Joint winners of the 2017 Queensland Government Airborne Delivery Challenge


Cheeky Mongoz (top) and Calamvale Predators (bottom) – Joint winners

For the first time ever, we have joint winners of the high-school UAV Challenge competition – the Queensland Government Airborne Delivery Challenge. The joint winners are Cheeky Mangoz, a team from Toowoomba Christian College and the Calamvale Predators, a team from Calamvale Community College both from Queensland. The teams will share the combined first and second prize money and will receive $3,500 each. The Cheeky Mangoz was the highest place rookie team and so they also win the Rookie Award and an additional $2,000.


The final scores of the 2017 Queensland Government Airborne Delivery Challenge

Both teams performed exceptionally well and in the end scored exactly the same number of points! They both managed very accurate drops that were gentle on the medical package being delivered to Outback Joe.

In third place was Air Iris from Mueller College from Rothwell, Queensland. They won $1,000. They were also the first team in Airborne Delivery Challenge history to use a winch to lower the medical package to Outback Joe.

The Insitu Pacific Airmanship Award was given to the Calamvale Predators for their professionalism and great team attitude.

Team photos will be posted in the coming weeks. The organisers would like to thank the teams for the great spirit in which they competed and the event sponsors for their continued support.

This year our Gold Sponsors were the Queensland Government, Boeing, Insitu Pacific, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Defence Science and Technology Group, and our Bronze Sponsor was The Mathworks.

The event was co-organised by Queensland University of Technology (The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision) and CSIRO’s Data61.

We could not run these events without this generous support and also the volunteer support of many others who commit many hours of their time to the UAV Challenge. Remember that the 2018 Medical Express Challenge takes place in Dalby in September 2018, along with the next Airborne Delivery Challenge. Follow all the action here!

Day 1 of the 2017 Airborne Delivery Challenge

Group Shot-small

We have just completed the first day of the 2017 Airborne Delivery Challenge at Calvert, Queensland. The flying field, the weather and the teams were almost perfect today. We have ten teams competing for the first prize of $5,000. The teams attending are from Australia, USA, Malaysia and Poland.


Queensland Acting Chief Scientist Dr Christine Williams talking to students

We were privileged to have the Queensland Acting Chief Scientist, Dr Christine Williams open the event. The Queensland Government this year are naming sponsors of the Airborne Delivery Challenge. Our other sponsors are Boeing, Insitu Pacific, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, and the Mathworks. And the event is co-organised by CSIRO | Data 61 and QUT | The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.

The day started for teams with their presentations to our four great judges. The judges reported that the standard of presentations this year was excellent. The teams were then scrutineered by the UAV Challenge scrutineering team and showed off their flying and safety skills over the competition course. The scores at this stage are quite close and there is everything to fly for tomorrow.


The progress scores at the end of Day 1

We will see teams for an 8.00am briefing tomorrow morning and then the flying competition will begin!

Queensland Government sponsor UAV Challenge and name the 2017 competition


We are excited to announce that the Queensland Government are a Gold Sponsor for the 2017 UAV Challenge and that the high-school competition this coming week will be known as the Queensland Government Airborne Delivery Challenge.

The Queensland Government was a foundation partner of the UAV Challenge in 2007 and have supported our events ever since. We really could not have developed the UAV Challenge into the success it has become without the Queensland Government. This year the sponsorship of the government comes from the Departments of Science, Information Technology and Innovation; Natural Resources and Mines, and Defence Industries Queensland, within the Department of State Development. The government is helping Queensland maintain its position as a major hub for aviation and aerospace activity, including unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Thanks to the Queensland Government!

Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group sponsors the 2017 and 2018 UAV Challenge events


The UAV Challenge organisers are delighted to announce that Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group are Gold sponsors for the 2017 and 2018 series of UAV Challenge events. The Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group is part of Australia’s Department of Defence. It is the second largest public-funded R&D organisation in Australia. DST Group is a national leader in safeguarding Australia by delivering valued scientific advice and innovative solutions for Defence and national security. DST Group has been a past sponsor of the UAV Challenge and their continued support is very much welcomed. You can learn more about what DST Group does from their website here.

55 teams given a Go for Deliverable 1 for Medical Express 2018


The UAV Challenge Technical Committee has now completed its reviews of the Deliverable 1 documents from teams that have entered the UAV Challenge Medical Express event that will be held in September 2018. After some clarifications from some teams, all 55 teams have been given a Go decision and progress to the next stage. Congratulations to all the teams. A complete list of the teams can be found on the 2018 Medical Express Teams page.

Australian Centre for Robotic Vision comes onboard the UAV Challenge


The UAV Challenge has a new organising partner! The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, which is headquartered at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), is now co-organising the event with others at QUT and partners at CSIRO’s Data61. The Centre is a welcome addition to our organising team.

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision leads the world in the new discipline of robotic vision, applying computer vision to robotics. While robotics is about machines that interact with the physical world, computer vision is about analysing and understanding the world through images. Robotic Vision expands the capabilities of robots, allowing them to see and understand the world in which they are working. We believe it is the key technology that will allow robotics to change the way we live and work.

The Centre is already looking to apply it’s technologies to solve real challenges in the monitoring and protection of the natural and built environments, the provision of healthcare in hospitals and in the home, sustainable food production, and efficiently harnessing our natural resources.

You can read the Centre’s media statement here.

Lockheed Martin partners with UAV Challenge competition to inspire unmanned aircraft aspirants

Lockheed Martin

More exciting news from the UAV Challenge! We are delighted to announce that Lockheed Martin are Gold Sponsors for the 2017 and 2018 UAV Challenge Events. Thanks so much Lockheed Martin for your continued support of our events.

Here is the Lockheed Martin Media Release.

CANBERRA, Australia, September 11, 2017 – Lockheed Martin Australia has renewed its support of the UAV Challenge with a gold sponsorship of the events for 2017 and 2018, which will see young Australians high-school and university students further their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) support for the next generation of innovators.

The UAV Challenge is a global competition that aims to inspire and harness the ingenuity and passion of enthusiasts, high-school and university students from around the world to develop novel and cost-effective solutions to real-world problems. It has run since 2007 and has seen over 500 high-school students and nearly 3000 unmanned aircraft developers take part overt the past ten years.

“Lockheed Martin is a global technology leader who recognises that Australia needs a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent, and to have them on board again as a Gold sponsor of the UAV Challenge is fantastic,” Professor Jonathan Roberts, a Queensland University of Technology Professor in Robotics and one of the co-founders of the UAV Challenge said.

“We created the UAV Challenge to educate and inspire young people in STEM for real world applications such as search and rescue and medical delivery.”

Lockheed Martin Australia & New Zealand Chief Executive, Vince Di Pietro, said Lockheed Martin’s ongoing support of this event is a first-hand insight into the exciting and important STEM related activities currently engaging Australian students eyeing a future career in this rapidly advancing field.

“Technology is transforming how humans and machines work together to help make better informed decisions, expand reach and access, and increase safety and productivity. Events like the UAV Challenge are clear evidence of how inspirational STEM activities can help Lockheed Martin partner with academia and others to achieve these transformations in technology and human interaction and help shape the future.” Mr Di Pietro said.

The UAV Challenge runs as a series of events over a two-year cycle, and is open to high school students, universities and enthusiasts from around the world.

The 2017 and 2018 events comprise: The Airborne Delivery Challenge (September 26-28, 2017 and September 2018), involving high-school students responding to a hypothetical emergency situation that necessitates their delivering a life-saving medicine to @Outback_Joe, and The Medical Express Challenge (September 24-28, 2018), where entrants (enthusiasts and university students) must retrieve a medical sample from a hypothetically stranded farmer (@Outback_Joe) who’s been cut off by flood waters and urgently needs some medical analysis to be conducted.

About Lockheed Martin Australia

Headquartered in Canberra, Lockheed Martin Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lockheed Martin Australia and its related entities employ more than 800 people in Australia and New Zealand working on a wide range of major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence, maritime and civil sector.

About the UAV Challenge

The UAV Challenge is a global UAV competition that is co-organised by Queensland University of Technology (QUT)|The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision and DATA61|CSIRO. In its eleventh year of running, the competition has seen over 500 teams compete, with more than 3000 team members in that time. It has greatly influenced the development of three of the most widely used low-cost autopilots (APM:Plane, PX4 and Paparazzi), and encouraged the development and commercialization of components such as the RFD900 communications modem and the Millswood Engineering failsafe flight termination device.

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