T3 Season 2, The Model


Its T3 time again but first I have started tagging people that have entered T3 in the past on their member icons its a very small recognition for their valuable contributions which have driven APM forward faster than it might have without the competition. They have not only put their equipment on the line discovering new ways of doing things but countless hours as well.

Unsung heroes in the development of low cost autopilots for all.

So lets get into this round.

I waste far too much time on the most excellent GEFS there could be more 3D buildings laid on top of the Google Earth base layer. Lets change that.

The last T3 challenge "The Cube" bought some really outstanding results and the natural progression from this is automated flight around a building or natural point of interest and the creation of a 3D model perhaps in 123D catch of the subject. Last November Alan Sanchez showed us how. Improvements in the multirotor code that came into play at the Sparkfun AVC will help with the flying.

This could be achieved with a fixed wing platform with a little thought.

We should have some ground rules (pun intended) you must seek permission to make a model of the building, or natural wonder! You should fly no higher than 130m and the flight should be hands off all the way and you should stay visual with the airframe at all times. Please do not create a model of something in class A airspace unless it's at a recognized model aircraft field.

The flight must be at very least autonomous from just after take off to just before landing. If you can do it all autonomously bonus points! FPV entries will not be permitted.

If you submit your model to Google Earth and get it placed bonus points when it appears on GEFS for me to fly around it. In this case the model might be skinned with images taken from the air.

This is no simple task so it should remain open for six months. Normally I tack time on at the end so to break with tradition lets start the competition on the 1st of August and run all the way to 1st Feb 2014! That gives folks the extension weeks in advance!

Prizes to be announced when I have finished twisting CA's arm. As we know he always comes good.
I am also putting out a call for volunteer judges from the ranks of previous T3 entrants to help me decide. This one is I think going to be very subjective and how attempts are documented is going to be a big factor. 

There is no doubt automated building inspection will be a part of the future for sUAS.

Good Luck, be safe


Now let the traditional but did you mean XYZ questions begin! Oh and if you are tooling around on GEFS as well look out for me as Gary sUAS News, often slope soaring ;-)

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  • Moderator
    I'm with R_lef ob this one... Wanted to learn how to do it so great timing. As for winter in Australia... It doesnt snow much but plenty of rain down south and short days.
  • Moderator

    You can have a play with photosynth as well its very cool for making point clouds

    @Lucas yes you can do what you like with the flight aspect but I think only one considered entry, your best. I don't mind if you show many entries and then say No 5 was my best so consider that.

  • Just so I can get my head around this... so what does it take to pull this off?

    Obviously we need to be able to do an auto mission, flying around a building.  That part is now easy peasy.  But then, we also need to do an ROI on the center of the build?  Not sure about that, but I think it works?

    Then we need to snap a bunch of photos.  Do they have to be accurated position/timed?  Or can we just do a 3 second intervalometer and go?  

    So now I have a stack of photos. I upload them to 123DCatch somehow?  It crunches them, and spits out a model?  How does that work?

    Love this contest because I wanted to learn to do this now anyway.

  • Can we use multiple batteries and have mutliple entries?!

  • Well, how long *is* the post production going to be?  I have no idea about that part.

    Mapping many buildings would be cool.  A small town?

    I think I know what my first target should be.  We have an old lighthouse in my village.  Would be cool, but I'd have to deal with the flying over water aspect again. <shudder>

  • Excellent contest Gary! I'm excited to see the results. I can think of some great prizes we will be able to consider, lot's of cool stuff in the pipeline...

  • Moderator

    Well constructing the entire campus would be cool. I think it needs to be a model, the size well that's up to the person making it.

  • T3

    Are we limited to one entry per person?  Because there are quite a few interesting buildings at UMBC I would like to fly around (my lab has permission to fly on campus.)

  • Moderator

    I think folks are going to be surprised at how long the post production is. Not only do you have to have the weather and get perhaps multiple flights in but you have to crunch and create. Its two tasks really. Just about every competition has gone two to three months with arm twisting. But I can easily have my arm twisted and make it shorter. A tree or a barn or a cliff face or mountain top all might be more interesting than an office block, but not demonstrating how things might be used.

    Perhaps at the end of this I will poll all previous T3 entrants for their views??

    An element of having fun is also important.

  • Yeah, 6 months is a long time.  But should we be fair to the people in the southern hemisphere? (I honestly don't know what winter is like in Australia?)  I guess the problem is... since this is global... every competition would have to be super long to try to be fair.  At some point we just have to call it good enough.

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