Looking for a good excuse to head to the Netherlands in 2019? How about an FPV-like competition that’s not about racing per se, but actually about using drones to prevent bad drones?
DroneClash 2019 will play out this March in the Netherlands — and there is still room for more competitors to enter the race, which comes with €50.000 in prize money (that’s nearly $60,000).
Oh yeah, and there’s fire involved.
DroneClash2019 is best described as a 3D Robot War that highlights both drone and counter-drone technology. It’s a sort of Game of Drones-style, battle bots-inspired fight club for drones that involves FPV flying.
Here’s how the competition will work:
- Each team needs to bring at least one “Fighter” drone and one “Queen” drone.
- From there, the goal is to use your Fighter to knock out the rival Queen
- Along the way, drones will need to travel through a maze-like, obstacle environment, such as nets firing toward the drone.
Here’s what 2018’s race looked like:
Drone combat is not an entirely new concept, having been done by groups in the past such as Aerial Sports League. But this time, there’s big prize money on the table.
The competition is put on by Delft University of Technology’s Micro Air Vehicle Lab (MAVLab). Of course, it’s fun and games, but it’s not all fun and games.
The goal of the competition is to generate ideas of how to better build “counter-drone” technology, particularly in the wake of recent fears around drones flying illegally over airports.
“In recent years, drone development has mushroomed, and an anti-drone industry is following in its wake,” according to a statement from the conference organizers. “Ideally, these two industries will keep each other in check, resulting in drones being safely and responsibly incorporated into our daily lives.”
Six teams are already on the docket for 2019, but there’s room for more. And looking for financial help to get to the Netherlands? The race organizers say overseas teams can contact the organizers to request help with travel expenses. For more information on how to apply, visit the DroneClash2019 site.