3D Robotics


It's time for the second round of the second season of the Trust Time Trial (T3) competion! This round is an autotakeoff and landing round, with 3D waypoints. Like the last round, there are two divisions: plane and copters. 

Your mission in this round is to complete the course diagrammed above. Your UAV must autonomously do the following:

  1. Autotakeoff. NO MANUAL CONTROL. This must be fully autonomous launch, with the RC transmitter on the ground. For aircraft we will accept rise-off-ground, catapult or hand-launch (but remember, no transmitter!). For copters, it must rise-off-ground. Just flick your RC transmitter's mode toggle switch and put that bad boy on the ground while you watch the show. 
  2. Hit the above eight waypoints, which are in increasing and then decreasing height (the target altitude is given after each waypoint number). They are all 100m apart, for both planes and copters. The exact position of WP8 (or however more waypoints you need to end the mission) is not important--it is just whatever you need to set up your landing pattern properly. 
  3. Autoland, as close to your launch position as possible. Again, no transmitters!

To enter, post the following in the comments below:

  • KML track and screenshot of your track in Google Earth, with launch and final rest positions marked.
  • A description of your vehicle and autopilot. 
  • Because this is a hands-free round, we want videos of the whole thing! Upload them to YouTube and embed the video in your entry.

Gary Mortimer, as always, will be the judge. In this case it will be scored primarily on "style": he will use qualitative rather than purely quantitative measures to reward clean patterns, tight altitude control and the closeness of the landings to the takeoff points. Note: experience has shown he can be influenced by creativity and fun, so make those videos count! 

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!


This is a pretty tough challenge and the weather is still dicey in the Northern Hemisphere, so you get two months for this one. Deadline is Sunday, March 4th, at midnight PST. 

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  • Hand lanching is for the weak arduinos .
    Real man taking off from ground .


  • So, are minor players on the Dev Team like me ineligible?

  • Moderator

    Points are always available for peril!

  • T3

    Hi Phil,

    Thank you for posting, especially for making the video, and for helping us testing the MatrixPilot LOGO flight scripting language during autonomous takeoff.

    The control options are set up for autonomous hand launches, it turned your launch from a runway into a "nose dragger", as you pointed out in the video. Still, it made for an interesting takeoff. I wonder if Gary will give you any extra points for it.

    Best regards,

    Bill Premerlani

  • Hi all,

    Here is my entry for the T3-2 fixed wing competition.

    The plane is a modified Dynam HawkSky piloted by the UDB4 and MatrixPilot 3.2.1.

    The flight video is posted here. Please view in HD quality and full screen mode for best results.


    Here is the google earth kmz file

    Screen shots of the takeoff and landing tracks are shown below


    The flightplan-logo.h file defining the mission profile is posted here

    Here is a photo of the plane


    Modified Dynam HawkSky

    Electronics: UAV Dev Board v4 running MatrixPilot 3.2.1, EM406 GPS, Spektrum DX7 TX,  AR7010 RX, upgraded motor and ESC (Grayson Hobby MicroJet V3 & 20A ESC).

    Thanks very much to the folks at DIYDrones for putting on these competitions. It's great fun to be involved and to compete!

    Special thanks to the UAV Dev Board/MatrixPilot team for helping advance the technology that makes this possible. Thank you Bill, Pete, and Ben! It's an honor and pleasure to be involved with such talented and helpful people.

  • I definitely will give this a go. I've never even done auto Land and takeoffs but i think two months is enough time i wish you had a merit badges for fixed wing  that's awesome !!

  • Developer

    Here a video of the T3 2 rounds mission competition with the firmware ArduCopter v2.1.1 R9 connected in HIL mode with an APM v1 (APM 2560) board through the Mission Planner v1.1.19. The flight plan follows exactly the T3-2 mission.

    Regards, Jean-Louis

  • Can the take-off and landing WP basically be the same as WP4?  Keep it as a box, for copters?

  • Moderator

    Yeah thats fine Marc, looking forward to your entry. Remember stay below 400' agl max though.

  • Hi, is it ok to raise the altitudes, say add 25m to each point? There are obstacles (trees) at some of my flying sites and I don´t like to touch them :-)

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