I wanted to give this website some visibility so that:

  • It might create some interest within the community
  • More people are likely to enter
  • We can help define some rules a little more clearly

I'm Alumni from this University (graduated 12 years ago), and the academics and students are doing as much as they possibly can with autonomous systems.  This competition is the next step. 

  • It isn't FPV racing - hence the inverted commas in the title, the vehicles have to be in autonomous mode.
  • It's about creating a system which can follow lines placed on the ground (26m x 2m racetrack with some additional features).
  • Your UAV has to weigh less than 1kg and fit within a sphere 2m in diameter, and can fly no higher than 1.5m
  • You can use off the shelf or complete DIY
  • You can use any config or type of vehicle you want
  • Control once on the course is fully automatic only - no manual intervention
  • The rules say you can have a groundstation - for reporting back, and to make the calculations - but why not have all the calcs done onboard and broadcast video and listen out only for normal ground station commands?  Doesn't seem to be ruled out.
  • Program it in whatever you want.  Use whatever kit you want to follow the tape
  • You can do this as an individual (£6 total entry fee) or a team (£60 total entry fee)

I guess a lot of people (myself included) did projects like this at university, but with line following rovers and IR sensors or similar.  Doing the same thing with UAVs is not as trivial, from the prototyping I have seen!

Here's a couple of random Youtube vids of attempts at this kind of thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGX93PVhuoM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ3sAy_2eNs

I'm hoping that this post will stir some discussion, and maybe point the way with any rule changes or specific items of interest required (e.g I'd like to have a figure of 8 rather than a straightforward race track...).

I know there are lots of people who couldn't / wouldn't come to Bristol for this - so - I wonder if we could arrange to do this virtually for those people.  Webcast, use a standard drone / GCS set-up and so on...?

Thanks, Phill

Views: 458

Comment by Phill Scott on July 3, 2016 at 4:27am

Made a small mistake - the Track envelope is 27m x 2!

(25m straights, spaced 2m apart joined with constant (1m) radius curves at each end (hence 27m!))

Comment by HeliStorm on July 3, 2016 at 8:42am
Interesting idea.
Comment by Phill Scott on July 5, 2016 at 4:04pm

Yeah, I think so.  I'm not a software/programmer - I prefer hardware and flying, but I think I'm going to give this a go.  On the face of it, it seems 'easy' but I think it's going to have it's challenges.

The organisers are going to put up a barebones project that they've been using with a Parrot AR.Drone.

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