Thursday, October 04, 2012

Canberra Students Build Winning Rescue Aircraft

The "Canberra UAV" team, made up of Canberra school and university students, teachers and researchers have won the "Outback Rescue UAV Challenge". This is an annual competition where teams have to fly a small robotic aircraft over a test area, locate a person in distress and drop a bottle of water to them. The Canberra team heavily modified a  low cost commercial UAV, adding an advanced autopilot, digital camera,  custom on-board image processing and multiple digital radio systems.

The team demonstrated some of the systems for the UAV at "Make Hack Void". This is a high tech community "shed" in Canberra) in March.

While the competition has a humanitarian aim, the UAV technology also has obvious security and military applications. The US the Defense Department is promoting such "Do It With Others" (DIWO) activities in schools, as a way to encourage a technologically trained workforce.

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