Two Special Awards in the IARC14 go to the AscTec Pelican

27. January 2015

Two Special Awards in the World’s Premier Aerial Robotics Challenge IARC14 go to the AscTec Pelican. The CVG-UPM in collaboration with the Dept. of Artificial Intelligence (DIA) have participated past year as its first time in the IARC challenge, the International Aerial Robotics Competition that is the longest running collegiate aerial robotics challenge in the world.

The competition started 2014 its 7th Mission that advances the state of the art in autonomous or automated aerial robotic behavior and “tackles challenges that are currently impossible for any flying robots owned by government or industry”. The AscTec Pelican already is a two times IARC Champion, since he won in 2009 and 2013 – the past two challenges, the 5th and the 6th Mission – and still holds the title unchallenged. View past IARC missions.

In this inaugural year of IARC’s Mission 7 not any team was able to demonstrate the entirety of the behaviors required to complete the Mission, though several teams demonstrated autonomous interaction with the ground robots, the moving obstacles and positioning over the 20m x 20m arena. One of those remarkable teams has been the CVG-UPM that deserved two special awards on “Best Obstacle Avoidance Award” and “Best Trajectory Controller”. The team performed the three flights fully autonomously, taking off, flying predefined missions over the arena while avoiding mobile obstacles and landing safety when the battery was low. These tasks have been achieved thanks to the modules for positioning the UAV over the arena using optical flow, detecting the moving objects and recalculating the trajectories.

The Project Team Website:

International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC14) – Website:

The following document describes the rules, parameters, and prizes for the 7th Mission of the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC14):

Ascending Technologies would like to congratulate the special award winners from CVG-UPM and DIA. We hope you will increase your performances and success in the coming second try to approve the 7th Mission. Good unmanned operation! Good luck!

Further impressions from IARC14:


Further research projects: