T3 Wimbledon Drone Delivery Challenge (NBNG)


For some spurious story board reason that I have not padded out properly Wimbledon has ball delivery issues!

The T3 task this time is to deliver as many tennis balls as possible using only one 5000 maH battery, to both power the plane and autopilot. Fly between two virtual Wimbledon tennis courts. Take off from Number one and Land and deliver to number two. Then fly back to number one to pick up more balls. Repeat until the battery is flat.


The courts are roughly 20 X 40 m.

Number one and two courts are 300 metres apart.

You will have to soar over centre court, the roof of centre court is 16m above the playing surface so your craft better achieve at least 30m altitude to avoid flags and furniture in its transit between the courts. You could choose to fly around centre court but your KML must show that you virtually missed it!

For the sake of this exercise I will ignore the sides of 1 & 2 courts.

As ever 3DR will provide prizes TBA.

This challenge is open to fixed wing and rotary entries. Take off and landings must happen within the 20 X 40m court.

Autonomous take off and landings will score higher but are not essential. The transit must be autonomous.

No doubt folks will find very light tennis balls but they should be at least 6.7cm wide. 

Honesty is key in the T3 and sillyness often brings points. This might be a great competition to try and fly with other DIYD members. I feel bonus points for every team in those groups coming on. A well documented attempt is also looked upon favorably. 

Lets make the closing date December 30th 2014. There should be enough spring and autumn weather for each hemisphere.

This idea is loosely based on the BMFA heavy lift challenge, it gets pretty serious.

Now bring on the questions, I am bound to have forgotten something.

There are plenty of cargo planes out there to build


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  • Moderator


  • Moderator

    Hi all,

    Any word on the next T3 challenge?

  • T3

    Hi all!

    I really like these challenges! They push things forward. Congrats to all participants!
    And a special thanks to Gary for organizing! 

    Looking forward to the next one!

  • Moderator

    We had so much fun doing this challenge.  Even when things didn't go according to plan, it was still fun.  Could do without the snakes though. Had some funny video out takes but they didn't make the final entry - figured 7 minutes was long enough (especially when the copter was out of camera for a decent period of time).

    Would have loved to have seen what you had done Stephen...  Did you get any video of that at all?

  • Moderator


    I love the delight when the drop happened.

    Snake under clubhouse .... what can be said

    Plainly those Amazon drones are a super simple thing and we should all be expecting deliveries very soon.

    Stephen, well done on also giving it a go its folks like you two that drive reality forward. 

    I am going to confer with CA about prizes expect a PM soon. 

  • Moderator

    T3 Challenge Entry.  21 December 2014.

    We had to make a slight change to the flight path because of the environment.  Whilst flying in a massive park, there had been sightings of brown and tiger snakes in the immediate vicinity and under the club house so it was not safe to walk off the runway.  As such, we started approximately 100m from the drop zone, flew OUT 200m and then back 300m to the drop zone to do the drop, take off and return to launch, 100m from the drop zone - all autonomously.  Also, the RTL was a little low due to a mis-configuration we realised when processing the logs later in the day.  So technically, we would have smashed into courts, flags, furniture, people, food and players - you name it. However, we just wanted to prove that whilst the tech we used was old, it could still undertake the task.  So for us, getting up, over, down, drop, up and back completely autonomously was the goal.

    This was the second attempt at the challenge.  The first attempt didn't finish all that well, with the ball carrier we designed destroyed and damage to the copter.  The copter was rebuilt and a rudimentary mockup of the original ball carrier reproduced in plywood.

    We have done this task many times with a Pixhawk so for this challenge, we decided to have some fun and go old school.   We used one of our original 3DR quads from 2012, flying an APM 2.5, internal compass and external GPS - complete with CD case as protection.

    The ball carrier could fit 8 tennis balls and was easily carried by the quad.  However, our successful autonomous mission was performed with 6 tennis sized foam balls.  There was enough power left in the battery for additional flights.

    The quad copter ran 11x4.7 props, 880kv motors and a 3S 5000mah battery.  In the video when carrying the original ball carrier that's a 4S 5000mah battery.  The delivery device was a single EPM, with the metal plate attached to the bag of balls / the wooden ball carrier.

    And credits, thanks to my fiance for the video work and the guys at MARCS for safety.

    Submission details:

    Google Earth view: T3 Challenge Google Earth

    FPV Google Earth view: FPV Google Earth

    KMZ File: 2014-12-21_08-04-59.kmz

    Log file: T3 Challenge Log


    Google Earth View:


  • T3

    Congrats David, looks like you may win by default!

  • Moderator

    So...  After finally have the time to pull something together from the crash piece and having a decent day to fly, my fiance and I went out for some autonomous delivery action.  Whilst not strictly adhering to the rules (tiger and brown snakes in force), we had massive success.  Very happy considering what we set out to do.  I'll write up a debrief tonight, attach video and the logs. 

    Good luck to anyone else that hasn't crashed and will be entering!

  • T3

    I crashed as well.  Guess my rig just wasn't ready for autonomous... probably a mag problem.  Here's a picture of the setup:


  • Moderator

    Don't worry the date can be adjusted 

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