Reminder: DIY Drones Multicopter Rodeo is today!

If you didn't have enough robot thrills, spills and chills at the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition yesterday, or just want to fly your multcopter in a fun low-stress competition, join us today in for the DIY Drones "Multicopter Rodeo", nearly Boulder, CO. It's just like the Sparkfun competition, but for rotary wing UAVs, and open to all.
We're going to be meeting at 10:00 am on Sunday the 17th at this site, which is about 15 minutes from Sparkfun (Google Street View shown, along with adjacent archery range). Autonomous multicopters and helicopters of all types are welcome, and the competition will consist of timed completion of a course, with extra points for autonomous takeoff and landing within a marked area.
Prizes and refreshments will be provided, but mostly it's an opportunity to geek out with other aerial robotics fans and tune code for optimal performance. Low stress, high fun -- everyone welcome (and free!).

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Moderator
Comment by Mark Harrison on June 17, 2012 at 12:24pm

I am so jealous every time I see such a large flat field totally unsurrounded by water... good luck to everyone!


Distributor
Comment by Dany Thivierge on June 17, 2012 at 9:01pm

Picture? reports? where is Samantha? ;)

or you guys are just too drunk after a nice day flying? hehehe

Please post something for us!


3D Robotics
Comment by Alan Sanchez on June 18, 2012 at 12:57pm

Just downloaded my logs and my successful auto take off > waypoints (1,2,3,2,1) > auto landing was 2min 54sec

Comment by Robert Sinclair on June 18, 2012 at 1:09pm

How many people made it out for this?


Developer
Comment by Andreas M. Antonopoulos on June 18, 2012 at 1:27pm

Robert, we were all surprised to arrive there and to find a dozen cars already parked on the side of the road. 

It was much better attended that I expected. 

More than a dozen quads, a hexa, 2-3 octas, 6-7 Tradhelis (one huge heli too), 3-4 planes too. 

Probably about 30-40 people through the day. It was a smashing success and I would be surprised if it is not repeated next year.

Comment by Robert Sinclair on June 18, 2012 at 1:34pm

Wow that sounds like a great time, I can't wait to see some videos from the event :)


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 18, 2012 at 1:47pm

Alan, can you please post a KML screenshot of your run, with waypoints marked?

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 18, 2012 at 1:55pm

Oh wow, how did the Trad Helis do?


Developer
Comment by Doug Weibel on June 18, 2012 at 2:13pm

The general report:

The competition was very casual.  People flew whenever they wanted and flights took place over about a 5 hour period from 11-4.  The wind really put a damper on flying activities - there was still plenty of flying, but the aircraft were really fighting the wind and there was a lot less flying than would have taken place in better conditions.  The average wind speed at modest altitudes above the ground was around 30 MPH / 50 KPH / 13 M/S.  A 6 waypoint task was set up for those wanting to compete.  We estimated that the nominal time for the coarse would be about a minute, but with the copters fighting the high winds, the average times were closer to 3 minutes.  There were times when the wind really kicked up and the copters could not make forward progress.  Time deductions were given for auto TO (10 seconds), auto landing (10 seconds), and distance from the pre-defined landing spot (up to 20 seconds depending on how close).

Only one fixed wing flight was made, which was one of the first flights of the day.  It was made by Chris Miser's Falcon (falcon-uav.com).  Chris got blown far downwind before adjusting his airspeed for the high wind level.  Mid flight he was reporting negative ground speed with an airspeed of 13 m/s.

There were probably between 15 and 20 copters flown, with mostly quads, but also some hexas and octos.  There was also an autonomous traditional heli which looked to be a 700 class electric.  Only about a half dozen attempted the autonomous course.  There were lots of crashes due to the wind - mostly due to either pilots getting blown downwind and loosing orientation or due to altitude hold having trouble with noisy readings due to the high turbulence.  The wind obviously increased with altitude, so most people were trying to stay down below 20 or 30 meters, making altitude hold more critical.   Interestingly, Jack Dunkle (sp?) had a really successful day flying only FPV as losing orientation was never a problem for him.

Due to the wind and the resulting very casual nature of the competition, we are still trying to collect flight log info and figure out who won...


3D Robotics
Comment by Alan Sanchez on June 18, 2012 at 2:22pm

Here is a screenshot of my run. The decimals on my waypoint file are wrong for some reason so the waypoints on the picture are my best estimates. You can see how going from wp2 to wp3 the quad got pushed east while the I term built up enough to fight the wind. This run was auto takeoff and auto land in 2min 54sec according to my log. GPS time starts at 77328250 and ends at 77502250. I think its time of week in msec.

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