Dear HeroX Community,
Over the past few weeks, the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its wide-ranging impacts have caused severe disruptions around the world. The COVID-19 is affecting us all – at work, at home, and in our communities. Lockheed Martin believes that resolving this challenge should take precedent over our other challenge, AlphaPilot. In this spirit, we have decided to cancel our plans for a 2020 season. Health and safety are our top priority. We encourage everyone following AlphaPilot to use the time and effort they would have put into a 2020 season to instead help the world defeat COVID-19. Your creative spark and desire to solve difficult problems is exactly what the world needs right now.
Lockheed Martin would like to thank those who followed and participated in the 2019 season. Together, we accomplished amazing things and brought new energy to the future of autonomous flight. This is not an ending; it’s just the beginning.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep innovating,
The Lockheed Martin AlphaPilot Team
For more information on Lockheed Martin's COVID-19 response, please visit:
Launching the AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge, Lockheed Martin and The Drone Racing League (DRL) have challenged teams of coders, engineers, and technologists to take on developing artificial intelligence (AI) for high-speed racing drones.
The AlphaPilot challenge tests teams of up to 10 participants on their ability to design an AI framework - powered by the NVIDIA Xavier GPU for autonomous systems - capable of flying a drone through three-dimensional race courses using only machine vision and guidance, navigation, and control algorithms. Teams will not have prior knowledge of the exact course layouts, nor will they benefit from GPS, data offboarding, or human intervention of any kind. Designed by DRL, the autonomous drone will provide the sensing, agility, and speed needed for competitive racing as part of DRL’s new Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing (AIRR) Circuit, starting in fall 2019.
Drone racing is a futuristic sport and a big draw for millennials and K-12 students with an interest in technology — many of whom will become future STEM professionals, drone pilots, and engineers. Lockheed Martin recognizes the important role in helping to develop a workforce with skills to compete in a 21st century high-tech economy. Lockheed Martin and DRL targeted U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to apply for AlphaPilot; however, the competition was open to drone enthusiasts, coders and technologists of all ages from around the world.
For more than 100 years, Lockheed Martin has been redefining flight — from the fastest speeds, to the edge of space, to unmatched maneuverability, and stealth. AI-enabled autonomy promises to fundamentally change the future of flight, and we are actively developing disruptive new AI technologies that will help our customers accomplish their most important missions – from reaching Mars to fighting wildfires.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. For more information, please visit www.lockheedmartin.com/alphapilot.
DRL is the professional drone racing circuit for elite FPV pilots around the world. A technology, sports and media company, DRL combines world-class media and proprietary technology to create thrilling 3D drone racing content with mass appeal. The 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship Season will feature races in iconic venues across the globe that'll stream on Twitter and Youku and air on the best sports programs worldwide, including NBC, Sky Sports and ProSieben. For more information, please visit www.drl.io
KEF Robotics is one of the fiercest AlphaPilot teams competing in the 2019 AIRR Circuit. They’ve spent years working with NASA to develop new technologies capable of landing rockets on Saturn’s moons. They have the brains, passion, and determination to win it all.
UZH Robotics & Perception Group is already a dominant force in autonomous drone racing. Having just won the 2018 iROS Autonomous Drone Race in Madrid, their talent and experience cannot be ignored.
Traveling all the way from Warsaw, Poland, the MIMotaurs AlphaPilot Team came together for the sole purpose of racing in the 2019 AIRR Circuit. They have one goal in mind: claiming the very first AIRR Circuit victory.
Brought together through Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering, every member of ICARUS shares the same passion for autonomy and AI. From autonomous cars to autonomous drones — ICARUS is ready to race.
Formed through the Formula Drone Club at UCLA, this team’s love for drone racing in undeniable. After entering the AlphaPilot Challenge on a whim, Formula Drone has already proven they’re a force to be reckoned with.
MAVLab brings some of the deepest drone experience to the AlphaPilot Challenge. They’ve been innovating in the field of aerial autonomy for years, and they’re confident their depth of experience and versatility can lead them to a win the 2019 AIRR Circuit.
Comprised of seven members spread out over four continents, Team Puffin is truly an international team. They’ve previously created an AI vehicle that broke records for the fastest accelerating car, achieved gold medals in Kaggle competitions, and are now ready to use that speed in the 2019 AIRR Circuit.
XQuad is one of the most diverse and well-resourced AlphaPilot teams. Made up of 10 robotics engineers and computer scientists from Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, they’re prepared to work together to think outside the box and win.
TEAM USRG @ KAIST knows the taste of victory. After winning the first-ever iROS autonomous drone in 2016, they came in first at the Seoul Airshow’s AirBus Competition in 2017. They’re ready to race, and hungry for a third victory at the 2019 AIRR Circuit.