Welcome to the Time Trust Trial contest, Round 4 (T3-4)! This round is an aerial imaging task. Here is your assignment:

Program your UAV to take photos from an altitude of ~400 feet that you then stitch together to make a single image showing an area of 500mx500m (a quarter square kilometer). Somewhere in that image, a Santa (or replica of a Santa, poster of a Santa, just you wearing a Santa hat, etc) must be seen. NO PHOTOSHOP (ie, the sample above would be disqualified)--you actually need to bring something Santa-ish to the field so your UAV can capture it in its shots (yes, I know it will be very small. Just circle the location in your image so we can enlarge and inspect--don't make us do "Where's Wally"!) This is to prove that the shots aren't actually taken from Google Earth ;-)

You can use any path strategy you want: "lawnmower", spiral, concentric circles, etc...

For stitching software, I use the free PTGui, but you're welcome to use whatever software you prefer.

And for your camera, may I suggest you hack up some cool way to trigger the shutter with our cool ServoSwitch?

KML tracks must be provided. Video is not required, but is suggested.

We've now switched to a six-week cycle, so the deadline is 12:00 midnight PST on Sunday, January 17, 2010 now Monday, January 18th due to the Martin Luther King holiday in the US.

The overall winner will be the best quality image, as decided by the judges (based on a combination of resolution, stitch quality and overall coolness--a clever Santa will win you brownie points, and a pretty area is no bad thing [note: snow is lovely, but be warned that it can confuse stitching software]), but everyone who completes the challenge will win a prize.


Views: 7284

Comment by Joe on December 3, 2009 at 11:58am
500 meters by 500 meters is a quarter of a square kilometer not a half. So how much area are we actually supposed to image?

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 3, 2009 at 12:07pm
Whoops. Was typing too fast. Will fix the post--1/4km^2
Comment by Curt Olson on December 3, 2009 at 12:15pm
Do you get extra points if your UAV is modeled to look like Santa and his sleigh? I started to design such a beast, but then realized it would only get me free an unrestricted airspace one night a year.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 3, 2009 at 12:40pm
Here's one example (which ended disastrously)

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on December 3, 2009 at 12:40pm
BTW, PTGui stitches based on feature overlap, not GPS info, so you need to set you camera to shoot fast enough to get lots of overlap.
Comment by Curt Filipowski on December 3, 2009 at 12:53pm
Arg, this is one of the things my wing was designed to do...unfortunately I only recieved my autopilot last night and have many many weeks of tweeking and tuning to get thru first...I'll have to delay my entry closer to T3, Round 38 ;).
Comment by Dr Mike Black on December 3, 2009 at 3:21pm
Now this challange we can do......not sure about the santa outfit...(will pass this to my right hand man here, he will dress up for almost anything (DONT ASK!) he has issues.....lol)

I Never mentioned it but your Ardupilot, in our Big UAV, flew succesfully, smartly and accurately for the first time the other day! Well Done Chaps!!!! 500m2 should nto be an issue.....(be nice to join in, maybe its about time an Ardupilot won your competition) seen plenty of PAP`s and Easy`s win..

Ardupilot deserves a top place, what say you?

Comment by Dr Mike Black on December 3, 2009 at 3:26pm
Easy`s...i meant 'Flexis'......my bad...soz....
Comment by brakar on December 3, 2009 at 4:04pm
Excellent round Chris, this one should be a nice challenge for us all.


Comment by Doug Weibel on December 3, 2009 at 9:28pm
Now how will PTGui stitch together pictures of the ground here today? It is all white (covered in snow)!

Of course Santa would be easy to spot - LOL


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Season Two of the Trust Time Trial (T3) Contest 
A list of all T3 contests is here. The current round, the Vertical Horizontal one, is here

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