Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Lockheed Martin & DRL Reveal The Details Of AlphaPilot Teams


Engineers, students, technicians, and coders have been combined to create nine teams for the battle of “2019 AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge”.

Dailycsr.com – 28 May 2019 – On May 22, 2019, Lockheed Martin and Drone Racing League came together to reveal the details of the nine teams that were selected for the “2019 AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge” which is “an open competition” that encourages the AI development used in “high-speed racing drones”.
The above mentioned nine teams have receives a “coveted spot” in the “inaugural autonomous drone racing series” of Drone Racing League, namely the “the Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing (AIRR) Circuit”. The competition is scheduled to take place late in the year.
Sixty nine students along with “drone technologists, aerospace engineers and coders” from all over the world were selected to form the nine teams. Here the “nine AlphaPilot teams”, as mentioned by Lockheed Martin’s press release:
  • ICARUS from Atlanta; affiliated with Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering
  • Formula Drone from Los Angeles; affiliated with UCLA
  • KEF Robotics from Pittsburgh
  • MAVLab from Delft, the Netherlands; affiliated with the Delft University of Technology
  • TEAM USRG @ KAIST from Daejeon, the Republic of Korea; affiliated with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
  • Team Puffin with four team members from the U.S., Sweden and Australia
  • UZH Robotics and Perception Group from Zurich, Switzerland; affiliated with the University of Zurich
  • Warsaw MIMotaurs from Warsaw, Poland
  • XQuad from Minas Gerais, Brazil; affiliated with the Federal University of Minas Gerais
In the competition, these nine teams will face each other and design “AI framework” which will have to pilot “racing drones through high-speed aerial courses” wherein GPS help, data relay or even any intervention by humans will not be allowed.
The battle will take place during the inaugural event of the AIRR, “four-event season”, to claim the wining cash prize of “$1 million”. The said amount will be provided under the sponsorship of Lockheed Martin. Moreover, depending on the performances of the first team, the participants will also receive another “$250,000” as a reward for pushing the “the limits of performance between human and machine”, thus acing a “human-piloted drone”.
In the words of the chief technology officer at Lockheed Martin, Keoki Jackson:
“At Lockheed Martin, we’re already accelerating AI-enabled autonomous technologies that help astronauts, military service personnel and first responders do demanding, dangerous jobs more safely and efficiently. Through our Innovation Challenge, we look forward to working with these teams at the boundaries of AI and fully autonomous flight, and digitally transforming the way we fight wildfires, orchestrate disaster-and-recovery operations and support our front-line service personnel.”
While, the founder as well as the chief executive officer of DRL, Nicholas Horbaczewski stated:
“The combination of robotics and AI will fundamentally change the future of sports. Until now, AI had yet to enter the realm of real-life sports as a competitor, and we are thrilled to watch history be made as the AlphaPilot Teams introduce AI pilots as racers for the first time in AIRR. Witnessing a moment when AI will defeat a human pilot will be a paradigm shift in how we think about the role of AI in our lives”.
HeroX platform was used to launch the AlphaPilot Challenge in November 2018, whereby co-founder and chief executive of the company, Christian Cotichini said:
“At HeroX, we believe in the power of global collaboration to solve the world’s most pressing problems. The AlphaPilot Challenge demonstrates the power of crowdsourcing to unite industry experts, researchers, and students to create the future of disruptive AI technologies”.