Competition, co-creation accelerate in Week 2 of Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge

Our latest community challenge has gotten off to a fast start and is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon.

The Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge is averaging eight entries per day since its April 12 kick off. That puts the Challenge on pace to reach 330 entries by the May 22 deadline, good for second all-time in Local Motors challenge history behind the BMW Urban Driving Experience Challenge in 2012 (414 entries). The entry rate will presumably drop-off, but the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge is still likely to end up as one of Local Motors’ most popular and successful co-creation events.

“Over the years we’ve had about 80 challenge-type community engagements and only four had more than 250 submitted entries,” said Aurel Francois, a long-time Local Motors design engineer. “If things keep adding up the way they are, we’ll have a fifth challenge reaching that bar. I’m curious to see how high it will go.”

As of the publishing of this post, we’ve accumulated 124 entries.

Community awareness on display

A few entrants from our co-creation community have mentioned the devastating earthquakes and aftershocks in Japan and Ecuador the past two weeks as inspiration for their submissions. Others have reflected on their past experiences as rescuers in disaster-stricken areas to guide their designs. Though the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge seeks a multi-purpose Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the primary purpose of the winning entry will be delivery of medical supplies for humanitarian and emergency response missions.

Airbus Group has recently met with experts in humanitarian aide to gather more insight as to the principal drone specifications necessary to overcome both bad infrastructure in rural areas and obstacles created by natural or otherwise disasters. The idea is to make the drone design simple, universal and inexpensive enough for hospitals and relief organizations to already have replacement battery packs on hand.

Valid Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge entries will have the ability to travel 60-100 kilometers (37-62 miles) with a maximum cargo weight of five kilograms (11 pounds) on one battery charge. Once the drone lands at its destination, emergency personnel will unload the cargo, swap out the battery, and send the drone back for its next mission.

Plenty of time to get involved

Despite the high-stakes nature of the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge, co-creation is flourishing. Nearly all participants are submitting their concepts, then clicking on the competition’s entries to provide feedback and constructive criticism to others. You still have nearly four weeks to submit your entry and get involved in one of the most important endeavors for both emergency management and aviation thus far in the 21st century.

Visit the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge page today and make your mark in history.

By BWilkins

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