3D Robotics

Outback Challenge results

The five teams that made it past the qualifying did better than ever this year, but nobody won the $50,000 prize.

Here's a news report of the results. Excerpt:

"No team completed the mission with total success; however, the team from the University of North Dakota came within range of the mannequin, but the UAV failed when it dropped its water bottle payload too early.

The North Dakota team was awarded a $15,000 "encouragement prize" for its efforts in locating the downed mannequin.

Another US team made it into the vicinity of the mannequin, thwarted only by a technical fault that saw the UAV abort its mission and return to base."

From another news report, Team Robota, the winner of the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition, came very close, too:

"The Robota team, also from the US, made it into the area in which Joe was located before a communications failure saw their UAV abort its mission - they won $5000."

The first video from Joes position is now out

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  • There's a great article on Latitude38S here.

  • I think the usual strategy is to uplink new waypoint(s) to bring the UAV onto a suitable approach path, and then drop the bottle (which can also be done automatically). But the rules are flexible and this is not the only option - you can bring the UAV back home, upload new data (and a water bottle) and go out again, as long as you can do it all within the allocated time.

    If a PTZ camera is used, it is usually steered manually from the groundstation.

  • T3
    You COULD use in practice a good 35MHz Graupner up to 3km. With some tricks maybe much more.
    This is why I am not ruing this out. But the setup of radio links by the users is a mystery to me.
    What were the orders of magnitude of powers? Any video of working groundstations (that should be available at least for the commission, according to contest rules)?
  • This is my question too.

    If you look at the distances to fly, this can't be done manually with the standard RC transmitter. The only links working here are Groundstation and Video. Starting would be manually by RC, flying to the search area trough the corridor is automatic. Also the the flight in the search area is automatic. If you find Joe by video you set several new waypoints to get a close flight path to Joe and drop then manually the bootle.
  • T3
    Can anybody summarize how was the actual coordinates solved by the UAVs: was it found by manually steered camera then the coordiantes was read out from onboard GPS via telemetry or something else?
    Because there is one point in the rules I don't understand: the flight must be fully automatic after takeoff.
    But how automatic is automatic?
    After finding a target, you must alter the flight plan OR fly in stabilised assisted mode.
    How was this solved by the participating teams?
  • The UAV Challenge Results are up.

  • Had some drinks with team Robota while they were in Brisbane yesterday. You guys rock! Great talking to ya.
  • Moderator
    Video from Joes lost position is now out
  • Moderator
    Makes me feel better, my UAV is also not co-operating...:(
  • Moderator
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