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: 5537

Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 31, 2009 at 1:19pm
Hmmmm telemetry or gps logger is now the question. Gps logger is a bit cheaper but telemetry comes in handy on long distance flights. I have 2.4ghz radio gear so i guess i need the 900mhz xbees. Which are $42 a piece plus the 2 boads for them. I mean if it works with out a hitch than is telemetry really needed for safety and for recovery?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 31, 2009 at 1:53pm
Trust me: you'll want telemetry eventually. It allows you to use the ground station and is essential in tweaking and disaster recovery. If you can only afford one, I'd go for that, even though you'll have to do some work to grab a GPS track file for this contest.
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 31, 2009 at 2:03pm
Exactly how would you get a path on google earth from the telemetry. Would it be manually done?
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 31, 2009 at 2:05pm
oh and will the telemetry data have time stamps? and the 2.4ghz receiver/transmitter are bonded so can 2.4ghz really interfere with the 2.4ghz xbees?

Comment by Mark Colwell on July 31, 2009 at 2:23pm
Turn on highest power 2.4 ghz device (Zigbee?), let it acquire channels, Then turn on next system (DX7 RC) and acquire other available channels. Three devices may not be reliable, and other 2.4 ghz systems (wifi) may interfere with some channels as well. If a ground range test fails, Start devices in different order and re-test range. there are NO guarantees with multiple systems in same band.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 31, 2009 at 2:30pm

You'd have to configure your telemetry stream to include time stamps. It's the print_data function in the System tab. If you're not up to that much programming, the easiest thing is to buy a GPS logger. I realize that not everyone will be able to participate in the contest since they don't have the required equipment, but the only fair way to do it is with GPS logs. But if you just want to do the course and post a time, you can certainly have bragging rights, if not the prize!
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 31, 2009 at 3:05pm
Well when i get my UAV working ill fly and see if i am fast enough and have a chance to win. If so then i will buy a gps logger if not i wont.

Comment by Sami Finnila on July 31, 2009 at 5:51pm
To get some kind of estimate of what kind of times we're supposed to be expecting I ran simulations for the past couple of hours and made a quite capable flight plan for PPZ; With nominal cruise speed set to 11m/s and full throttle speed set to 14m/s I got the simulated time to around 1 minute 30 seconds. 14m/s equals to about 50km/h so we're talking about a slowish glider here; with a FunJet you could probably get it well under 1 minute...?

Oh, and just out of curiosity the shortest possible track lenght is about 966 meters.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 31, 2009 at 7:22pm
Nice one, Sami! So that's the first time to beat: 1:30.

I'll take a shot at it this weekend.
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 31, 2009 at 7:37pm
well thats just a simulation


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