UAV Challenge Mission Complete Team SWFA Drops Water to Outback Joe
Moments after I pressed the publish key on the last post Outback Joe is in Deep Shit, word came through that these two young brothers Ben & Daniel Dyer have managed to get their aircraft into the search zone, find Outback Joe and successfully drop him a 500ml bottle of water within 25m.
This is the first time this mission has been successfully accomplished in the history of the competition.
The brothers from Melbourne put their success down to lack of bad luck and simplicity of design both in the airframe and the release mechanism.
But not the software and flight control boards, turns out Daniel is an embedded systems engineer and Ben runs an enterprise Email company that sends over 1 billion emails a year. Between them they designed their own custom flight control boards which had a Texas Instruments DSP chip for autopilot and an ARM Xenix Quad Core Microcontroller running Linux for the image processing.
Unlike most of the other teams they decided the standard Ardupilot was not going to cut it for the lightweight wing design in heavier wind so they wrote their own autopilot software from scratch.
Given the disparity in the resources both financial, engineering and human between some of the teams, (Team Poland turned up with a Drone so impressive that looked like it had been stolen from the Polish Airforce and some of the other teams have guys who designed some of the autopilot software) this is an amazing result, congratulations guys.
Have to think that they will knocking back job offers left right and center, well done guys.