U-LION, the Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) team from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), won again the overall championship at the 2017 Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC 2017) held on 17 March. The team also clinched the best platform design award and a total cash prize of S$8,000 in the fully autonomous category.
Led by Dr. Lai Shupeng, research fellow from ECE, the team comprises three NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering (NGS) scholars – Bi Yingcai, Lan Menglu, Li Jiaxin – and two ECE research engineers, Qin Hailong and Zhang Kun. The team is associated with the Unmanned Systems Research Group under the supervision of Professor Ben M. Chen. The Research Group has been working on various research topics related to defence technologies since 2003, focusing on the applications of unmanned aerial systems in GPS-denied environments and the potentials of the next generation intelligent UAVs.
SAFMC is an annual event organised by DSO National Laboratories and supported by Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). The fully autonomous category is open to all universities, polytechnics and public, and contestants are required to navigate UAV in unknown indoor environments and perform challenging missions, such as automatic taking-off, and flying through a window and a narrow corridor before reaching a chemical room, where the drone has to search and collect a chemical sample and identify a casualty. It then enters a dark room to search for a second casualty, before exiting through a circular window and clearing the array of poles to land precisely on a landing pad.