3D Robotics

T3-Round 8: The egg-drop round!


Inspired by the Outback Challenge's waterbottle drop challenge, we're happy to now announce the start of the 8th round of the T3 Competition.

Your mission this time: have your UAV autonomously drop an egg as close to your home/launch position as possible (heads up!).

(Note: Our contest judge, Gary Mortimer, reminds us that it is illegal to drop any solid object out of an airborne vehicle in some countries, including the UK, so please check your local regulations to determine if this is legal in your area.)

How you have your UAV carry the egg and what mechanism you use to drop it is up to you (maybe a good time to use the built-in relay on your new ArduPilot Mega board?). The only requirement is that the drop be AUTONOMOUS--you need to set your autopilot to initiate the release when it detects that it's the right distance from the home location. The aircraft must be in forward motion with a speed of at least 15mph at the time of drop, and at least 50ft high (ie, no unfair advantage for quads!)

Because this first "T" in T3 stands for "trust", we're going to trust you to mark your home position and measure the distance the egg landed from that--no need to strap a GPS logger to the egg. The path your UAV takes before and after the drop doesn't matter, as long as it was under autonomous control during the drop part of the run. You will get EXTRA POINTS for an unbroken egg. How you achieve that (parachute, whatever) is up to to you, but please document your method with pictures.

Please submit the following in the comments as your entry: KML track of your UAV, with drop point, egg impact point, and "home" marked. Distance measured and reported, along with autopilot type. Please include a picture of your egg after it's landed, broken or not.

Scoring will be as follows: competitors will be ranked in closeness of egg to home. You get a 10m bonus for an unbroken egg.

Deadline: about six week from now--Sunday, September 5th at 12:00 midnight PST.

Have fun!

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  • Gary,
    I, for one, would be in favor of two different competition streams: One for fixed wing, and one for rotary wing aircraft. With a few exceptions, I don't think there are many competitions that would be very fair for both kinds of aircraft. Another alternative might be to alternate the rounds, one that favors fixed wing aircraft followed by one that favors rotary wing aircraft.
  • Moderator
    Well we were thinking of letting quad people try all the earlier rounds as well, maybe we should run a fixed wing and rotary comp.
  • Gary / Chris,
    Thanks for the update -- I'll probably just review previous T3 rounds if I'm looking for a challenge :). Unfortunately, I don't have a Quad (and I'm not sure I want one yet) so if the next round is geared for Quads specifically, I'll probably be on the bench for this one.
  • 3D Robotics
    As Gary says, we're were just pausing it to give everyone a little time to catch up. The next round may be a quadcopter round, so we were waiting until ArduCopter production models are shipping to announce.
  • Moderator
    No its still being hatched, don't worry!
  • Has a round 9 been announced yet? It's been over a month (almost two months!) since I've seen anything to do with the T3 competitions and I was just wondering if I've missed it somewhere.

  • Admin
    Thanks Brian, apologies for late reply
    Yes I tested too (but could not post reply) and found same problem. Seems a new trouble after few changes from Ning. Lets see if they can fix this too.
  • T3
    Hey Morli,
    If I'm posting a new blog there is an option for upload file. When responding to an existing blog that option is not there. What I ended up doing is starting a new blog to upload the file, saved that blog as a draft (although someone actually posted it a few hours later) and copied the link to the file back to this blog. Sort of a round about way that I don't recall having to do with previous blog posts. It looks like brakar and Mark had trouble too as I didn't see the KMLs for them either.

    Thanks for looking into this,
  • Admin
    Brian ,
    How do you attach/upload your KLM file? I will try to test
  • T3
    Oh No, My wife needs no help with my chore list. If fact the next challenge should be to get some of you guys out here to see how many chores you can get through in a weekend.

    Seems like there was an issue getting the KML files posted?? I finally had to fool the system by starting a new blog to post the file then copy that link back to this blog. Is this a known issue or am I just being stupid.
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