UT teams are fighting a drone battle!

| Michaela Nesvarova

Real-life RoboWars with drones. That is DroneClash, a drone fighting event taking place on the 13th of February at a former navy base in Katwijk, where teams will battle each other and try to ‘take down everything that flies and isn’t theirs’. Among them are two teams from the University of Twente.

Photo by: DroneClash

The eight international teams that will come to battle with their drones also include two UT teams: Aerobotic Tech Team Twente (A3T) and Laced Horns.

Robust drones with weapons

Team Laced Horns consists of people from the UT’s Robotics and Mechatronics lab and UT spin-off Clear Flight Solutions, company famous for its Robird. However, Robird will not be flying in the competition. ‘We have designed a brand-new drone specifically for DroneClash,’ says Geert  Folkertsma, UT researcher and the captain of Laced Horns.

‘Because the goal of the battle is to take down our opponents’ drones, we designed a very robust drone that we call Hornet. It is equipped with special protected propellers and weapons – some of which have to remain secret for now,’ continues Folkertsma. ‘I think we stand a good chance of winning.’

Official video introducing the Laced Horns team

Different strategy

In order for Laced Horns to win, they will need to defeat their UT colleagues from the A3T team. This team is formed by UT students from multiple disciplines and international backgrounds. ‘They seem to have a completely different strategy from us,’ mentions Folkertsma. ‘While we focus on mechanical design and using good drone pilots, their priority seems to be making the drones autonomous.’  

Official video introducing the A3T team

Rules

Either strategy could lead to victory, as the DroneClash isn’t only about knocking drones down, but also about creativity. During each battle, points will be awarded based on how ‘smart’ the team behaves. ‘You actually receive more points if you take the drone down in a safe way,’ explains Bart Remes, one of the main organizers of DroneClash.

‘We at TU Delft have decided to organize the event, because we have been doing research on drones for many years. We are convinced drones will become a part of our daily lives and we want to make sure society accepts this,’ continues Remes, who stresses the event should stimulate the development of counter-drone technology. 

droneclash

The goal of DroneClash is to battle other teams, and earn points while doing it. Each team is allowed as many drones as they like, but they need to bring at least one Fighter drone, and one Queen drone. The main idea is to bring down the rival Queens. The competition will have several stages and two to four teams have to battle each other in the same match. In the end, several prizes will be awarded and the best team will take home €30.000.