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 http://uavchallenge.org/medical-express/

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)

Joe Finder Tests and Deliverable #3 Flight Hours Achieved

Last Sunday we reached another milestone accumulating a total of 6.5 hours autonomous flight. With this we met the main requirement of Deliverable #3 for the OBC requiring 5 autonomous hours with at least one flight longer than 30 min.

Following this we moved onto the next phase of testing our “Joe Finder” onboard vision system in the Viper. The initial results were looking quite promising.

The following video shows a compilation of the flights from the day including some sequences created from the onboard downward facing imaging camera.

Seconds away from launch:IMG_2598

Julian checking the status of onboard vision system as we “search for Joe”:IMG_2593

Walking the Viper back after a successful flight:Foto (1)

The long range search and rescue drone