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KNA MelAvio to enter an international competition

Students of KNA MelAvio at 2018 IAV Cup, their successful drone and self-driving robot competition; photo: KNA MelAvio FB

Students of KNA MelAvio at 2018 IAV Cup, their successful drone and self-driving robot competition; photo: KNA MelAvio FB

UAV Challenge Medical Express is a biannual event for the best academic teams from all over the world and professional teams engaged in building autonomous machines. At this year’s competition running September 24 to 28, 2018, the Warsaw University of Technology will be represented by students of the MelAvio Avionics Student Research Group (“KNA MelAvio”) at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering. The hosts are the University of Queensland and the Australian Research and Development Institute.

Members of KNA MelAvio will enter the September event with their fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (a drone called Marlin) which executes missions without any operator intervention and have an automated routing function to avoid collisions with other airspace users or other features. It is a mix of a classic motor-driven aircraft and an electrically powered multicopter. A design like that will enable the students to combine the Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) function with a long range and long flight endurance. Marlin the drone uses various materials such as glass fiber and carbon composites, aluminium alloys and wood.

This UAV is designed to help people in an emergency. Vehicles such as this one can be used for rescue actions in difficult and remote terrain or during natural disasters or a war. This is what the mission to be completed at the competition will be about.

Contestants in UAV Challenge Medical Express will have to reach a person in need who is located at their remote farm, which cannot be accessed because of a natural disaster. The task for the teams will be to draw a blood sample from that person and deliver it to a hospital several kilometres away. And all that with an autonomous aerial vehicle.

KNA MelAvio’s entry in the international competition 2018 UAV Challenge Medical Express is made possible by funding from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education under “The Best of the Best 2.0!” initiative and from the Scientific Projects Pool arranged by the Student Research Group Board, funds provided by the Faculty and a Rector’s grant.

This will not be the first time for members of KNA MelAvio at this competition. WUT students competed in two earlier events, in 2014 and in 2016.