3D Robotics

[UPDATE: This one proved a bit harder than we thought, so we're going to extend the deadline by two weeks, to 12:00 midnight PST on Sunday, October 18th. Also, here's a preview of next month's contest: Break the Stanford team's UAV altitude record of 7,142 feet by doing at least 24 circles with a 300ft climb and descent in each! (This won't really beat his official record, because there won't be an official judge there. But you'll get bragging rights, at least). I'll announce full details on Oct 19th] The first Trust Time Trial (T3) contest was a great success. Lots of entries, nail-biting competition, awesome performances and lots of learning for all. Now comes round two. The difference this time are as follows: --Three laps --3D waypoints. (must hit altitude targets as well as lat/long) The prize this time is a Global Hawk kit. Winning entries must be posted in the comments below by midnight PST on Sunday, October 4th 18th. Rules: 1) Must complete the pattern as shown above, totally autonomously. Go into autonomous mode before waypoint 1 and stay in for three laps. The four points are arranged in a square, with 200m on a side (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. 2) Altitude must be within +-10m of given altitude at each waypoint. It doesn't matter what your altitude is in between waypoints. All altitudes are either above launch position or the contestant's specified "safety altitude". 3) Fastest time to complete three laps and hit the 3D waypoints wins. Must provide GPS track with timestamps and on-board video. (If you don't have/can't afford a small onboard videocamera like the FlyCamOne 2, we'll let it go this time. But in the future: video or it didn't happen!) GPS tracks are best achieved with an onboard GPS datalogger, like the i-Blue 747 or smaller Sanav ML-7. But if you don't have one or don't want to add the weight, you can just capture the GPS track from your telemetry stream, although you'll have to figure out how to convert it to KML format to export to Google Earth (see below). If your Ground Control System has a built-in map+track function, a screen shot of that is fine, but it should be possible for people to check to confirm that your leg lengths are at least 200m. Evidence data should include these four things: 1) Total time, along with aircraft and autopilot used. A photo of the aircraft would be nice. 2) Screen capture of path exported to Google Earth or an equivalent, annotated with waypoints and where autonomy began and ended. : 3) GPS datalog file, any format 4) Onboard video, embedded from YouTube or Vimeo. [Not absolutely required but requested]
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  • T3
    Just a first try, around 350s.
    There is a huge leap in difficulty to the previous track, and the final timing as a quality measurement looks like a bad choice as it might be difficult to complete the course at all within prescribed altitude bands.
    Enlarging the pattern of course would help, flying over the village. Typical UAV motoglider dynamics asks for reducing requested altitude variation between waipoints.
    T3-2 Butterfly-A.kml

  • Moderator
    Theres an ominous silence, or this month will people only reveal their hand closer to the end of the month!

    Now in other places I read calls for larger distances between the virtual poles, no doubt we will change the box next month, but to what, I personally don't have an issue getting up to 250m to 300m between poles, but any more than that and I will get nervous. We don't want fly aways happening, however good your autopilot might be.

    Just makes the walk with the bin bag smaller as well ;-)
  • Moderator
    I think the proviso there needs to be nobody above 400' AGL, thats pretty much the limit everywhere for UAS at the moment, and like it or not we should stick to it.
  • 3D Robotics

    Sure, that's fine. So the official ruling is:

    All altitudes are either above launch position of the contestant's specified "safety altitude".

    I'll add this to the rules above.
  • The inclusion of altitude for 3D way-points is a great idea and I would like to enter into this round. However, safety precautions prevent me from being able to command my group's UAV to such low altitudes above the ground. I am assuming that all altitudes are measure above ground level. If instead you would allow entrants to measure their altitude relative to a safety altitude, it would still require the auto-pilot to control altitude, but would be much safer.

    For example if I can only fly as low as 100 meters AGL my waypoints would be 200m, 175m, 150m, etc.
  • 3D Robotics
    Jesse, somewhere within the 30m radius is fine. It just has to pass through that altitude in that radius, not maintain it.
  • T3
    You say the altitude doesn't matter between waypoints. In what area around the waypoint should the +-10m altitude be? Somewhere between the 30m radius of the waypoint? Does the autopilot just need to pass through that altitude in the radius, or does it need to maintain +-10m while in the radius of the waypoint?
  • 3D Robotics
    All the main APs except for PicoPilot are programmable for altitude, I think. 3D waypoints are a pretty standard feature these days.
  • T3
    Which AP's are programmable for altitude?
  • Moderator
    This one should provide some interesting plots, good luck everyone.
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