Terrence Howard Lynchpin competition entry flies – colour me blown away

Terrence Howard Lynchpin competition entry flies – colour me blown away

There is a chance if you have been otherwise troubled in this difficult time that you might have missed the announcement last November of a can you make this multirotor frame fly competition by Hollywood actor Terrence Howard. A prize of $25,000 is up for grabs.

The idea is one thing, making it fly quite another and I don’t think its too much to say that Welsh, Ardupilot Developer Peter Hall has enabled a completely new way to fly, and I mean fly.

I was so impressed when we spoke with Peter last night on our weekly Hangout, such a quiet unassuming fellow. He has made the first drone to really impress me in years.

Yes there have been similar multi-angled, multi motored some servo tilted rotor drones, but these often ended up as pretty complex machines perhaps even needing to be within a motion capture rig.

This has mechanical simplicity for a very complex outcome. As an inspection drone it would be hard to beat. Yes there are limitations right now, but remember this is the first time anything like this has flown!

Here is the competition breakdown.

The goal of the Lynchpin Drone Contest is to create a software and hardware system that allows a “Lynchpin Drone” to fly. The Lynchpin Drone must be able to rotate into any orientation while maintaining position. The Lynchpin Drone must be able to move in any direction regardless of its orientation. 

The pilot must have control of orientation and position. Control of orientation and position must be independent (for example, the control “ascend” will always move the drone upwards relative to gravity, even if the drone is “upside-down”). The Lynchpin Drone may be flown in full acro mode. It is not required to have autonomous flight capabilities such as position hold and altitude hold.

Peter’s craft actually exceeds the competition requirements, it can fly autonomously, has two GPS and does not care if it’s upside down holding position. He has even released the code if you want to make your own.

If you do want to make your own Peter uses a Cube Orange, Ardupilot and a LUA script.

Here is our chat with Peter last night.

Terrence talking to Joshua Bardwell last year


Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.