MAAXX Europe 2018 DroneJam MasterClass


Last year I entered the MAAXX Europe Autonomous Drone Racing competition with my 'Groundhog' hexacopter, after which I published the code and other information.  This seemed to be of help to those flying with similar companion-computer based systems.  This year I ran a 'DroneJam Masterclass' for students wishing to make a start in autonomous drone coding and once again, I am releasing all the code and a blog of the event itself.

The Competition

In common with last year, the competition is to build a drone to autonomously navigate around a circuit, marked out by a red line.  However, the event was altogether bigger this year with three flight arenas, many activities organised by sponsors, FPV racing and even a full two-seat glider flight simulator.  It was great to see this event continue to build on last years’ strengths and to become more popular still.  Its has also attracted international attention with one team coming all the way from Moscow (more of them in my blog!).


The Masterclass

The idea was to produce a competitive drone equipped with camera, optical flow, Pixhawk flight control unit and enough code to get drone-coding newbies off the ground, so to speak.  The code was to be implemented in Python on a Raspberry Pi companion computer.  So it wasn’t particularly expected that the students would compete in the main competition, more that they would learn from a real world experience.  Who would have known that our newbie team would come 2nd?

Code, Configuration etc.

I have documented all the code on GitHub and put together a full blog with links at

I hope it is of interest!

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