All posts by Andreas Antener

VTOL progress with PX4

We were able to make good use of the last few weeks of good weather. VTOL support in PX4 is becoming more and more stable and supports now the 3 basic types of VTOL UAVs:

  • Tiltrotor
  • Tailsitter
  • Standard (non-tailsitter, non-tiltrotor)

In addition to manual flight we also successfully tested completely autonomous flights with transitions on a standard VTOL.

Have a look at the videos:


Medical Express

The organizers of the UAV Challenge recently announced their next competition: the Medical Express. It’s not about dropping water bottles anymore, instead the UAV has to pick up a blood sample from Joe at a remote location (Joe’s outback residence) and bring it back home. The landing spots will be obstructed, there will be no glide slope for landing/takeoff. Flight distance from home to Joe’s location is between 20km and 30km. The Medical Express therefore introduces quite some interesting challenges: on-board landing spot detection, remote vertical takeoff and landing, flight corridors for traversal, possible loss of LOS.

We’re very keen on participating again, and we’re already preparing the range finders for ground distance detection ;). Stay tuned!

For more information on the Medical Express Challenge, visit

We’re going to Australia!

Swiss Fang received the Go decision!

From the OBC committee:

The Go decisions have been made for the 2014 UAV Challenge Search and Rescue competition. We are please to announce that 20 teams have been given a Go decision and have been invited to Kingaroy. The teams are:
Aeolus (Singapore)
Open UAS (Netherlands)
NCSU Aerial Robotics Club (USA)
Team Condor (Australia)
Monash UAS (Australia)
Perth UAV (Australia)
IRSA Group (Iran)
Compass UAV (Australia)
Swiss Fang (Switzerland)
MelAvio (Poland)
VAMUdeS (Canada)
SFWA (Australia)
TinBox UAV 2 (Australia)
Robota (USA)
Rescue Robotics (Australia)
Team Aetournos (France)
H2Joe (Australia)
MUROC Wild Hogs (Australia)
Canberra UAV (Australia)
Team Thunder (Australia)

Tuning and Testing

Good News, the Swiss Fang is still on track for the competition. We successfully made it through deliverable 2. This means that the competition committee has verified the technical details of our system and determined it meets their safety requirements.

Currently, we’re tuning the Viper for efficient and stable autonomous flight.

The following video shows a nice manual start with the improved catapult:

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