UAV Canada

2017 student UAS competition winners announced

May 4, 2017  By Unmanned Systems Canada

Thirteen university student teams from across Canada competed in the Flying Phase of the 9th Unmanned Systems Canada UAS Student Competition hosted by Centre d’Excellence sur les Drones (CED) in Alma QC from April 28-30. University of Toronto – UAV Division emerged victorious.

The purpose of this annual competition is to promote and develop Canadian expertise, innovation and experience in unmanned systems technologies at the university and college levels. This year’s wildlife monitoring scenario tasked the teams to census and locate nests of three different types of geese in the remote Canadian wilderness. The special challenge this year was that the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) was required to extract eggs from the nests to allow wildlife biologists to test the eggs for levels of pesticides.

This phase was preceded by a design phase for which submissions and winners were announced earlier this year. We congratulate all participating teams for their ingenuity, dedication and their respective institutions for the support given to their endeavors.


Phase 1: Design Phase Results:
1st place: University of Toronto – Aerial Robotics Division
2nd place: University of Toronto – UAV Division
3rd place: Université de Sherbrooke – VAMUdeS

Phase 2: Flying Phase Results:
1st place: University of Toronto – UAV Division
2nd place: Ryerson University – Team RUAV
3rd place: École de technologie supérieure – Team Dronolab

To recognize innovation, perseverance and a healthy competitive spirit, prizes recognizing those attributes were awarded. Unmanned Systems Canada is grateful for the participation of industry sponsors acting as judges to select the winners.

Innovation prize: École de Technologie Supérieure – Team Dronolab who custom designed a robust modular system, easy to maintain, with the ability to integrate various payload components.

Pip Rudkin Memorial Award for Perseverance: University of British Columbia – UAS.
The team came prepared for adversity by bringing their UAS from last year. When both of their UAS became unserviceable they made extensive modifications to the spare one and were able to get good data.

Judges Award for professionalism: University of Toronto – Aerial Robotics Division.
The team conducted themselves with professional standards demonstrating excellent communication skills, a plan for every step including the use of checklists.

Cash prizes were awarded for Phase 1 & 2 in excess of $20,000 at the Awards Banquet held Sunday evening.

According to Mark Aruja, the Chairman of Unmanned Systems Canada, “This competition is a world-class event and amongst the most complex engineering competitions where the teams are required to respond to a customers requirements as they will in their industrial careers. 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 ever demanding scenarios. Once again I was impressed with how teams responded with novel solutions to the scenario that we presented to them and how they dealt with the chilly and windy conditions.”

This event is organized by a committee of volunteers including global leaders in the development and application of UAS systems, including wildlife biologists and aerospace engineers, former competitors now in industry. The competition rotates its location annually between Alma QC and Southport MB. In 2018, Southport MB will host the 10th annual competition that raises the bar once again to attract the best and brightest in Canada to developing technical solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges. The competition could not take place without the generous support of our sponsors.

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