Some 2000km away in sunny Korat, Thailand, we had a team of SUTD students participating in the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Challenge (AAVC) hosted by Suranaree University of Technology over the past week. It was a challenging competition that required flying to various way-points and performing a variety of tasks which includes image capture and payload delivery. All tasks were done autonomously and in an unfamiliar environment prior to that weekend.
Instead of using a conventional payload drop system (dropping it from high altitude with low precision), the team came up with a novel approach of mechanizing the payload. This means that the payload could launch and navigate to the required target remotely on its own, thus saving time and increasing payload delivery accuracy.
The team also implemented advanced vision algorithms so that the craft could detect the correct target without any human intervention. A heavy lift mothership was designed to carry 2 of these autonomous payloads. For the team’s effort for the past few months and the sleepless nights they spent designing, building and testing, they were awarded the “Best Design Award” at the competition.
Congratulations to our SUTD team, Team Atlas – made up of Emmanuel Tang, Ashwin Venkatram, Adam Haziq, Kenneth Chow and Malcom Neo.