UAV Challenge 2018

The Queensland town of Dalby is home to Margot Robbie and now the 2018 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Challenge.

Organised by QUT with the support of the Australian Centre of Robotic Vision and CSIRO’s Data61, the aim of the challenge is to discover new innovations in UAV technology that can be used to save the lives of vulnerable Australians living in remote areas.

Teams from across Australia and the world will compete at the Dalby Model Aero Club from 24-28 September.

Dalby local Doug Browne knows a thing or two about near-death experiences after the 2011 floods.

“I was pretty lucky to survive that one,” he said.

“Another time, I was knocked out cold when working on a stationary road train.

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the tarp fell off and a piece of metal hit me on the head.”

The competition has been split into two challenges that test the real-world application of the technology for medical aid and search and rescue missions. Young engineers can compete in the annual high school

Airborne Delivery Challenge which requires competitors to program a UAV to drop an EpiPen to a stranded individual.

The Medical Express competition is a Mission Impossible-style biennial challenge that requires the UAV fly 30km to land autonomously in difficult and unknown conditions and return with a blood sample from the patient.

“The biennial Medical Express challenge has not yet been completed,” Data61 senior engineer Dennis Frousheger said.

“However, we’ve upped the ante – to win the maximum prize of $75,000, unmanned aircraft need to complete the mission without pilot intervention while avoiding all the simulated obstacles we throw at them.

“It’s going to be a cliff hanger.”