Future Competitions

We will be participating in these competitions during the 2019-2020 season. Stay tuned for updates!

  • NSF CPS-VO Competition 2020
  • AIAA Design-Build-Fly 2020
  • IARC Mission 8 2020

Past Competitions

National Science Foundation CPS-VO Pilot Competition

May 2019 | 2nd Place
Building on the 2018 results, the goal of the competition was again to find and recover a lost drone. This year the team used a net to sweep up the lost drone once detected. This simple but effective solution allowed them to successfully recover the lost drone.
May 2018 4th Place
We developed a system that was capable of autonomous search and rescue of a drone lost in the field. We used an electromagnet to pick up the lost drone. Unfortunately the extremely windy conditions prevented the solution from working.
October 2016 Results: 1st Place 

We helped create a pilot competition along with teams from University of California Los Angeles, Vanderbilt University and University of Arizona, in partnership with the National Science Foundation and Microsoft Research. The aim of the competition was to autonomously pickup and deploy mosquito traps in the field.

International Aerial Robotics Competition

August 2019 | This year marks the first of IARC mission 8, which focuses on human-robot interaction. PennAiR came to competition with a unique design focused on minimizing manufacturing costs of their system. The team did not give up despite multiple technical issues and a component which caught on fire. However, the technical issues made the system not competitive. The team returned with a lot of energy and with many ideas on how to improve reliability for next year.
August 2017 | The club returned to IARC with hardware and software much improved over last year’s. The aim of this indoor competition is to herd ten robots across a ‘goal’ line. These robots move in noisy paths, frequently change direction, and react in specific ways if blocked or tapped.
August 2016 | Results: Best Technical Paper Award
The aim of this competition is to herd 10 robots indoors across a ‘goal’ line. These robots move in noisy paths, frequently change direction, and react in specific ways if blocked or tapped. At this American venue, we were the only team to successfully demonstrate semi-autonomous flight and also the only team to attempt fully autonomous flight.

AIAA Design-Build-Fly

April 2019 | The 2019 PAiR submission to the AIAA Design, Build, Fly competition was a culmination of eight months of dedicated iterating on and testing of a complex remotely operated aircraft.  We created an aircraft with a wingspan of 8-feet that could be remotely commanded to unfold its wings from a stowed configuration, deploy attack stores midflight, and commanded to remotely actuate a rotating radome. The aircraft blew away the competition in the timed ground mission.
April 2017 | We built a tube-launched UAV for the 2017 AIAA Design-Build-Fly competition. In this competition, the UAV has to carry at least 3 hockey pucks and be easily stowed inside a round tube. To accomplish this, we created self-locking retention mechanisms, allowing the folding wings and tail to snap open after being extracted from the tube.

AUVSI SUAS Challenge

The aim of the AUVSI SUAS Competition is to build a fully autonomous UAV capable of navigating a series of waypoints, avoiding stationary and moving obstacles, finding a ‘lost’ hiker, and deploying a payload to the hiker. The competition is very open-ended, allowing any heavier-than-air aircraft (both rotorcraft and fixed-wing). We are experimenting with interesting, cutting-edge solutions to this challenge!

June 2018 | The team built on their success the previous and focused on reliability. They managed to show most flight behaviors needed to complete the challenge and again received a cash prize. The task now is to integrate the vision component.

June 2017 | PennAiR developed their own implementation of an artificial potential field obstacle avoidance algorithm, thanks to which they received a cash award. Unfortunately the flight crashed due to a misfire of the payload deployment system.