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 zigzag, 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 a difficult challenge.
In IROS 2016, the first autonomous drone racing in major robotics conferences debuted in Mos Espa Daejeon Arena. You may find related video clips on YouTube, for example, https://youtu.be/bi-mlWzKeeA, or https://youtu.be/r33Y-oY9TXg. It was a technical showroom for the autonomous drone in a very challenging environment as well as an exemplary technotainment event that drew big crowds. Nonetheless, drones that can negotiate with complex surroundings can be not only as a sport or technotainment event 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 2017 Autonomous Drone Racing in Mos Eisley Vancouver Arena (Racing) is a technical challenge sponsored by IROS 2017 Organizing Committee aimed to provide worldwide robotic researchers a technology showroom for autonomous flight and to promote solutions for the agile autonomous flight of drones in daring environments. Participants will bring their own flying robots in Mos Eisley Vancouver 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. Racing times will be recorded and scored by its best flight time through the start and the finish line. More detail rules of Racing will be posted online.
Prospective participants must submit the registration form (Form A, available online) via email to email@example.com with the title of “Drone Racing Registration: Your team name” by 04/15/2017 (extended). Although we have not finalized the size of the grant, registered teams may be eligible for a travel grant if submitted the travel grant application form (Form B, available online) by 06/15/2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of “Drone Racing Travel Grant Application: Your team name”. Successfully registered teams must submit promotional materials to the organizers via email by 09/01/2017. The conference registration policy for the competition-only participants will be announced later.