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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  • 3D Robotics
    Krzys: That sounds good to me. Gary, you okay with that, too?
  • T3
    Also add that missed_distance is always at least 1ft, rounded up to the nearest ft.
  • T3
    I have a proposal for scoring:
    average of 2 or 3 trials, min altitude 50ft, max altitude 400ft.
    This will fit regulations and also favourise more ambitious altitudes - in a fair way.

    the reason is that deviation will be dependent mostly on time spent on failing.
    for low flying, main limitation will be navigational precision of the plane. for high flying, it will be wind estimation.
  • I'm game! I have to enter at least one comp... Now... How do I get the normal Ardu to output a signal to activate the extra servo?
  • Admin
    Some days are better than other I guess :) , watch when egg hits the ground ( why does any thing/ S*** have to hit the fan !!!? this will do ...) , this round is taking off well (at least on paper)
  • Moderator
    Well one things for sure we have never reached three pages of comments before anyone has even flown.
  • A few guys dropping eggs from UAVs isn't going to ban the hobby unless they do it in highly populated areas which shouldn't be flown in anyways. I believe we are all adults and should be able to do things safely.
  • Admin
    But once the egg is proved to be intact after landing , the egg has to picked and droped by hand with spalter similar to one in the photo ( all this has to be captured in video , no chicken & egg story :) ) ,
  • T3
    "Does the rules say anything about boiling the egg? :p "
    And Rubber Chicken with pulley in the middle?
  • @Gary, I think we will get more ground vehicles with time but its not fun only having Sparkfun's competition at which most of us cant make.
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