Challenges posted - see below!
In the near future, autonomous and semi-autonomous flying computers are likely to broadly enter commerce, education, and governance fields with sensing, communication, and actuation capabilities. The NCSU CentMesh drones were developed to facilitate teaching and research - about such flying nodes as well as on them. The NCSU Centennial Drones Challenge is an event intended to help improve NCSU awareness and expertise about these future platforms, to increase participation in NCSU drone-related activities, and in general, to have fun!
The CentMesh drones are fabricated using standard hexacopter frame and the well-known Arducopter controllers; but instead of communicating to the Arducopter using a Ground Control Station software (or simply flying it manually like a radio-controlled toy plane), we put a BeagleBone Black, a small Linux computer, on each of them. The challenge consists of pre-programming these computers to fly the drones, so they can perform in true autonomous fashion. For example, a simple challenge could be: "Write a program so that upon execution, the drone will take off vertically, hold altitude at 50 feet, and wait for a message sent via WiFi containing a set of coordinates; upon receiving the message, will move to those coordinates, hover for 30 seconds, then land."
If the program you submit successfully installs and runs on the CentMesh drone platform, and does the job, you passed that challenge. If it could not be loaded or run, or upon running crashed and burned (hopefully not literally!) then you failed the challenge.
Download First Round Challenges in PDF form.
The first team to fulfill the challenge, or the last team standing (or rather
flying), will be deemed to have won the Grand Challenge, and the cash prize.
This team (and possibly one or two other teams that were close to winning) will
be issued another challenge on the spot, and an hour to develop a program to
solve it. Beating this challenge will get the team an additional cash prize.
This one is non-competitive: any invited team that beats the challenge can
claim a prize.
Registration opens: January 1, 2014 (now open)
Initial challenge completion window closes: March 22
Grand challenge: April 12 (raindate: April 13)
To successfully register for this year’s CentMesh Drone Challenge, you must
complete the following three steps. You can do so anytime prior to the
closing of the initial challenge window, but based on the resources available,
we may be unable to accept registrations beyond the first ten teams to
register. Each member of your team must individually
follow these steps.
Download and complete the
CentMesh Drones Challenge Waiver.