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Best practices and teamwork for student competitions

It’s time for the MathWorks Minidrone Competition!

Posted by Christoph Hahn,

Today’s guest post is by Maitreyee Mordekar. Maitreyee is in charge of the MathWorks student drone competitions. She’ll announce the MathWorks Minidrone Competition and share essential information with us.

Competitions are one of the best ways to learn something new, to explore new tools, and to evaluate how much we know certain concepts. To emphasize on the concept of project-based learning, MathWorks is hosting a Minidrone Competition at different places across the world.  There are no registration fees and no investment in buying hardware to participate.  Just have fun learning something new!

What is the MathWorks Minidrone Competition?

The MathWorks Minidrone Competition is a platform for students to learn model-based design using Simulink. Participating teams will design a minidrone line follower. They’ll be given a basic Simulink model that hovers the drone. Then, participants will design their image processing and path planning algorithms to get the drone to perform the competition tasks.

The competition consists of two rounds: Simulation Round and Deployment Round. The top 5 to 7 teams whose algorithm performs the best in simulation are shortlisted for the Deployment Round. On the day of the Deployment Round, each team receives a Parrot Mambo Minidrone to explore the hardware and deploy their algorithms using automatic code-generation using the Simulink Hardware Support Package.

How to get started with the competition?

Are you interested? To get started with the competition, you can visit the MathWorks Minidrone Competitions webpage. The names and details about all the individual competition events are listed on the page. To participate in a competition, you can apply by filling out the form on the competition event page with the details of your team. After the application, the team will receive information on next steps along with a complimentary license with MATLAB, Simulink, and several add-on products.

For a quick ramp up in the competition, find 6 videos online, each of them is up to 5 minutes long.  They will introduce the competition (1), introduce the rules (2) and explain the Simulink model (3) that the teams are supposed to work on and its deployment (4). You will learn how to plan the flight states (5) using Stateflow and how you can alter the arena in the virtual environment (6). Finally, you will learn best practices to work with Simulink models so that they can be deployed on hardware.

How do we tackle technical difficulties during the competition?

We are here for you. If you come across any issues while working with the model:

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and apply for the competition. We look forward to seeing you all at the arena.