Americas Competitions

Parallax UAS Competiton

Baseballs away, Parallax processors are used in the popular AttoPilot autopilot. An example of which is currently flying the Sea Shepherd anti whaling drone.

The Competition: There will be two categories open for entries, Vertical Lift Crafts and Airplanes. The Vertical Lift Crafts category incorporates all Quadcopters, Hexacopters, Helicopters and variations there of. The Airplane category consists of all forward propelled aircraft. All crafts to be used in the competition must be electric. The target areas will be at least 200+ feet away from the control area, so an FPV system or good spotters are permitted. Teams will compete for the highest score by navigating their craft to designated areas, and either placing or dropping their pay-load at the target site. Each team will receive three of their respected payload items, and the three teams with the highest score for their category will be the victors! See below for category specific rules.

Important Contest Information

Eligibility: All ages are welcome. If you are under 18 you will need to have your legal guardian fill out this consent form. Please note that if you wish to participate in this contest you need to take responsibility for your own involvement. This contest is open to Domestic and International applicants. You must be present during the competition to participate.

Parallax Inc. reserves the right to disqualify an applicant from the contest. Any physical interference by a spectator of an ongoing competition could result in the removal of that person from the Expo. Employees of Parallax Inc. are not eligible to enter the contest.

Cost: The contest has NO entry fee.

Registration Deadline
March 31, 2012

Contest Day
April 14, 2012


ELEV-8 Quadcopter Kit

$300 Parallax Credit

$100 Parallax Credit

How to Participate: 3 Steps

1st Step – Register to attend the Parallax Expo
2nd Step – Send an email to [email protected] including your name, address, phone number, e-mail contact information
3rd Step – Include a statement in the email that you agree to completely abide by the UAV Contest Submittal Rules.
The issuance of a Project Number represents a commitment on your behalf to compete in the contest. Project Numbers will be issued until 5pm PT on March 31, 2012. You must pre-register to participate.

Competition Day: April 14th at the Parallax Expo (register for the event here:

9:00 – 11:00 am – Practice
1:30 – 3:30pm – Competition
4:00pm – Prize Ceremony
Rules for Acceptable Crafts:

Crafts must be given a name.
All crafts must be electric, no gas engines are allowed in this competition.
Onboard FPV or spotters are permitted to assist in placement of payload.
Payload item is a standard MLB Baseball.
Teams may depart and return to holding area/landing strip as needed to pick up a payload item, or to change batteries as needed.
Designated “Spotters” must be located along perimeter of flight area. No spotters or spectators are allowed in flight area while crafts are airborne.
No standard or rule about how to place the payload item into the barrel, or hit the target zone. The method of choice is up to the creator (YOU!)
Team Rules:

May consist of as many people as you deem necessary to have a success deployment.
Must have at least one captain
May create their own t-shirts at their own expense.
May use any resources available. (Websites, Books, Robotic Components)
Must be signed-in by the deadline time (9:00 a.m.) on the day of the competition.
Must not interfere with other teams when waiting to compete.
Show good sportsmanship. Any fighting or heated verbal arguments that cause a disturbance will result in the disqualification of the entire team.

Judges and Scoring


Nick Ernst, Technical Support at Parallax
Kevin Cook, Technical Support at Parallax
Judging Criteria & Scoring:
There are two categories. Teams will compete in only one category. The three teams with the highest scores will win.

Vertical Lift

The objective is to insert a standard baseball into a target (specified hole diameter) on a barrel to score the allotted points.
There will be three (3) Barrels in the field. One Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Gold will have a hole diameter of 6”, and points value of 30.
Silver will have a hole diameter of 12”, and a points value of 20.
Bronze will have a hole diameter of 18”, and points value of 10.
Time limit of 10 minutes. You will have three (3) Baseballs’ to utilize for scoring in the allotted time. Baseballs’ not placed in a barrel by end of time do not count towards your score, and are not counted against your score.
Robotic arms or devices attached to the craft are welcome in the competition to aid in recovery of a dropped ball, or missed attempt.

The objective is to hit inside of the target zone (specified diameter around barrel) to score the allotted points for that barrel.
There will be three (3) Barrels in the field. One Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Gold’s diameter is 10’, and has a point value of 30.
Silver’s diameter is 20’, and has a point value of 20.
Bronze’s diameter is 30’, and has a point value of 10.
Time limit of 10 minutes. You will have three (3) Baseballs’ to utilize for scoring in the allotted time. Baseballs’ not utilized by the end of the time do not count towards your score, and are not counted against your score.
Competition Structure:

Vertical Lift Crafts will start on the L.Z. (Landing Zone), Airplanes at the end of the runway.
Each of the two aircraft categories will have their own flight areas. The two areas are different sized.
Each area will consist of three scoring barrels, each with their own scoring value. It is up to the Team to determine what their strategy will be to maximize their score by the end of the 10 minute time period.
Scoring will be based on points. Each barrel/target area has a point value, and at the end of the competition, ties will be broken by completion times.
The competition will have a maximum time of ten minutes to be completed.
There will be one judge who will determine rules are followed, and one scorekeeper who will track your scoring.
Team pilots will be called to the holding area before they are to compete.
If multiple teams become tied for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, those individuals will compete in a Tie Breaker Round. One (1) random barrel/target zone will be chosen, and one attempt will be made. The team with the fastest time will keep their rank, and the others will drop down to the next rank (e.g. Three teams are 1st place, 1 will remain at first, 1 will drop to 2nd place and the other to 3rd place). Everyone else below will drop down a rank. Tie Breakers will only take place for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, to leave only 1 team for each rank.
Competition Rules:

Team pilots must prepare their craft for flight at the holding area, and when called to the course, you will have five minutes to place your craft on the L.Z., or at the end of the landing strip.
The time will begin when the craft is on the ground, and the Scorekeeper, Judge, and Pilots are ready. The announcer will signal a ten second countdown by saying “Start Your Engine!”. The craft must stay on the L.Z. or on the landing strip until the announcer says “GO!” at the end of the ten second countdown. Leaving early from the starting position will result in 15 seconds deducted from your course time.
Pilots can navigate the course in the method of their choosing.
All measures should be taken by the Pilot and his Team to keep the craft in the designated flight areas.
Each Baseball has a maximum potential value of 30 points. It is possible to use your entire allotted amount of time and only use one of the Baseballs.
If you crash your craft, you are allowed to have team mates assist in the recovery of the craft and re-launch your craft. During this time the clock continues to count down. If you fail to launch the craft, or your craft is un-repairable, your time will end and you will receive only the points acquired up until that point.

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