Information on local conferences and RUASRT events.

RUASRT entering IMAV 2017

The only Australian team to enter the International Micro Air Vehicles (IMAV) competition and conference in 2017 (or, in fact, ever) is from the RMIT Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Team (RUASRT). The team, drawn from enthusiastic undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as academics, have worked tirelessly over the last few months on their entry for both the indoor and outdoor events. Both events require craft with high levels of autonomy in order to complete the challenges and successfully navigate the obstacles. RUASRT has developed several UAS capable of successfully completing the challenge: This includes a fixed-wing pylon racer, a flying-wing aerial mapper, quadcopters with a full sensor suite, and a micro-X8 heavylift.

Some of these challenges for the indoor competition include navigating without GPS through a turbulent (windy) environment and small spaces, and identifying the correct location to drop a life-saving payload – all without any input from the team during the flight. For this, the team has created a small quadcopter with propeller protection and a sensor stack capable of Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM).

The outdoor section is search and rescue style, with the team required to map an area and identify points of interest, as well as an endurance challenge. For this, they have created fixed wing platforms – one to complete laps of the required area for the endurance challenge and another to take photos of the mapping area and send them wirelessly to the team computers for automatic photo-stitching and feature identification.

The team is very excited for this competition, and we were recently featured on the RMIT website -check it out here:

RMIT Open Day Success

We had a great time at Open Day talking to all the prospective RMIT students. Thanks to all who visited for asking interesting questions. Thanks also go to the volunteers who helped set up, pack up, and gave their time on a Sunday to either (or both) of our stands. We look forward to doing it all again next year!

Our largest UAS, Javelin, carrying our smallest, MARV3.0

Open Day this Weekend

RMIT Open Day is fast approaching and we’re all really excited to answer your questions and show off our projects. If you’re attending, make sure you visit us in Building 55 – Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP), where we’ll have most of our lab out for you to see. 

  • See, in person, the X8 octocopter which had its first test flight only days ago and talk to the students who built it.
  • Speak with undergraduate students from all year levels, as well as some of our doctoral candidates.
  • See “Eddie the Eagle”, our bio-inspired, eagle-shaped soaring platform for bird scaring.
  • Our largest fixed-wing platform (with a 3.0m wingspan), Javelin, will be on display.
  • Our smallest UAS (weighing only 100g), MARV will also be there for you to see.

Don’t miss it. We’ll see you there!

RMIT Open Day Planner:

RUASRT on Facebook:



RUASRT on Display at Open Day

This Sunday, 13th August, is RMIT Open Day  and we will be there showing off our stuff from 10am.

A wide range of our projects will be on display at the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP – Building 55) for you to look at. RUASRT members will be happy to answer any and all of your drone related questions (they can probably be persuaded to talk about non-drone, engineering-related things too).

If you want to see some of the projects we’ve been working on this year, or are keen to know how you could get involved as an RMIT student, make sure you stop and say hi; we’d love to chat with you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook for updates!


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:

Free Seminar and Conference

RUASRT Researchers will be supporting a free conference and seminar to be held at CivSec 2016. The Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS), in association with CivSec Australia, will be hosting a free conference and educational seminar at CIVSEC 2016. The event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 1, 2016.

The morning conference will focus on the utility of unmanned systems in civil security applications.  Key note speakers include Anthony Patterson (Cobham), Peter Smith (Textron Systems), Dr Derek Rogers (Saab Australia), Dr Robert Dane (Ocius Technology) and Dr Malcolm Shore (BAE Systems).

The afternoon seminar is a must for new operators or people looking at getting involved in operating drones professionally.  It is intended to be an educational seminar that will focus on the amended CASA regulations (and what they mean for you and your business), getting the right insurance, and managing risk and privacy matters. Speakers include Dr Reece Clothier (AEGIS Aerospace), Simon Hooper (QBE Insurance) and Peggy MacTavish (Flight Data Systems).

For more information, and how to register, visit:

DSI and UoM Forum on Autonomy

The Defence Science Institute and researchers from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Computer and Information Systems are hosting a research forum titled: “Semi-autonomous systems: trust, control, and letting go“. The will forum will be held on the 10th-11th of November 2015.

The Forum focuses on the relevant challenges in machine reasoning; bringing together researchers and practitioners working in the fields of semi-autonomous systems and human-automation teamwork to discuss challenge problems and potential solutions in the design of semi-autonomous systems for human-agent teams. This includes topics such as trust dynamics, human robot interaction, levels of automation, and situation awareness. RUASRT researcher Dr Reece Clothier is one of the invited speakers at this event.

More information on the event here. To register for the event, click here.

RPAS for Fire and Emergency Services

RMIT Researcher Dr Reece Clothier to provide keynote address at the Symposium on RPAS Applications in Fire and Emergency Management.

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) are teaming with Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS), and the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) to present a one-day user-focused symposium and exhibition on the application of RPAS in Fire and Emergency Management. The purpose is to explore current RPAS capabilities, and risk management in the current regulatory environment.

The symposium will be held in Brisbane on the 30th of June 2015. Registration and more information can be found here.

More information:

AAUS Gathering Storm: Unmanned Systems Outlook in Australasia

RUASRT researchers will be attending and presenting at the upcoming Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) “Gathering Storm: Unmanned Systems Outlook in Australasia“.

Dr Reece Clothier will be presenting on the topic “Australian Civil UAS Industry – Status, Threats, and Opportunities”.

The conference will explore opportunities in the region in the military and civilian domains. It is an event that should not be missed.

The 2015 conference will be held over three days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (22nd-23rd of February 2015) and at the Avalon on the first industry day of the Avalon International Air Show (24th February 2015).

More information: