Record 25 university teams go head to head in UAV engineering throwdown

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has ramped up its UAV engineering competition by hosting a record number of teams.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge run by the IMechE, which is now in its fourth year, will feature 25 teams from various universities doing battle with their custom-built drones.

As part of the year-long challenge, a selection of leading young engineers from the UK and overseas will be challenged to design, build and operate UAV for a humanitarian aid operation.

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In accordance with the challenge’s guidelines the UAV must complete a series of tasks, such as way-point navigation, following a route towards a specific mark, location search and accurate delivery of an aid package.

The competition has been growing steadily since its launch, when twelve teams took part. This year, 25 teams have been confirmed to compete, including four international teams and a team from the University of Bath, which was crowned winner of the UAS Challenge 2017.

A steering group, comprising of specialist professionals in aerospace engineering and flight safety at leading aerospace and defence organisations, supports the teams throughout the project.

The commercial viability of the projects are also tested with a Dragons’ Den style pitch to a panel of judges.

Peter Finegold, head of education policy at the IMechE, said: “Taking part in the UAS challenge provides students with an excellent opportunity to bridge the gap between education and industry.

“Students are involved in an engineering project which brings theoretical knowledge to life and encourages authentic work experiences such as working in teams, to deadlines and solving real problems as they arise.”

Qinetiq and GKN Aerospace will continue to support the UAS Challenge 2018.

Malcolm Foster, chief engineer of advanced projects at GKNs, added: “Last year was GKNs first year of sponsoring the UAS Challenge, and we were impressed by both the professionalism of the contest and the quality of the entrants’ submissions. We had a great time participating in the fly off activities and judging, and we had no hesitation about extending our sponsorship and look forward to another exciting year.”

Confirmed teams taking part in the 2018 UAS Challenge are:

Loughborough University

University College London – Project Bentham Team
University College London – Drone Aid
University of Southampton – Team Athena
University of Southampton – Team Horus
Swansea University – Team Cigno
Coventry University – Team Phoenix
University of Portsmouth
Sheffield Hallam University
University of the West of England
University of Surrey – Team Peryton
University of Dundee – Team Haggis Aerospace
University of Sheffield – Team Project HEX
National University of Science and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan – Team NUST AirWorks
DHA Suffa University, Pakistan – Team Zarrar
Queen Mary University of London – Team Hawkes
Kingston University London – Team Project Wunderfly
University of Glasgow
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka – Team Mora Avions
University College London – Nova Team
Istanbul Technical University, Turkey – Team Hedef
University of Cambridge
University of Nottingham
University of Huddersfield – Team Hawk
University of Bath – Team Bath Drones

Tags : Bath UniversityEngineeringIMechEInstitution of Mechanical EngineersUAS ChallengeUAV
Emma Calder

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