Feeds

Home-grown drone finds ‘missing’ hiker

Search and rescue award goes to amateurs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The CSIRO’s long-standing UAV Challenge has borne fruit, with a hobbyist-built drone successfully searching for a dummy – representing a missing bushwalker – with no human intervention.

The Canberra-built drone flew over the search area – 1.5 x 3 km – and successfully located the “Outback Joe” dummy. As the UAV Challenge notes, the Canberra drone’s three reports of the dummy’s location were correct within 6.56, 4.40 and 3.16 meters – well within the error bounds of the GPS system the drone used.

The Canberra team would have scored a $50,000 prize if their drone had also dropped a bottle of water to the right place, but regrettably, the water bottle landed more than 1,000 meters away from Outback Joe – so the team has had to settle for a $10,000 encouragement award.

Outback Joe rests with the winning team. Image: Stefan Hrabar

The UAV Challenge was set up after a 2005 workshop. This is the first time a drone has located the dummy without help: last year’s winning team combed through a collection of pictures sent back from their drone to locate the dummy.

While expensive military drones could probably replicate the feat, complete with putting an end to Outback Joe’s worries by bombing him, UAV Challenge teams live under greater constraints: a fixed wing search craft has to weigh less than 150 kg, it has to travel 5km from its start point to begin its search, it has to complete the search within an hour – and, of course, it has to be built without the kind of budgets available to the military-industrial complex.

As noted by the Sydney Morning Herald, other competitors suffered badly on the day: one was intentionally crashed when it exited the designated “safe area” of the challenge; two crashed while flying to the search area; and a Canadian team suffered a camera malfunction during its search. ®

Bootnote: El Reg thanks the commenter that directed us to this YouTube presentation about the Canberra team, given to Linuxconfau 2012 by none other than Andrew Tridgell, of Samba fame. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.