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!

Views: 4634

Comment by simonl on July 28, 2010 at 2:07pm
Do we need some rule about having to fly a certain horizontal distance from home first, otherwise the quadcopter guys have an advantage!

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 28, 2010 at 2:16pm
Good point. I'll add a rule about needing to be in forward motion of at least 25mph and at least 100ft altitude.
Comment by Patrick Mccabe on July 28, 2010 at 2:35pm
One day will we get ground vehicle challenges :) ?

Comment by Brian on July 28, 2010 at 3:45pm
Patrick, Add some VTOL to your GV? :/

Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 28, 2010 at 11:05pm
100ft Chris!!! Blimey. Somebody clever quickly work out the velocity of an average egg falling from 100' having departed at 25 mph!!! I must admit I had forgotten about vertical craft capable craft as well when we thought of this!!

@ Patrick, do you think there is enough demand for ground vehicles as well?? Its not something I know anything about.

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on July 28, 2010 at 11:44pm
The round is silly. Our hobby might get banned because of that. I suggest immedite retraction.

Comment by Morli on July 29, 2010 at 12:42am
25Mph and 100' seems little high , some foamies can do less than that. 10 Km/hr and 50' might be better .
Helis & quads can have their run seperated.
Comment by Mike on July 29, 2010 at 4:07am
All sorts of scope for disaster methinks......especially as it is to be done autonomously. Dropping things is not the first thing that jumps to mind for UAV work - rather aerial photography. I know that has been done before but what about a line keeping exercise. Fly, say, three parallel lines of 300m length and the winner is the one with the lowest total deviation from the survey lines. I have read on the RCGroups PicoPilot thread that a problem with some of the earlier trials was that speed seemed more important than line keeping - the latter is surely a more important feature of a UAV. My 2 cents....

Comment by Morli on July 29, 2010 at 5:43am
think it as pre trial for OB challenge and water drop for Joe. Any thing autonomous is dangerous depending on what when and where , and then how you do it. start with table tennis ball or small water balloon for trials until you are 110% sure, smart risk mitigation is the way to grow/move forward IMHO.

Comment by Krzysztof Bosak on July 29, 2010 at 6:02am
Technically 25mph is 46.5km/h. Only seriously overloaded easystar flies that fast. Normally you get 36-43km/h,
33-40km/h easygliders.
That put aside,

Australian OutBack challenge is govt controlled contest on far outback aimed for developing payload-delivering military UAV (the water bottle must hit close to enemy, but not directly what is a smokescreen as with typical hit radius of 20m, hitting a sitting human body directly is extremely improbable). But the results are controlled and the ppl are supervised.
We are not govt/research funded and somebody might use this as an argument against us.
PLS note worldwide audience.


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