surgery.  Digital cameras use a switch not a mechanical shutter release.  Carefully dismember the camera and remove or bypass the push button and solder a set of wires to the switch contacts and then run them to your release system.  Much easier than trying to set up a servo to hit the button on the camera.


Comment by brakar on April 12, 2012 at 5:30am

Chris, 75m is better then 50m, but still problematic. If one assumes a camera as calculated under (, one would want to take a photo for every 23m in order to have 50% (theroretic) overlap between picktures in the flight direction. If a slow-flying airframe like the EZStar is is used, one might have 12 m/s flightspeed + e.g 4m/s windspeed (good case) in one of the directions, resulting in 23m/(12+4)m/s = 1.4s between each shot. This is probably too fast for most compact cameras.


100m AGL (same assumtions) would result in 31m / 1.9s between each shot, IMO near the limit for what is possibile - with a reasonable chance for a successful photomission.

Comment by Robert Sinclair on April 12, 2012 at 8:18pm

So I've only been a member here for a few weeks but there's one thing I can't seem to find, where are all the entry videos, from this round or past rounds?  Are these available to be viewed by members?  It would reallllly help pass the time while i wait for parts to arrive!  Thanks

Comment by Bradley J Carr on April 13, 2012 at 10:51am

Ok if you go 300m away from takeoff, take a picture of something and log it everything.  Repeat five times.  Or do you need to land, take the picture and then take off and come back to home and then takeoff again?

Also isn't there a relay on the APM1 that you could use for a camera switch if needed?

Comment by Bradley J Carr on April 13, 2012 at 10:55am

Sorry no need to answer the first question,  Read a little more carefully.  I am going to be in.  Since I am new and don't have alot to work with.  My wife will not be excited to see the camera tore apart.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 13, 2012 at 11:09am

Robert: Links to all previous contests are here. Videos and other submission material are in the comments of each. 

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 13, 2012 at 11:18am

brakar: I use Pentax Optio cameras, which shoot faster than 1 frame/second in continuous shooting mode, so that's more than fast enough at 75m. Are most compact cameras slower than that?  We could certainly increase the altitude to 100m (330 feet) if so, but at that point it's very hard to see detail on the ground and you're quite close to the regulatory barriers of 400ft.

I think it really comes down to what cameras are capable of these days. Do you know what the typical continuous shooting speed of the average modern compact camera is these days? I also have a Canon s90, which does 0.9 fps (which would also be sufficient for this contest) and that's described as "distinctly average" in reviews.  


You need to be a member of DIY Drones to add comments!

Join DIY Drones


Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

© 2018   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service