September 3, 2017 • Eric Johnson
IARC was a smashing success for the team. All of the team’s tireless preparation allowed the runs to go flawlessly. The drone demonstrated a few abilities that are essential to solve mission 7. On our first run we demonstrated fully autonomous flight. The drone executed a simple program that utilized the IMU for stability, and our lidar range sensor for altitude to takeoff and land. The final 2 runs, the team flew the drone manually. The purpose of these flights was to demonstrate the stability and endurance of the drone. We flew the drone for 10 straight minutes, which is the max amount of time alloted to solve mission 7. During the 10 minute flights the drone interacted with the roombas proving the viability of the structural characteristics. In addition, the vision team ran some of their vision code to test a preliminary positioning system. The video from the flight might also be used in the future to help build a neural net to train our detection algorithm.
Texas Aerial Robotics progress was recognized with a 4th place finished. The team is very pleased with all the things they have been able to accomplish in the last 6 months. All of the team members are excited to return to Austin to further develop their system and make another run at solving the impossible mission in 2018.