Two and half years ago, we started the T3 (Trust Time Trial) Contest here at DIY Drones. The idea was simple: give people a mission to accomplish, on their own field and on their own time. They would record the telemetry, and submit a KML file with the result (we "trust" that it hasn't been faked). We could then compare the result and decide who was the winner (fastest time, best pattern, etc), as if they had all been racing/competing head-to-head. 


Back then, it was an accomplishment just to complete an autonomous mission with a regular plane. But we've made a lot of progress since then, and that's now possible with a multicopter or traditional helicopter, too. So it's time to relaunch the T3 Competition. And we're going to do it by returning to the first mission ever: the Figure Eight, but this time expanded to include copters.


Figure Eight Mission Rules:

  1. There are two categories: Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing (multicopters or traditional helis). 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards will be given in both.
  2. Must complete the pattern as shown above, totally autonomously (go into auto mode before waypoint 1 and exit after you hit waypoint 1 again). The four points are arranged in a square, with 200m on a side for fixed wing aircraft and 100m on a side for rotary wing aircraft (obviously the two diagonal paths are longer). Any aircraft/autopilot allowed. It doesn't matter how close to the waypoints you get, as long as you pass on the outside of them.
  3. Altitude is not graded.
  4. Fastest time in each category to hit all points and return to 1 wins (one lap). 
  5. The Judge will be Gary Mortimer, as always!
  6. Deadline is Sunday, Dec 11th, at midnight PST.
  7. 1st Prize in each category is a $100 gift certificate to the DIY Drones store. 2nd and 3rd prizes are $25 each.

Entries should include these three things:

  1. Total time, along with aircraft (and type: fixed or rotary wing) and autopilot used. A photo of the aircraft would be nice, too.
  2. KML file of the run (an onboard video is also encouraged, but not required)
  3. Screen capture of path exported to Google Earth or an equivalent, annotated with waypoints and where autonomy began and ended. Here's a sample from my first entry, way back then (original ArduPilot!):

Views: 9641

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 8, 2011 at 11:27am

Don't forget a decent report that makes people laugh often garners more favour when times are close ;-)


We are hoping to do something fairly interesting with the KMLs so get them in!

Comment by Jason Short on November 8, 2011 at 6:00pm

Any requirements for landing and auto-takeoff?


Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 8, 2011 at 7:18pm

Newbie question... how do we get the KML files?  Just briefly.  Does the APM do it automatically?

Comment by Pbreed on November 8, 2011 at 9:14pm

I'd like to see an auto takeoff and land bonus.

Any definition of a KML file format? My GPS reports in binary protocol (Its more accurate and faster)



3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 8, 2011 at 9:56pm

Jason: Not this time. Round two will have autoland and takeoff.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 8, 2011 at 9:59pm

Robert: Yes, the MP automatically generates KML files.

Here are the instructions if you're recording telemetry on the ground.

Here are the instructions if you're datalogging in the air

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 8, 2011 at 10:00pm

Pbreed: As long as you've got a track with time-stamps that displays in Google Earth, it's fine. 

Comment by John C. on November 10, 2011 at 3:26pm

Dang, 200m is pretty far for a copter.  I'm laying it out over my site, and I can't imagine being able to see (much less orient) mine that far away.


The 200m works fine with an easystar, but it seems 150m or 100m would suffice for a multi-copter.


50m is probably the furthest mine has ever been away from me in the air.


Any thoughts?  Suck it up?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 10, 2011 at 3:27pm

John: Fair point. What do others think? Should we make the legs 100m for copters?

Comment by Daniel Gru on November 10, 2011 at 3:37pm

yes! think that is a reasonable lenght for copter!


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