TU Delft wins two out of three first prizes at international competition for micro aircraft

Researchers and students of the TU Delft Micro Air Vehicle laboratory (MAV-lab) have won two out of three first prizes in the International Micro Air Vehicle competition (IMAV 2013) in Toulouse, France, with their innovative unmanned micro aircraft. They for example operated 12 MAVs simultaneously with a single ‘operator’ and demonstrated a 3D printed hybrid aircraft.

12 researchers and students with backgrounds in aerospace engineering, computer science and artificial intelligence participated on behalf of TU Delft in the International Micro Air Vehicle competition that took place in Toulouse, France, in September. Their innovations scored well in the three competition categories: first prize in the outdoor competition, first prize in indoor operations and third prize for indoor autonomous flight. The team presented a range of innovations:

  • Operating 12 MAVs with a single operatorNew autopilot and computer vision software for a commercially available drone
  • Reduction in size of MAVS thanks to the world’s smallest open source autopilot
  • Autonomous flight of hybrid MAVs. This combination of helicopter and fixed wing combines the advantages of vertical take-off and landing with fast and efficient forward flight.
  • A totally new electronics suite for DelFly, the 20 gram flapping wing MAV from TU Delft. The  DelFly can stay in the air longer and is more flexible with his new 1 gram autopilot and new electronics.
  • Demonstration of a 3D-printed MAV and a 7cm micro quadrotor.

The IMAV is a conference and competition in the field of small, unmanned aircraft. During the competition these small aerial vehicles, some of them not bigger than a bird or an insect, have to complete complex missions, such as navigating their way around obstacles or collaborating with other autonomous aircraft to search areas as efficiently as possible. Other participating teams at IMAV 2013 included Cambridge University and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

The MAV-lab participates in the Delft Robotics Institute.

More information:  

Read the TU Delft press release of 26 August 2013 about the world’s smallest autopilot.

Have a look at the IMAVS.org website.

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