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UAVforge Crowd-Sourcing Competition

UAVforge Crowd-Sourcing Competition

DARPA’s UAVforge crowd-sourcing program kicks off…

Another crowd-sourcing program has been launched by DARPA, this time in the pursuit of a next-gen UAV that can ‘perch and stare’ and performed Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL).

The global crowd-sourcing competition, known as UAVforge, is open to all. Over 800 people have already signed up. Ninety teams have already registered, and almost half have already submitted deigns.

Anyone can sign up at the UAVforge website; you can form a team, join an existing team, or of you don’t have any technical expertise, you can still sign up to cast your vote for the best design.

darpa uavforge crowd-sourcing

DARPA UAVforge Crowd-Sourcing Competition

The goal of DARPA’s crowd-sourcing projects is to find out if new concepts can be designed and built cheaper and quicker than large corporate contractors. UAVforge specifically calls for a new craft that is cheaper and easier to operate than the Shrike VTOL UAV developed by AeroVironment.

For the first milestone, at the end of this month, competitors must post a video of their design on the website. There will then be two weeks of voting before the next stage of the competition begins.

The next of the competition is to film the UAV’s first flight; the deadline for this comes in December. There will then be another period of voting before the next milestone in January; when the team must perform a live flight with DARPA giving instructions of the phone, and monitoring the flight from a live feed.

The designs will be weaned down to just 10 entries, which DARPA will invite to Camp Lejeune, N.C. in spring 2012 for a competitive fly-off.

The flight competition will be scored out of 200; 30 points for basic VTOL and perch and stare; 140 points for advanced maneuvers, and 30 points for manufacturability.

The winner will receive $100,000, and the opportunity for their UAV to participate in a military exercise. A chosen manufacturer will build up to 15 of the winning UAVs, however all rights will remain will the winning team who will be free to chose their own methods of manufacturing.

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  1. Graham Warwick: DARPA's UAV Crowd-Sourcing Kicks Off. Ares Defense Blog, Aviation Week, 10/11/2011.
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