UAV Challenge 2016
The IMechE Unmanned Aircraft System competition, challenges teams of Undergraduate students to design build and fly a UAV capable of autonomously transporting a payload of fragile medical supplies over a 2km course in under two minutes.
This year the team built on 2015’s successful quadcopter design, to produce a fully carbon fibre hexacopter with a unique octagonal arm structure. In order to guide the aircraft, the team created aerial optical character recognition software capable of searching for a desired target symbol on the ground and then guiding the aircraft to a hover over the target and deposit the supplies.
The team continued to grow and expand over the year, becoming Project Hex with a new logo and website to promote the teams research to fellow students and the general public. Representatives from the team have also taken part in outreach events, such as Sheffield’s Engineering Imagination day, in order to educate and inspire future engineers with their work.
Five new sponsors were also brought on board, with Floreon, Arco, Geomapper Ltd, Teamwork.com and CSIC all providing vital equipment and services to the team.
Over the year, team members have had the opportunity to work with the USE (University of Sheffield Enterprise) to develop crucial leadership, management and entrepreneurial skills. Additionally, through working with sponsor Geomapper Ltd, two team members have received the training, certification and insurance to safely pilot large UAV’s such as the team's aircraft.
In July this year the team flew against 17 other International Universities at the final competition in Worcestershire. After a thoroughly enjoyable week, the team came away with the first place prize for the most viable business proposition.