Announcing the official DIY Drones Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest

Thanks to the good ideas of Gary Mortimer and others, we're now launching a Trust Time Trial contest. The idea is simple: you set up four waywaypoints, spaced 200m apart, on your own field and time your UAV completing the course. Upload the data in the comments here. Best time on Sept 1 wins (I've got a prize this month--a new FunJet kit).

In the future, we'll add complexity and stricter standards to the trial, but this first one is easy:

1) Must complete the pattern as shown above, totally autonomously (go into auto mode before waypoint 1 and exit after you hit waypoint 1 again). The four points are arranged in a square, with 200m on a side (obviously the two diagonal paths are longer). Any aircraft/autopilot allowed. It doesn't matter how close to the waypoints you get, as long as you pass on the outside of them.

2) For this first one, altitude is not graded.

3) Fastest time to hit all points and return to 1 wins (one lap). Must provide GPS track with timestamps and on-board video. (If you don't have/can't afford a small onboard videocamera like the FlyCamOne 2, we'll let it go this time. But in the future: video or it didn't happen!)

4) Must also demonstrate that fun was had. Kids, picnics, silly hats, marching bands, something.

GPS tracks are best achieved with an onboard GPS datalogger, like the i-Blue 747 or smaller Sanav ML-7. But if you don't have one or don't want to add the weight, you can just capture the GPS track from your telemetry stream, although you'll have to figure out how to convert it to KML format to export to Google Earth (see below). If your Ground Control System has a built-in map+track function, a screen shot of that is fine, but it should be possible for people to check to confirm that your leg lengths are at least 200m.


Evidence data should include these four things:


1) Total time, along with aircraft and autopilot used. A photo of the aircraft would be nice.

2) Screen capture of path exported to Google Earth or an equivalent, annotated with waypoints and where autonomy began and ended. Here's a sample from Dean Goedde (waypoints and autonomy not marked):

3) GPS datalog file, any format

4) Onboard video, embedded from YouTube or Vimeo. [Not absolutely required but requested]

Views: 5539


Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 1, 2009 at 1:24am
Oh and Bob I'm sorry I should have mentioned your very honest re entry of the comp, which dropped you down the table, well done for that. Thats the sort of spirit that should prevail! I'm sure it has and will continue to.

T3
Comment by Bob Moulder on September 1, 2009 at 5:21am
Thanks, Gary.

I think I learned more about how the whole system performs in actual conditions, which is probably more what it's like in a real-world UAV setting. I can imagine that things don't always go exactly as hoped or planned.

And you guys who flew your self-designed units are amazing!

T3
Comment by Vassilis on September 1, 2009 at 6:27am
Thanks all it was fun! Looking forward to the next round, hopefully I will not need to run my poor EasyStar at full throttle all the time it has been abused enough :-)...

For me the main challenge was the development of the flight plan, I quickly found that following specific waypoints did not yield the best time, getting the model to fly circles around the waypoints (like a figure eight) was much faster especially at full throttle.

I do like the altitude band idea, my only concern the way it is measured (i.e. GPS altitude accuracy).

T3
Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on September 1, 2009 at 6:36am
This is why we need to start with relaxed altitude band (+/-10..20m) and ignore obvious GPS artifacts.
Just to avoid having flights to spiral up at full throttle. BTW this is one of the scenarios I have imagined: since my estar was lacking full down eleveator, I was considering climbing at full throttle. The result improved a few s but the plane was at 600m AGL... So I resigned from posting this.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 1, 2009 at 7:15am
Congrats Vassilis! Please PM me your address so I can send the Funjet.

What a great first contest--the range of autopilots and platforms, the international reach and learning we all got from the different strategies exceeded my (high) hopes for the competition. Many thanks to Gary for suggesting the idea and such fair (and entertaining) judging. This is what communities like this are all about.

Look for the T3 V2 announcement in a day or two!

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