Medical Express

Competition News


You can see a list of teams competing in the UAV Challenge Medical Express 2018 here.


There is an FAQ page where commonly asked questions are posted and answered by the UAV Challenge Technical Committee. Before contacting the Technical Committee with questions, please read the FAQ carefully. If you can not find the answer you are looking for, then please email the Technical Committee at

The  2018 Mission Task

Outback Joe is at his property in remote Queensland, Australia and has been feeling unwell. He has had a remote consultation with his doctor using video conferencing, and his doctor has requested some blood tests be done as soon as possible. Joe is well prepared, has a home sample taking kit, and has taken his blood sample. The challenge is now to get the blood sample to the lab. Joe’s property is very remote and to make matters worse, it has been cut off by floodwaters.

Teams are invited to attempt to retrieve a blood sample from the remote Outback Joe and return it to base where medical staff will be waiting to analyse it. Teams are encouraged to develop systems that can carry out the mission in a fully autonomous manner using Type 2 Autonomy.


An example layout for a 2018 Medical Express Challenge mission. Note that this figure is an example only.

Changes from 2016 

The 2018 Medical Express Challenge has been designed to extend the capability of teams in the area of autonomy. The UAV Challenge Technical Committee believe that the level of autonomy of UAVs must increase in order to see them used more regularly to save lives. Additional cash prizes have been created for demonstration of Type 2 Autonomy and an ability to re-plan a mission in real-time and potentially avoid other airspace users (known as the Extension Autonomy Challenge).


Entrants are required to submit a short technical report (known as Deliverable 1) that describes the proposed system design and safety considerations. Later a more detailed technical report is required (Deliverable 2) that outlines a team’s design approach, methodology for remote landing, and operational and safety procedures along with a flight demonstration video was submitted.  Finally an Autonomous Flight Record that documented a minimum of five hours of autonomous flight has to be provided along with a Safety Case document (Deliverable 3). The top-twenty teams that pass the Deliverable 3 checkpoint will be invited to the competition.


Points will be awarded based on the mission performance including the accuracy of the remote landing, technical documentation, and the team’s answers to questions from the judges prior to the mission.


The blood vial successfully retrieved from Canberra UAV’s Quadplane in 2016.

The Prize

The team to achieve the highest points total and have also completed the mission, and after the competition is complete, will be declared the winner and will receive AUD$ 25,000.

If the winning team has completed the mission using Type 2 Autonomy then they will receive a bonus of AUD$25,000.

If the winning team also completes the mission containing Dynamic No Fly Zones they will receive an additional bonus of AUD$25,000.

The maximum prize for the winning team is therefore AUD$75,000.

The team achieving the highest points total, whether or not they have completed the mission, will be awarded the Rod Walker Trophy, presented in memory of Professor Rod Walker, co-founder of the UAV Challenge.

Event Location

The UAV Challenge Medical Express 2018 event will be held at the Dalby Model Aero Club, 743 Cecil Plains Road, Dalby, Queensland, Australia. This will be the location of The Base.

Key Dates

  • Team Registration and Deliverable 1 – 30th August 2017
  • Deliverable 2: Flight Readiness Review – 11th April 2018
  • Deliverable 3: Autonomous Flight Record – 8th August 2018
  • Final “Go/No-Go” and qualification announcements – 15th August 2018
  • Team Insurance Deadline – 5th September 2018
  • UAV Challenge event – 24th to 28th September 2018


Rules and other files relating to the UAV Challenge Medical Express (2018)