DIY Drones T3 racing in Venice

What's going on here? This is a "Virtual Venice UAV race". It's based on the DIYDrones T3 figure of 8 competition.

The screncast's purpose is to show how pilots can potentially fly their planes in different parts of the world, and then have their geo position and time base altered so that they end up racing side by side in Google Earth.

My spoken commentary is complete fiction. I just wanted to create the human emotions that a race meet, can engender. (I actually flew the same planes somewhere near Reading in the UK on two different days).

Now, using the latest flight analyzer, any group of MatrixPilot's can have a race together, although they may actually be on opposite sides of the world. In the future, all MAVLink compatible UAVs shoud be able to do this as well. (Someone still has to develop the software).​profiles/​blogs/​restarting-the-t3-contest-now-with-copters​p/​gentlenav/​

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  • Developer

    Colin, That is very cool. Thanks for sharing it. Pete

  • Developer

    Hi Colin,

    Doing that (re-locating flight, and rotating into correct orientation) with standard KML is a nice step forward. Thanks for sharing the result. I did the geo-location first as well when I wrote my Python.

    Then, the next step is the time re-location, so that the race starts exactly at 12:00 GMT 11/11/2011

    Best wishes, Pete

  • Hi Pete,


    Very nice work on this. Love it!


    I quickly knocked together a MATLAB script to transport my APM flight log to Venice (rotate, translate and reflect). I'd never seen the inside of a KML file before, so there aren't any fancy features yet, just the path. It uses the first two waypoints to get orientation of the original path. I'll post the code later, although I don't know how many people have MATLAB (maybe it will work in octave...)





  • Developer


    For the record I'm going to record some of the technical issues in achieving what you would like ...

    This is mainly to help any other developers that might be interested:-


    There is the possibility of a  generalised KML solution, and a MAVLink solution. I have already written the SERIAL_UDB_EXTRA solution.

    It's hard to do this for a generalised KML. But it could be done. It would be a few days of programming, and I don' have time for that this time. Here are some of the issue:

    1) Where are the pylons ? With my matrixpilot solution we assume the pylons are equally spaced around the plane's "Origin" at 200m intervals. Pylon 1 is at 100,100 . Pylon 2 at 100. -100 .... Once we know where the pylons are, we can calculate the start of the plane automatically.  (as in the diff in this code at line 56). The KML versions will not have any type of origin. So we have to think of the maths for a "Best fit to imaginary pylons" of that particular flight. That's not obvious to me yet how it would be done.

    2) The MatrixPilot version requires the pilot to fly a course where pylon 1 is in the NE, and the pylons to pylon routes are mandated to be on the axis, i.e. N-S, E-W.  With generalised flight KML  we would have to rotate the flight patterns into a north south ; east - west alignment (if people have not aligned with N-S). The rotation of the flight is easy. How much to rotate, is sort of linked to point 1 above (where were the pylons !).


    3) Then the rest is just donky work. Parsing KML, creating an object for the flight log book, and then the rest of the code is pretty much already written (same as MatrixPilot stuff).

    In the above scenario we would only be showing routes through the air (not orientation).


    With MAVLink (as opposed to generalised KML), we could re-introduce the orientation of the planes as they bank around the corners.


    I actually think that this type of  facility is most useful for pilots that are tuning up the PIDs of their plane.

    They can fly once. process the flight for a race in venice, then fly again with adjusted PIDs and compare the two flights side by side in vencie. That is really useful for setting up a plane well.


    Best wishes, Pete


  • Moderator

    So we could take all the new T3 entries, add them to the Venice course and see how everybody went against each other? That would be very cool. Well done Pete.

  • Distributor

    Outstanding Pete, Made me smile a huge amout!





  • four thumb...

  • WOW this is great.

  • Heck...forget Reno, let's aim for Red Bull style air races!  :oO

  • Pretty soon we'll have our own equivalent of the Reno Air Races...all we need is to create the models for Google earth's flight sim ;o)

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