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Dronecon / Multirotor races, contests & build expo?

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  • Dronecon / Multirotor races, contests & build expo?

    I remember nearing the end of the con last year someone lit up their octocopter in the foyer outside the vendor area and it got me thinking - in this scene, I can't be the only flight geek with hacked drones. I did see the weaponized drone thread but I think the weaponization could be a sub-aspect of the overall drone track.

    Some ideas:

    - nano class FPV races .. we'd need a room of decent size to fly them in and the spectators but I think there'd be a fair bit of interest in watching live FPV racing. I'm thinking nano class because you can use a much smaller space to race them in and when you crash them into people it doesn't draw blood. We could have a series of monitors/projectors set up each showing a channel for the racers doing the FPV.

    - build center .. kits could be made available with a basic flight controller, airframe, esc's, power distribution board, props and a battery for probably under $100 if we aren't trying to make a markup, and then we all hunker down and build those babies then crash 'em.

    - weaponization challenge .. remote rx's, servos, dc motors, nerf ballistics, etc are made available and contestants have a limited time develop a weapon to take out a target.

    - drone survival .. a pilot attempts to keep his multirotor in the air while attendees fire nerf ballistics at them. Charge $1 for five rounds or something like that. Proceeds to benefit the EFF ;)

    - drone air battle .. combination of weaponization challenge and drone survival event, where two (or more?) quads go at eachother, last one in the air is the winrar.

    - drone RFID sniffing challenge? Some kind of nearfield snoop with relays to the groundstation?

    Anyone else think that would be completely rad?

    Cheers

  • #2
    These kinds of ideas have come up before, and include a few challenges to make them happen.

    Hotel will complain about attendee safety unless issues are addressed, and they have the power to ban people from the property, which effectively bans them from that DEF CON and all future DEF CON while on that property. This means the hotel's complaints should be addressed or you put significant risk on yourself those that try to participate.

    If you wanted to try to use con-space in the convention centers, it would almost certainly require the space under-which such devices would fly would have no people. This would likely mean a lot of space for "no people" and though we have more space at the new location, the question will come up, "is this the best use of large amounts of space?" and "are there other contests/events with greater interest that could use the same space?" Use of limited space is always a contest.

    One suggestion to this posed in the past is to make it an unofficial event and take it off site, outside, away from the parking lot and hotel (their property) to a park, or public land -- some place where you won't have law enforcement or FAA harassing you. (The unofficial DEF CON Shoot does this, and it has grown in popularity since it was brought back. The Toxic BBQ has done this too. Many parties have gone this route.)

    If no demos are included in the contest, and this would just be an Expo, then petition for space to be made available in the conference space, indoors. However, as an Expo, you would have to specify who is responsible for the items being demoed. If you had a table, will you take responsibility the items are not vandalized, or stolen, or will you tell people submitting their entry they are responsible? Who will staff such a table? Which one of the people organizing this will be responsible for it? (All people running contests are responsible for the stuff in their contest, not the contest/event goons. You can't expect goons to watch your contest area for you. Generally, Contest/Event Goon attention is focused on making sure the hotel is not made upset, and the people running contests/event get the resources they were promised. They also work to settle disputes, attendee safety, and try to keep things running smoothly without incident.)

    If you make this an unofficial event off-site, it would be up to you on how you would deal with insurance, or if you would want to have it.

    Outdoors makes the most sense for long-distance travel, and speed contests. It also includes the real-world variable nature of wind, adding more complexity.

    HTH and good luck!
    -Cot
    Last edited by TheCotMan; March 9, 2015, 01:53.

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