RMIT Open Day – Sunday 13th August

RUASRT will be at the RMIT Open Day this Sunday 13th August.

We will have a small stand in A’Beckett Square with the Engineering Info Corner, but the majority of our display will be the at the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) – Building 55. We’ll have lots of examples of the tech we work on, and there’ll be students from the team there to answer any and all your drone- and engineering-related questions. If you’re coming to check out RMIT, make sure you stop by and say hi.

If you need to plan your visit, the RMIT website can get you started:

Successful maiden flight of new X8 multi-rotor

RUASRT X8 multi-rotor

The X8-configuration, “heavylift” multi-rotor had a completely successful maiden test flight on Friday 4th August in the RUASRT netted area at RMIT University.

The test flight is the culmination of several months work for the “heavylift” team. A small group of undergraduate students from RUASRT selected the components, and completed the assembly. The finished UAS, which is capable of carrying payloads of up to 3kg, is intended to carry various payloads for collision avoidance and indoor navigation.

X8 with landing gear retracted during test flight in RUASRT netted area

This is a multi-use platform, able to accept a range of payloads and sensors. If you are interested in discussing how this platform could assist your research efforts, please get in touch through the “Contact Us” section.



RUASRT @ Avalon Airshow

The RMIT UAS Research Team has had a big presence at the The 2017 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition, participating in three displays.

Highlights included participation in the first ever Drone Showcase, in which spectators were treated to demonstration flights of the Black Kite quadcopter inside a special netted area. RUASRT also had a big presence at the RMIT Student Display Area with the StopRotor and Javelin aircraft on display.

StopRotor paper wins Best Written Paper Award at AIAC17 Conference

RMIT’s collaboration with Australian company StopRotor has reached new heights, with a paper detailing aerodynamic testing of the StopRotor aircraft winning an award for Best Written Paper in Aircraft Design at the 17th Australian International Aerospace Congress (AIAC17).

The lead author on the paper was RMIT UAS Research Team lecturer Matthew Marino, who is also chief investigator on the StopRotor project at RMIT. Co-authors included undergraduate student Janek Ambani, StopRotor founder Rowan Watkins, and RMIT professor Roberto Sabatini.

The StopRotor is a hybrid vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) configuration UAS invented in Australia. It is unique in that it uses a large rotor blade (like a helicopter) to provide lift in VTOL mode, which also locks into place and provides lift when in fixed-wing mode.

Further details on the StopRotor concept can be found here.

Nicola Kloet wins prestigious Rod Walker Award

RMIT UAS Research Team PhD candidate Nicola Kloet has been presented with the Rod Walker Award for Advancement of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The award was presented at the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) Conference during the Avalon Airshow. It is valued at more than $5,000, which will go toward Nicola’s continuing PhD studies on multi-rotor UAS noise.

Congratulations Nicola!


RUASRT publishes world-first multi-rotor acoustic measurements

RMIT UAS Research Team PhD candidate Nicola Kloet has had her work on acoustic signature measurement of small multi-rotor UAS published in the International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles.

The noise generated by these “drones” is seen as one of the barriers to their widespread implementation in populated environments. Nicola’s work, done as part of her final year project for her Bachelor’s degree, is the first step toward understanding and controlling this noise. Nicola is now continuing her studies as a PhD candidate, in which she is investigating human perception of UAS noise, and looking at methods by which noise can be reduced.

The paper is freely available online here.


RUASRT paper included in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics Highlights of 2016

RMIT UAS Research Team’s work on emulating avian orographic soaring in urban environments has been featured in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics Highlights of 2016, a collection which includes some of the very best and most influential research published in the journal over the last year.

Emulating avian orographic soaring with a small autonomous glider

Bioinspiration & Biomimetics Highlights of 2016


First Micro Air vehicle Course and Competition

The competitors from the AMAV contest after a successful day.

The competitors from the AMAV contest after a successful day.

Unmanned Air Vehicles are being used for an ever-increasing range of tasks; goods delivery, information gathering and disaster relief. Members of RUASRT recently held the first Australian Micro Air Vehicles (AMAV) Competition in the basketball courts at RMIT’s Bundoora West campus. AMAV committee lead, Dr Abdulghani Mohamed said:

“It was a resounding success; the initiative provided students with a transformative experience through project-based learning integrated within existing engineering courses as the culmination of design-build-fly projects”.

Eleven teams navigated their multi-rotor machines through obstacles including payload delivery in the GPS-denied environment. All teams completed the majority of tasks and top-placed teams displayed some excellent autonomy, including reading QR codes on the obstacles, whilst being buffeted by wind gusts.
Competing student Rohan Gigacz enthused:

“The AMAV competition along with the UAS course allowed us to translate what we have learnt in the class room into a challenging real life application. The competition day was a great way to end the semester and I look forward to future AMAV competitions which look to be bigger and better!”

One team successfully passing the beaded curtain obstacle.

One team successfully passing the beaded curtain obstacle.

A big thanks to everyone who helped, especially: Dr Jennifer Palmer and DST Group for sponsorship.
Based on the success of the AMAV event, RMIT has been selected to host the IMAV 2018 competition in 2018, where competitors from all over the world compete and present their research, helping RMIT build capability, expertise, and international collaboration in this emerging field.

Members of the AMAV committee.

Members of the AMAV committee.


RUASRT on TV – Channel 10 “Scope”

Members of RUASRT were on Network 10’s Scope on Saturday morning. Scope is a funny and informative children’s science show, aimed at kids ages 8-14, with sections presented by experts in their field. During the engineering-themed episode, Sam, David, and Ashim discussed the process for designing and building drones. In the video you can see the team working on electronics, explain important design considerations, and fly our favourite caged-drone, MARV.
Season 3, episode 119 is here, our section begins at 8:10. Enjoy!

Specialised UAS developed for underground mine inspection

RMIT graduate student and post RUASRT member Andrew Harrison has been working with CSIRO and Newmarket Gold on developing multi-rotor UAS capable of surveying the large voids produced as a result of underground mining. The ability to operate regardless of the complex ground terrain allows the system to survey regions of the void which would not possible by any other means. The data obtained by the UAS provides mining engineers with required information to make strategic decisions in the recovery of ore and expansion of mining operations. These processes can be conducted in a safer and more efficient manner than otherwise possible due to the use of the developed UAS technology.