Battlebots in the Sky

quacc-battlebots-in-the-sky

Here’s one of those ideas that makes us wonder: “Why didn’t we come up with that?” The LVL1 in Louisville, Kentucky is hosting an event they call the Quadcopter Ultimate Aerial Combat Competition (QUACC). Kudos to them on coming up with a very professional name for the event. At risk of drawing cease-and-desist orders from the defunct TV program, we’ll always think of this as Battlebots in the Sky. (Lawyers: please don’t make us take that down… it’s an homage to the awesomeness that was at least the first few seasons of the show).

So why are we publicizing local events on Hackaday? It’s not the event, but the idea that’s spectacularly worth sharing! You’ve got to check out their contest rules as well as the Q&A list. Registration is closed, but the lucky ones who claimed a spot for the low price of $40 will be issued a regulation quadcopter today. They have a week to play around with it, testing out different ideas for disabling their enemy. A match ends when either one competitor defeats the other, or when a competitor’s battery runs dry. A new battery is the issued to the winner for use in the next round.

We’d love to hear your ideas for weaponizing (or adding countermeasures to) these delicate, lightweight aircraft. Aerosol accelerant and a BBQ igniter? How about shielding and a type of EMP, or some other system that will disrupt controller commands of your opponent? Obviously if you launch a similar competition at your hackerspace we want to hear about it!

[Thanks Gerrit]

Comments

  1. ameyring says:

    It’s nice that your admission allows you to borrow a quadcopter so everyone can participate for a reasonable fee. These will be good events for hackerspaces to host to get kids interested in trying out R/C flying, though the cost of several quadcopters can add up.

  2. David says:

    I’d say dental floss would be devastating here.

  3. taylorian71 says:

    2. Any modifications applied to the quadcopter must pass the following test: “You must be willing to remain in the same room as the quadcopter if the controls are given to a psychopathic 12 year old.”

    Now that is a good contest rule. open ended as hell, but with a great limiting factor…lol

  4. jim says:

    Should have been held at Iron Mountain, or the U.P. in Mi. Woould have really loved the accronym then.

  5. t-bone says:

    Should the organizers know how to spell “aerial”?

  6. tedmeyers says:

    I’d call it “Drone Wars”

  7. CallMeDrunk says:

    Dental floss could disable your own… RCs lile that are going to do quite a bit of gaining and losing altitude very fast especially in battle. Lose altitude fast = dental floss in your own rotors.

    I’d do razor blades pointed down and up. Light weight and devastating. Try to land on or get under the opponet and one propellor, or wire hits that and quad copter no fly anymore.

    I’d be fine with a demonic 12 year old having that… hit him upside the head and take the controller from him if he tries to do anything stupid…

    Can’t do flames. What will make them stick to opponet? Quad copter is plastic with insulated wiring, etc. You’d barely singe the plastic and that is assuming it could actually carry a can or spray. Or if did flameable liquid then still have to remember your rotors are going to make that stuff un aimable. Your battery would probably die before actually burned anything up.

    Now a hack-a-day quality opponet would make their quad copter able to recover and run on 3 rotors? Twice as hard to kill and you could probably just kamikaze crash into them super hard and keep 3/4 rotors still working.

  8. theschlem says:

    Aww. I was going to say Dental Floss. How about a weighted bolo made from dental floss to keep the string hanging. Much lighter than a flame thrower. With a snap off attachment also, to prevent mid-air coupling. Waaaay better than kite fighting.

  9. Angry Midget says:

    Loctite spraying helicopter? Just hope it gets into a motor and not all over the room/people.

  10. Todd Harrison says:

    Party Poppers!!! Then they could call it party popper wars.

  11. supershwa says:

    Dental floss and fishing line? You guys must have had a rough Friday night and haven’t had your coffee yet…

    How about http://hackaday.com/2012/01/26/jam-a-remote-helicopter/

    Just turn it into a Hack-a-copter! I can’t find the post from (last?) week of the really fancy ‘copter that hijacks other drones…

  12. nimitzbrood says:

    Simple – small can of silly string. Or if you could find it in a small enough can the home insulation foam.

  13. Andy says:

    I would make a rubber band gun under the center, and place a laser pointer or some other kind of led lighting to see where I will shoot. Just have to figure out the rubber band release mechanism. And of course multiple rubber bands side by side. I think with one small servo it’s possible to release the rubber bands one y one. You can knot a small string (dental floss or fishing line) to the rubber band to disable the opponents motor. Happy hunting. (I figured out the gun, if someone interested :) )

  14. Sony Lindberg says:

    Well the first obvious one is to hack the other quads, but if thats no good then why not a radio “dos” attack? OR maybe the old string is the best one :(

  15. Josh Martin says:

    Spray adhesive attack or some sort of gooey aerosol?
    Hot glue extruder that drops it ontop of other quads?

  16. Drake says:

    I’d keep it simple with a fiberglass pole or two. It will only take a smack or two into the rotors to pop them off or break em.

  17. doe says:

    The rules seem to open up for a pacifist path to victory: minimize weight and then fly away until the opponent’s batteries die out.

  18. Greenaum says:

    The ground-based robots weighed up to 100KGs and had powerful pneumatics on board. These are essentially crappy plastic toys that need good luck and concentration just to fly normally!

    Any helicopter is significantly different than a tank-based robot. There’s so, so, many ways of downing one, and not much to do for protection. If there were, for one thing, military helicopters would use it.

    The problem would be, it wouldn’t matter if your heli was good or bad, the results of each match would mostly be chance. Which would be pointless and get boring quickly. The idea of having them pwn each other’s control systems is basically just hacking, mixed with RF engineering, something that isn’t exciting to watch, or possible to do with much speed.

    I think for something like this, especially to keep costs down, some sort of virtual light-beam combat might be best. Using bright LEDs, and a bit of smoke in the arena to make it visible.

    For proper battles you’d need hulking great beasts, expensive and difficult to get off the ground. There are too many limitations to flying at all, never mind small-scale electric flight. I don’t see anywhere you could go that wouldn’t just be a crapshoot. Even Robot Wars / Battlebots got a bit “who cares” toward the end, it was like they’d played it out and done everything.

    I hope it’s fun for the competitors but I don’t think it’s too practical. Be nice to be proved wrong!

  19. hxr says:

    Nothing about this is practical. It’s all going to be completely ridiculous and fun.

  20. Ian says:

    What I would do:
    1. Spend the pre-competition time training agility/dodging
    2. Use rotors to cut/tear opponent’s streamer
    3. Avoid opponent until batteries die

  21. Exploderer says:

    Wouldn’t it be best to focus on making the rotors as small and strong as possible, perhaps adding a shroud to make it so all of the idiots with string cant take you out?

    • Exploderer says:

      Also, the string itself seems like a bad idea, if they get tangled in it, you end up with a bunch of dead weight holding you back. Probably better just to drop groups of bbs from above or something

  22. BotherSaidPooh says:

    What about aerial mines? Little one rotor copters with “Bombs Away!” magnetic coil based droppers.
    The idea is that they fly around briefly until the enemy drone is detected and then cut their power while over a rotor hoping to cause a control failure.

  23. dbear says:

    Lightly attached very thin wire. Maybe the thinnest piano wire. Stiffer than any kind of string so it won’t get you tangled.
    I’d call my entry the Porcupine.

  24. Junior says:

    Need a very good “run away” program/strategy and very long duration batteries!
    Best Offense is a Good Defense.

  25. Life of Brian says:

    I think it would be much more exciting to see a team battle. 20 vs. 20? I’d love to see two swarms fight a battle of attrition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 92,375 other followers