2018 UAV Challenge: post event update

October 11th, 2018

UAV Challenge: post-event update

Co-organised by the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group CSIRO Data 61 and ACRV QUT, the goal of the 2018 UAV Challenge was to demonstrate the utility of Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) for civilian applications, particularly in those applications that will save the lives of people in the future.

The event draws on the ingenuity and passion of aero modellers, university students and high-school students around the world to develop novel and cost-effective solutions.

The mission

Eleven teams flew in the 2018 Medical Express Challenge and their mission was to retrieve a blood sample from Outback Joe at his farm and in doing that they had to land within 10m of a visual target. Their aircraft had to fly at least 12 nautical miles from the Base of operations to Joe’s farm, and back (24 nautical miles in total, which is approximately 44.5km).

The team to complete that mission (as per the rules) and score the most points would win $25,000. Teams had an option to complete the mission fully autonomously and show a complete hands-off operation, and if they were the winning team, they would get an additional $25,000.

Finally, teams had a second option to avoid Dynamic No Fly Zones in the DST Group Extension Autonomy Challenge. If the winning team also completed that, they would be awarded another $25,000. A maximum of $75,000 for one team was up for grabs!

The result

After three days of flying, the task proved just out of the reach of all eleven teams and unfortunately, there was no overall winner. No team successfully completed the Medical Express Challenge core mission, although two teams came very close.

A full report of the five days are available via the links below:

The event was sponsored by the Queensland Government, Insitu Pacific and Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Australia, Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group and MathWorks.

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