Last Friday, during 10th Night at the Institute of Aviation EDC held a unique 24-hour long programming competition – EDC Hackathon Drones 2019. 16 programmers divided into 4 teams had one goal – set up autonomous drone system and accomplish high level tasks without human pilot assistance.

Hackathon Drones was a 3rd such event held by EDC Digital Team. For the first time competition was prepared by Connected Aircraft section. This year we had 110 submissions from people all over Poland willing to take part in this unique experience. We have selected 16 participants (divided into 4 teams) to join our Hackathon.

Competition was fierce, but programmers did a great job.

When the clock started counting down time, our teams got their first task: program their drone and put it into motion. Then it got complicated. Hackathonists had to deliver a package using a drone, find a specific landing pad and land their UAV, fly through a hole in a wall, discharge cargo in a specific point and finally follow a train. All tasks had to be done simply by programming without drone operators’ involvement.

Emotions ran high as we were nearing the end of the competition. Three of the teams were going neck and neck. Last minutes were curtail. Teams were flying until the last seconds of the contest.

When time was up organizers gathered to sum up the points and announce the winner. The choice was not easy. One More Flight won EDC Hackathon 2019 Drones. In the second place was YTMTLLMDDDrone Team. 3rd position goes to AGH Drone Engineering. UTPDroneTeam finished in the last place.

– Two teams had the same number of points from the tasks. In that instance our scoring regulations gave us the prerogative to asses, which team performed better. What decided of One More Flight triumph was, among others, “Line follower” task. They completed it exactly how we expected it to be done. Nothing was left for chance there. In “Find landing pad” task One More Flight set up detection on correct landing pad perfectly, their only problem was landing itself. YTMTLLMDDDrone was our most positive team – they got the spirit of Hackathon. There wasn’t even a moment of doubt in them throughout the 24 hours of event. They were also the best in drone control. Ultimately, we decided to grant the 1st place to One More Flight – noted Kuba Ładowski, acting Hackathon Project Manager. – What is more the winning team met for the first time during Hackathon. It’s impressive how they collaborated with each other and managed to solve difficult tasks at hand – added Łukasz Ocypa, Hackathon Team Leader.

But winners were not the only ones who impressed our judges. – AGH Drone Engineering team had more hardware-based experience. Two of the members decided to learn how to code in Python during Hackathon. And they were doing great in our competition – added Ocypa. UTPDroneTeam had a strong start – in the first task they had the best control over the drone. Later on, their luck faded. Due to technical problems they were unable to fly for 1,5 hours.

One More Flight team members received DJI Spark drones, but no one left EDC Hackathon Drones empty handed. 2nd, 3rd and 4th place prizes were respectively: Raspberry Pi 3 IoT sets, Google Home speakers and Google Chromecast.

– It will not be our last Hackathon. Even if I’ll have to call our site leader every night, I will make it happen. EDC Hackathon is becoming a brand itself. We are getting more and more recognition every year. We already have a few ideas about the next year’s theme – says Paweł Zakrzewski, Senior Director of Avionics & Digital Solutions.

We cannot wait for the next year’s edition! Stay tuned for information about our 4th Hackathon.

To know more about EDC Hackathon visit our Facebook Hackathon Event (pl) and check out information about last year’s edition 2018 Flight Simulator Hackathon (en). If you want to know more about 10th Night at the Institute of Aviation visit ILOT’s site and news about EDC’s participation in the event (en).