Southport, MB Fourteen university student teams from across Canada competed in the Operational Phase of the 8th Unmanned Systems Canada UAS Student Competition hosted by Southport MB. Congratulations to VAMUdeS – Université de Sherbrooke for winning 1st Place on May 1st, 2016, their 7th consecutive victory! Phase 1, the design paper, attracted 18 teams and 14 competed in Phase 2 this past weekend. We congratulate all participating teams for their ingenuity, dedication and their respective institutions for the support given to their endeavors.
The purpose of the competition is to promote and develop Canadian expertise, innovation and experience in unmanned systems technologies at the university and college levels. To give the students real life UAS experience, the scenario for this competition combined problems encountered by the agriculture sector. Each team is a “company” hired to use their UAS to determine the health of a local farmer’s crops. They must identify the crops’ location, type and health and map them with an airborne sensor system. The farmer accepts the validity of using crop probes to measure soil conditions in specific locations to validate the aerial results obtained via the image system. Various symbols and small structures are set out in the flying zone to simulate the scenario. A written report on the findings is also submitted to the judges.
Phase 1: Design Phase Results:
1st place: University of Toronto – UAV Division
2nd place: University of Toronto – Aerial Robotics Division
3rd place: Carleton University – Blackbird UAV Team
Phase 2: Operational Phase :
1st place: Université de Sherbrooke – VAMUdeS
2nd place: Simon Fraser University – Team Guardian
3rd place: Concordia University – UAV Team
To promote the innovation component of the competition, a prize for that category will now be included. Unmanned Systems Canada is grateful for the participation of the Natural Research Council of Canada (NRC) in the selection of the winner. The prize for innovation was awarded Carleton University, Team Blackbird. Cash prizes were awarded for Phase 1 & 2 and participation in excess of $10,000 at the Awards Banquet Sunday evening.
According to Mark Aruja, the Chairman of Unmanned Systems Canada, “We continue to see the best and brightest of our university students drawn to the innovations possible with unmanned aerial systems, and testing their skills in our world-class competition. Every year we raise the level of the challenge, and once again I was impressed with how teams responded with novel solutions to the real-world scenario that we presented to them. Precision Agriculture is a very rapidly growing industry where we can lead the world in developing new technologies to feed a growing population, respond to climate change and keep our agricultural sector competitive internationally. It is so gratifying to see that our future is in great hands.”
Of course such a competition only can be conducted through the hard work and dedication of a great team. We recognize and deeply thank our volunteer committee for their hard work, the support Southport for another successful competition and to our sponsors for their generous contribution.