UAV Competition

2022 IEEE Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Competition

Planning has begun for this exciting new competition, which is open to all organizations and individuals.
IEEE Computer Society Team
Published 03/15/2021
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UAV Competition

A new competition centered on autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV, also called drones) will be held in at Purdue’s indoor UAV laboratory March of 2022. This program combines theory and applications for a unique test of innovation and collaboration.

Support the Event

Organizational contributors have an opportunity to align their companies with this new and exciting competition. Supporters receive unique opportunities to engage with the event and its participants. This is ideal for identifying new talent, recruitment, and promoting your organization.


Brand recognition
Award Certificate Branding
Session Participation*
Booth during Competition
Video Call with Winners


Session Participation

Winners will be invited to present in a major conference in 2022.



Cardboard boxes will serve as obstacles over which the UAVs will need to fly autonomously (i.e., without a teleoperator) to recognize QR codes posted on static objects (various cardboard boxes) as well as on one moving object (a model car). There will be as many as six moving objects and only one with QR codes. The QR codes on the moving object will change every 10 seconds. The moving object’s speed will be 1 meter/second maximum. It is possible that the moving object may be under some cardboard boxes for short durations. The teams that scan the most QR codes win the competition. This is a software-only competition, arranged in two stages:

  1. The first stage uses a simulator for qualification. The top 10 teams in the first stage are qualified to enter the second stage. Each team can submit up to 7 solutions and the best solution is used.
  2. In the second stage, all teams will use the same hardware (PX4) selected by the organizing team for launching the UAVs in Purdue’s laboratory. Each team has three chances, 10 minutes each; the highest score is used for selecting the winners. After the ground robots stop moving, the team has additional 10 minutes for submitting the solution.



(ordered by last name)

  1. Ming-Ching Chang
  2. James Goppert
  3. Yung-Hsiang Lu


Purdue’s UAV Laboratory

The laboratory is located at Purdue Airport in West Lafayette. It was originally an airplane hangar. The laboratory is equipped with a high-speed motion capture system. The observed space is 140′ (feet, length) x 80′ (width) x15′ (height). Because this laboratory is indoors, it is not restricted by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations and UAVs can fly autonomously.



Any organization (including non-profit and for-profit) or individual may participate. This competition will be held in the United States of America and follows all relevant regulations as well as federal and state laws. Full competition terms will be posted with the event registration.


Reimbursement Policy

No hardware is needed for stage 1 qualification because a simulator is used. For stage 2 contestants, they have the options of using their own hardware or programmable UAV suggested by the organizers. The contestants may purchase their own hardware. The organizers will reimburse up to $2,000 per team.


Travel Grants

Each team in the stage 2 competition can obtain up to $2,000 travel grants. If a team uses the UAV suggested by the organizers, the organizers may launch the UAV in the laboratory without the presence of the team.


QR Code

Each QR code will be at least 2’’ (inch) x 2”. The QR code will express English letters or numbers (or mix of letters and numbers). The team that can recognize the most QR Code wins the competition.


Long-Term Plan

In 2022 (or later), the team plans to decorate the UAV laboratory as miniature cities. UAVs will need to identify objects (such as people, buildings, vehicles, bridges) or assess situations (such as broken bridges, collapsed buildings).


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