Autonomous Drone Racing in Mos Espa Daejeon Arena*

Drone racing is getting popular as a new-generation hobby and also as a rising professional racing sport. Recent drone racing games show the agility of the drone flying through a zigzaging, narrow, confined racing circuit. An onboard camera and the head-mount display goggle provides pilots First Person View (FPV) and pilots show their amazing control techniques during the racing. In contrast, autonomous drone flight through such a daring environment at high speed still remains as a difficult challenge. Nonetheless, drones that can negotiate with complex surroundings can be not only as a sport but a killer app for future drone applications, where drones can fly through obstacles and search for survivors in a scene of accident and more.

The IROS 2016 Autonomous Drone Racing in Mos Espa Daejeon Arena (Racing) is a technical challenge sponsored by Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy aimed to provide worldwide robotic researchers a technology showroom for autonomous flight and to promote solutions for agile autonomous flight of drones in daring environments. Participants will bring their own flying robots in Mos Espa Daejeon Arena and be asked to fly them autonomously through designated tracks in the circuit. The technical challenges combine the time optimal path planning for drones, flight and tracking control, obstacle detection, localization, and fault detection and recovery. Two racing times will be recorded and scored by its best flight time through the start and the finish line. Depending on the number of participants, Racing will be divided into two divisions; one is the onboard computing (Division A) and the other is the remote computing (Division B). If the number of the participants small in Division A, divisions will be ignored and a scoring metric will be used to encourage onboard processing systems. See below for the details of Racing.

Prospective participants must submit the registration form (Form A) via email to with the title of “Drone Racing Registration: Your team name.” Registered teams are eligible for travel grant if submitted the travel grant application form (Form B) by 08/01/2016 to with the title of “Drone Racing Travel Grant Application: Your team name”. After evaluation of the application, $2000 will be granted to, at most, 10 teams from North and South America, and EU, $1000 to maximum 5 teams from Asia, and $500 to maximum 5 teams from Korea. Successfully registered teams must submit promotion materials to the organizers via email by 10/01/2016.


Deadline for registration to Racing (registration form): 05/10/2016
Division announcement: 05/15/2016
Travel grant application due (grant application form): 08/01/2016
Notification to travel grant recipients: 08/15/2016
Racing promotion material submission: 10/01/2016
Orientation: 10/10/2016
Dry-run: 10/11/2016
Main event: 10/12/2016
Award luncheon: 10/13/2016
Demonstration to public (top rankers, tentative): 10/14/2016

(detailed Timeline is subject to change and will be posted on the web as well as informed by the registered email)

Competition Organizers

Hyungpil Moon,   Sungkyunkwan University   []
Hyunchul Shim,   KAIST   []
Live streams:   Si Jung "SJ" Kim,   UNLV   []

* Details are subject to change. If changes are made, they will be posted on the web as well as informed by the registered email as soon as possible