Middlesex, UK – Students from Middlesex University are to compete against some of the world’s top engineers at the final of an international competition for unmanned air vehicles.
The UAVForge contest, due to be held in the US this May, will see 12 teams from countries including India, Singapore, Holland and the US, battle it out to win a $100,000 prize and the chance to have up to 15 of their designs manufactured. The winning design will also be shown at an exclusive DARPA operational military demonstration in the US.
Middlesex robotics expert Dr Stephen Prior, who led the team, said: “I think we’ve got a strong chance of winning despite facing some of the best engineers across the globe from prestigious institutions like MIT. We need the UK to get behind us to demonstrate that British universities are still leaders in research and development.”
The Middlesex team is the only one to have two of their designs through to the final. The researchers will have to demonstrate how their UAV’s (the HALO and SQ-4 Recon) can carry out tasks such as flying for two miles, observing a target for three hours, relaying information back to base and vertical takeoff and landing.
“We have a lot of work to do to ensure HALO and SQ-4 Recon are at optimum performance before the fly-off in May,” concluded Dr Prior. “We’ll have some long days ahead of us, but it’s incredible to even be through to the final round and to be recognised by an organisation as world renowned as DARPA.”