Airbus Launches Cargo Drone Challenge


Staff member
Local Motors is a Phoenix, Arizona-based car manufacturer who made world history by being the first company to produce a 3D printed car is now partnering with none other than Airbus to launch a “worldwide co-creation challenge” to advance commercial drone technology.

The challenge invites professionals and amateurs alike to innovate and design the “next generation of commercial drone technology.” It was inspired, the creators say, by the need to more efficiently transport medical supplies to remote areas.

“As Local Motors and Airbus Group progress in this challenge, we expect our co-creation community to deliver the kind of amazing ideas that helped us build the world’s first co-created vehicle and 3D-printed car. 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,” said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers.

The challenge is comprised of several co-creation motivating activities, open source projects, online competitions, and hackathons. In the first phase of the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge, its leaders hope to advance Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) drone technology. VTOL is crucial, as it combines the advantages of vertical take-off and landing – thus allowing for operation in difficult terrain without requiring a landing strip – with fixed-wing forward flight, which is more efficient than traditional helicopter designs.

This stage will run until 5 June, 2016, when prizes from an allotted pot of $117,500 will be awarded to the winners. The winning designs will be incorporated into Airbus’ own industrial programme.

“The Challenge initiative is really exciting and we are eager to see how the power of co-creation can accelerate new, innovative thinking around commercial drones,” said Jana Rosenmann, Head of Unmanned Aerial Systems within Airbus Group.




As an engineer these " challenges " always smack of "free labor" to me. Airbus makes millions and you get a pat on the shoulder. Talk to a patent lawyer before submitting anything ;)