Feeds

Home-grown drone finds ‘missing’ hiker

Search and rescue award goes to amateurs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor
Single ant-sized Stanford chip combines radio, 'puter, antenna
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Drones swarm over bearded Brit billionaire's island getaway
Just to take lovely pictures though, after Richard Branson invests in 3D Robotics
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
California blue whale numbers soar to historical levels, say boffins
Still far too many of them being struck by US ships, mind
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.