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DST continues its support of UAV Challenge

20 February 2018

DST is proud to announce its continuing sponsorship of the UAV Challenge for 2018.

The UAV Challenge, established in 2007 to demonstrate the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for civilian applications, consists of two competition streams; an annual high school competition and a biennial "Medical Express" competition which sees entrants from around the world take up the challenge of using a UAV to retrieve a blood sample from a fictional stranded outback resident.

DST's Kent Rosser says that events such as the UAV Challenge are essential for the ongoing development of Australia's next generation of scientists, engineers and problem solvers, and sponsorship of the event is a smart investment in the future.

"The yearly high school challenge is a fantastic way for schools to promote STEM subjects with an applied, engaging and fun problem," he explains.

"The competition also does a great job at promoting teamwork, airmanship, multi-disciplinary problem solving and developing presentation skills."

Running in parallel to the high school challenge is the biennial component of the competition, called the 'Medical Express' where competitors use autonomous aerial vehicles to retrieve a blood sample from a stranded and remote outback resident. This competition attracts hundreds of participants from around the world and is targeted towards teams of operators, students and enthusiasts alike, who are seeking to extend what is technically possible with small unmanned systems and the regulations that govern them.

To promote the further development of autonomous systems, and in alignment with a trusted autonomy strategic research initiative within Defence, DST has sponsored the addition of an Extension Autonomy Challenge. Competitors in the 2018 Medical Express will have the opportunity to take home an additional $25,000 by avoiding dynamically moving no fly zones whilst also completing all of the other competition requirements.

DST wishes all entrants participating in the UAV Challenge the best of luck and looks forward to seeing the unique and novel solutions created by the teams that address the increasingly difficult problems of the competition.

For more information about the UAV Challenge and how you can get involved, visit the UAV Challenge website.