Contest idea: DIY time trial. Fastest GPS track wins

Gary Mortimer has a good idea: a DIY time trial contest, where you time your UAV flying autonomously over an agreed-upon course. You upload GPS track, time and, onboard video. Fastest time each month wins something cool that I'll donate (like a Funjet kit).

What kind of course would work best for this? For starters, how about this: a square, 400m on a side. Must complete three full circuits in fully autonomous mode. Carry an onboard GPS datalogger or datalog from your telemetry stream and upload the file (so people can see timestamps).

How does that sound?

(pic stolen from Gary's comment below)

Views: 287

Comment by CheBuzz on July 30, 2009 at 7:54am
Hopefully I can get in on this too. I agree with keeping it simple and everybody loves speed, right? :)
Comment by ernani reis on July 30, 2009 at 8:19am
Elaborating on the previous postings, what about a arbitrary set of waypoints, the performance to be checked would be sum of the squares of trajectory errors logged regularly adimentionalized somehow (easy with an openoffice spreadsheet, I do similar calculations all the time), with a minimum of, say, 4 90° curves and 2 180° curves and a kilometer in length (or something like that). The logging could be done with the ardupilot serial (I am doing it, after tweaking a bit), maybe an adafuit logger, sparkfun has a more expensive one (I use it, good, big, heavy a bit too expensive for an one time competition), and there is always http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1206874649/8 - a basic board with a atmega something and a sd card connector could be very affordable, if made in a small lot - with a few metoo's could be done.

There could could be loss of points for astable behavior, or other bad things in a control loop.

I would not compete, my uav is a paramotor with an attitude (strong temperament, quite similar to King Julien´s, the lemur in Madagascar), barely (if that much) controllable, neither fast or precise. Maybe if I get another vehicle in time.

A race could be a good thing, but with time for people to prepare themselves, a Funjet against a Easystar does not seem fair - or fun, for anybody (let alone my King Julien against anything).

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 30, 2009 at 8:30am
Let's not overcomplicate this with lots of rules and formulas. I think we'll start with a simple X and see how it goes. Might add altitude etc for the second one if enough people can complete the first one. I agree with Gary that evidence that fun was had is required!

Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 30, 2009 at 8:34am
Well, funjets or wings will push boundary's, just being the first around the course three times at whatever speed is the starting point!!

Whats wrong with good old fashioned honesty!!

If you can't afford logging right now it should'nt be a show stopper.

Having a monthly or bi monthly competition could mean a league table and at the end of the year an overall winner.

What shall we say, 5 points for 1st 3 for second 2 for third
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 30, 2009 at 10:08am
i think video is a good way because i am not building mine to have telemetry yet or data logging. I think a 400m square on video is pretty clear. Maybe if we have the 4 corners of the 400m square be over some landmark then you can look at google earth and see they did go over the landmarks and measure the distance with the google earth measuring tool and see that it was a 400m square. As for a prize, of course i would love a Funjet kit. They would make a fast UAV.

Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 30, 2009 at 10:29am


Thats my sort of scheme, 500m leg cross figure 8 around it.

The way you lay it out on the day relative to the wind would make a heck of a difference as well
Comment by Ryan on July 30, 2009 at 11:18am
sounds similar to the conversation going on in "competions in europe"
Comment by george on July 30, 2009 at 11:21am
Sounds like fun, sign me up!
Comment by Robert Drone on July 30, 2009 at 11:23am
When would the timing start? when the plane leaves the ground? When it is turned on?

-My suggestion would be when it reaches waypoint #1 on whatever Gps track that is agreed upon that way It would be already moving and all planes would start their times equally.
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 30, 2009 at 11:28am
YES i think time needs to start from when you hit the first waypoint.

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