UMD Team's Autonomous Drone Takes 3rd in International Race

UMD Team's Autonomous Drone Takes 3rd in International Race

UMD Team's Autonomous Drone Takes 3rd in International Race

The Maryland Paratroopers: (from left) graduate student Rohit Nambiar, visiting graduate student Vincenz Frenzel, aerospace engineering Assistant Professor Huan
The Maryland Paratroopers: (from left) graduate student Rohit Nambiar, visiting graduate student Vincenz Frenzel, aerospace engineering Assistant Professor Huan "Mumu" Xu, Matthew Vaughn '19, and grad student Derek Thompson.

A pint-sized drone flown by University of Maryland students and faculty took third place in an international competition in Madrid after winding its way through a tricky obstacle course without any human help.

The point of Wednesday’s event, held at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (one of the largest and most impacting robotics research conferences worldwide), was to have the autonomous aircraft negotiate a course of eight gates, some of which are complex in structure—a challenge in the realms of computer vision, algorithms for gate detection, logic, and others.

The “Maryland Paratroopers” team, with students from the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, made it through in about 90 seconds, placing ahead of teams from Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, and Korea. The winning team, which completed the course in 31.78 seconds, hailed from the University of Zurich.

“This was the first year we ever competed, and our goal was to come in and finish the course,” said Huan “Mumu” Xu, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and an affiliate of the Institute for Systems Research and Maryland Robotics Center. “Because our goal was to finish, we never really focused on speed. That definitely changes next year.”

Contributions from the Brin Family Prize and the Maryland Robotics Center supported the Maryland team's participation in the drone competition.

Related Articles:
NASA’s ASRS an Effective Tool for Improving Unmanned Aviation Safety
Firebird Tour Makes Stop in St. Mary’s County
Softer, More Resilient Robots
New undergraduate minor in robotics and autonomous systems
The Path to Urban Air Mobility...And Beyond
History-Making Organ Flight Honored with Industry Award
Rachel Suitor aboard NGS/NOAA expedition in Gulf of Mexico
Xu, Castano Recognized for Work on UAS Collision Avoidance
UMD Takes Second in VFS Design-Build-Vertical-Flight Competition
Three ECE Professors Ranked Top Scientists in the World by Guide2Research

October 5, 2018


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Alumnus David Bader Receives 2021 Sidney Fernbach Award

In Memoriam: John William Fritz (‘17, electrical engineering)

UMD research team creates ‘switchable’ adhesive for repairing cuts and tears in tissue

Torrents Awarded Ben Dyer Centennial Chair

Improving Access to Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Therapeutics Tech

Kollár Receives NSF MRI Grant to Enhance Micro/Nanofabrication Initiatives 

UMD Mechanical Engineering Advances in Rankings

Liangbing Hu’s HighT-Tech Wins 2021 Spinoff Prize

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar