Or slightly rephrased: The IMAV 2011 summer edition rules are out (original post)
. IMAV2011 is actually a perfect showcase why IMU-based autopilots plus onboard computer vision are a good choice for MAV competitions. And it is also a good occasion to mention the currently running pxIMU batch order, limited to October 20!
You can get your own competition-proven , computer-vision ready research autopilot. For the time after the batch order: We provide all participants of the batch order the hardware design on request, so that they can build more hardware if needed later (and we'll offer future batch orders if feasible). The design files will also be made available GPL-ish licensed at some point early 2011.
Now back to IMAV 2011 itself: Why all-weather and swarms? The competition location in The Netherlands can be quite cloudy and windy in September, like in the last Delft-competition, the EMAV 2009. Although there was no rain, virtually no fixed-wing team was able to fly autonomously, as all relied on thermopiles. This time RC-based flight is banned, so any team sticking to thermopiles is taking chances! By now there are some hackable IMU-based fixed wing autopilots around (ArduPilot, UAVDevBoard v3 and soon pxIMU). We actually hope for similar weather conditions in 2011: An overcast sky provides computer-vision-optimal diffuse lighting (perfect to e.g. locate pylons using pxOvero
) and by using pxIMU
or any other IMU-based autopilot, the attitude estimation does not depend any more on a more or less clear sky.
And why swarms? Because the IMAV 2011 rules actually encourage teams to run multiple vehicles. We're really happy about this development, because the complete PIXHAWK framework is optimized towards swarm-use. Ongoing research in the team involves mesh-based image transmission (which would allow to transmit images over multiple hops (a chain of MAVs) to a base station). QGroundControl
has also been optimized to scale to multiple vehicles from early on. For details on the rules, please refer to the preliminiary rules PDF.