RUASRT Successfully Competes in IMAV 2017

RMIT Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Team successfully competed in the 9th annual International Micro Air Vehicle (IMAV) conference and competition, which was held 18th-21st September in Toulouse, France. IMAV is an annual event fostering key technologies for the development of micro-air vehicles.  It combines a scientific conference and a flight competition attracting upwards of 30 teams from around the world.

RUASRT elected to enter three events: indoor, outdoor, and record breaking heavy-lift challenge. Of all the teams from multiple countries across the world, we were the only team from Australia and the only team to enter purely on an extra-curricular basis (i.e. our entire entry was developed during our spare time and not directly linked with other current research projects).

Sam with the Parrot sponsors
Sam with his “Record Breaking Session” winning octocopter

Whilst not winning the competition outright, aerospace PhD student Sam Prudden won the “Record Breaking Session” with the smallest craft lifting an anvil-shaped mass of 0.5 kg for over a minute.  He also set the fastest time for a drone race sponsored by the international drone manufacturer, Parrot, taking 40 seconds to fly three laps and beating the nearest team by a massive 15 seconds. Well done, Sam!


Professor Simon Watkins presented a keynote lecture as a part of the IMAV conference proceedings which gave an overview of RMIT research entitled; “Towards better MAVs and what we can learn from the birds and the bees”.  Additionally, Mr Ashim Panta and Dr Abdulghani Mohamed (on behalf of Mr Rohan Gigacz) both presented some of their recent research across the two conference days. The conference proceedings can be found here:

The RUASRT IMAV team comprised of staff members; Matthew Marino, Abdulghani Mohammed, Alex Fisher and Simon Watkins;  postgraduate students; Sam Prudden, Nicola Kloet, Ashim Panta, Lance Fang, Tom Newnham, and undergraduate students; Ethan Moyle, James Kennedy, David Tennent, Angie Knight, John Bueker, and Neil Shah. On behalf of the team, we would like to thank everyone who assisted us with our MAV development and allowed us to travel all the way to France for this opportunity. A special mention goes to RMIT University, their Advanced Manufacturing Precinct, and DST Group.

We are also proud to announce that RMIT won the bid to host IMAV2018 in November 2018 which will be the first time the event will be held in the Southern Hemisphere.  We look forward to hosting the best teams in the MAV-world at RMIT in 2018!