Flying robots on the up and up
The fourth Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Outback Challenge, held in Kingaroy in regional Queensland this week, saw teams come within a whisker of scooping the $50 000 top prize.
Ten teams from the US, Brazil, Holland and Australia designed and built their own UAVs to qualify for the search and rescue event.
After testing, two teams were left to attempt the challenge of locating a fictional missing character, a mannequin dubbed 'Outback Joe' sitting a few kilometres from the airport, and delivering him a water bottle - all of it autonomously: no pilots, no remote control.
A team from the University of North Dakota in the US came the closest anyone has ever come to completing the challenge. They successfully located Outback Joe, only to accidentally drop their water bottle too early. They won a $15 000 encouragement prize.
"This is the best year so far," said CSIRO's Dr Jonathan Roberts, event co-founder and head judge of the Challenge. "The teams were even more professional and the level of safety they displayed was exceptional. Hopefully next year they'll make that drop to Joe."
A member of the winning team, Danny Hajicek, said the team was happy with the result.
"We're disappointed about the small technical difficulty over the drop but a thousand and one other things could have gone wrong and didn't."
"The teams were even more professional and the level of safety they displayed was exceptional."
Dr Jonathan Roberts
The Robota team, also from the US, made it into the area in which Joe was located before a communications failure saw their UAV abort its mission - they won $5000.
Eight high school teams competed to fly an aeroplane by remote control and drop a chocolate bar to Outback Joe, this time sitting within the bounds of the airport. However, the pilots couldn't see the aircraft, and had to rely on signals, including video, beamed back to them.
The Calamvale Hornets from Calamvale Community College in Queensland picked up $5000 for dropping the chocolate right between Joe's legs.
Latitude 38, a two-man team from Melbourne, also won $5000 for making the best documentary charting their experience of preparing for the challenge.
Alpha Unmanned Systems has selected Robotic Skies to develop and implement a global support plan for its Alpha 800 unmanned helicopter and future commercial UAS, ...
As the use of drones in the civil and commercial space becomes increasingly commonplace the need to secure the system and data contained within from ...
The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper has been selected for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) under Project Air 7003 Phase 1, Minister ...
Europe’s first hydrogen-powered UAS was unveiled on 15 November at London’s Commercial UAV Show, demonstrating how extended flying times could become a reality for smaller ...
Military UAVs and UCAVs featured prominently at Airshow China 2018, held in Zhuhai from 6-11 November, and. What follows is a round-up of military UAV ...
E2E has successfully completed an over-the-air flight test of its newly launched UAS-I satellite communication node for UAS. E2E is developing the solution in order ...