The Competitions


Framed within a fictional foreign espionage narrative including highly sensitive information, security breaches, and the sabotaging of a global organization, AUVSIʼs 6th International Aerial Robotics Competition requires the construction of a fully autonomous indoor aerial UAV that can enter and navigate an area, while detecting and avoiding hazards, to remove and replace a small object, then exit the area with the object in no more than 10 minutes.

Competition Area & Obstacles

The following description of the competition area is only a general overview of the space. The construction techniques, materials, and layout are subject to change by AIRC at any time. The competition building will be constructed within an area approximately 30m long x 15m wide x 2.5m height. The launch location will be at a fixed distance of 3m oriented toward a 1m x 1m minimum entrance into a corridor. Navigation aids may be located anywhere in a 3m perimeter bounding the outside of the competition building.

Cubes approximately 8ft on each side will used to construct the building, which will consist of hallways corridors and rooms. The side walls of the cubes may be made of thin sheeting material or heavy paper and held to the frame by plastic ties or tape. The cube frames will be constructed from 8ft long PVC pipe sections connected by PVC corner couplers through friction. The cubes will be attached together by plastic ties. The floor of the competition area will be the natural arena floor of the venue, and the ceiling will be completely open for viewing. The cubes may be rearranged between runs. Apart from the single entrance, additional openings may be cut into the walls to create doorways within the competition area ranging in size from 1m to 2.44m.

Various physical and nonphysical obstacles may be encountered within the competition area. These include walls and floors of various colors, chairs, tables, file cabinets, pictures, blowing/sucking fans to simulate air vents, approximately 1ft diameter concrete tube for columns, desks, blinking or rotating lights of various colors and intensities, music or audible alarms signals, and incandescent or florescent lights. In order to navigate the various offices within the compound and find the desired security office, directional signs and a sign over the security office door can be used to guide the UAV. Examples of signs that may be encountered are available for reference.

Besides avoiding the various office-building type obstacles, there will be other security themed obstacles the UAV must evade. A video security camera will be placed viewing the 1m x 1m entrance into the structure and a slow blinking (30 second interval) blue LED attached to the camera will notify its state: light on for recording and light off for not recording. Certain hallways will also have laser trip wires that will emit alarms when broken. However, these trip wires can be deactivated manually and instructions on how to do so are provided by the competition organizers.


The UAV must first enter the 1m x 1m window and venture into the competition area. To gain a full score, the vehicle can take no longer than 10 minutes to complete itʼs mission. The UAV must also not touch the ground at any point during the missions length, be recorded by the security camera, or set off the laser trip wire alarms. The UAV must navigate to the security office within the compound and then locate a flash drive on the top of a desk within the office. Once found, the flash drive is to be retrieved and stored, and an identical flash drive put into its place. The UAV must then exit the building through the 1m x 1m window. A maximum of 4 flight attempts will be given to each team.

UAV Restrictions

Vehicles must be free flying, unmanned, and autonomous, and either intelligent or pre-programmed. Computation may be down off the vehicle, but no human intervention is permitted. Any number of air vehicles may be employed so long as the gross aggregate weight of each air vehicle does not exceed 1.50 kg. The dimensions of the vehicles but not exceed 1m x 1m at any time during the competition. Only electric motors using batteries, capacitors, or fuel cells as energy can be used and a manual remote override must be incorporated on each vehicle as well as a kill switch controlled by Judge.

A maximum of two non-line-of-sight navigation aids may be used external to the designated flight area, placed prior to the vehicles lift off. These aids must be portable, and be removed once the team leaves the competition area. The aerial robotic system is required to be able to send vehicle status and navigation solutions to the Judgeʼs remote JAUS-compliant terminal via JUAS protocol according to the JAUS Standard Set provided to each team. All ground station equipment must be portable such that it can be setup and removed quickly.


Scoring will be based on performance of particular autonomous behaviors and determined by a team of three judges. The mission does not have to be entirely successful to be scored, and partial scores will be given depending on what obstacles and criteria have been achieved or failed. A full detail of points given as well as further mission details can be found on the mission website at