Airbus, Local Motors Launch Challenge for Next-Gen Drone Solutions


Airbus Group and Local Motors have launched a global challenge that includes a series of co-creation activities, online competitions, open-source projects and hackathons all focused on designing a next-generation commercial drone solution.

The first part of the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge, which launched today, seeks to identify designs for drones capable of vertical takeoff and landing and efficient forward flight. The challenge is taking place on Local Motors’ co-creation platform. The full details and technical specifications of the challenge can be found here.

According to the companies, part of the goal of the challenge is to identify better ways to transport medical supplies – e.g., by using small-scale cargo transport – when time is of the essence.

This initial co-creation challenge will run through June 5 and offer $117,500 in total prize money. The evaluation of each entry will be conducted through a jury of experts in the field before potentially becoming part of an industrial program from Airbus.

Assisting Local Motors and Airbus Group on the challenge is Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Inc., which will bring its experience in the commercialization of robotics and unmanned systems to the project.

Local Motors is a technology company that designs, builds, and sells vehicles. Airbus Group comprises Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, and Airbus Helicopters.

Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors, says, “As we harness the power of the crowd, Airbus will have the ability to iterate on commercial drones faster than ever before. This will be a much-needed shot in the arm for civil drone development.”

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