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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  • T3

    So did I...

    It is kind of redundant so I hesitated. But now all information about my entry can be found in one post:

  • T3

    I also post my entry on a separate post :

  • T3


    thanks a lot for setting this up! It is important to push things forward and to compare approaches with such "contests". It is a valuable source of information. APM and related software such as Droidplanner together form a great professional "product" which is a perfect basis for such "complex" tasks as 3D reconstruction.

    Looking forward to the next one!


  • Moderator

    I cannot put into words how impressed I am with the entries. As ever the calendar is very flexible if you are processing something and need more time please PM me. Otherwise it will the 1st of February all over the world very soon.

    I would like all competitors to nominate one other entrant for the win it will help me with my decision. I will then pass that decision by Chris. If you have ever entered a T3 your opinion counts please PM me a name.

    The prize is a Pixhawk! (Thanks 3DR)

    Once again the skill and knowledge demonstrated by all entrants is quite astounding. We must distill this data into a Wiki page.

  • T3

    Here's my entry!  Please go have a look, I worked very hard on it.

  • Nice one!

  • Developer

    mydrone, that's quite nice!

  • T3

    Your welcome, i'am happy to see a second open source workflow

  • T3

    Hi all,

    This is my first post and it is with my entry to the contest. I decided to participate only 15 days ago and it was my second automatic flight.

    I made a small website with all technical details. The flight was fully automatic with my APMCOPTER. 111 pictures were taken with CHDK and the “DO_SET_ROI” function. All software used are free. Please visit my website:



    Point cloud :


    Textured model:

    3689574194?profile=originalInteractive 3D view:

    Buisante chapel from mydrone on Sketchfab.

    Please visit my website and thank you for Sylvain help.

    My drone participation
  • T3

    Robert, yes I am very happy with this flight time. The diameter (motor to motor) is 90 cm plus the 16'' props. So quite big, yes. What do you mean with fold? For sure it is not that stable in wind because the reaction is rather slow. No sports car ;-) However, throttle at hover is at 50%. I am thinking about Gary's 25km challenge... But I guess I would need more battery capacity and for sure no payload.

    The good thing with the Canon is that you can plug it in the APM directly for using CAM_TRIGG_DIST. But the Nex 5N is a great camera and I think I'll buy one too.

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