Team AMAV’s (UMD) Gambit was a low-cost, easy-to-fly drone specifically tailored to operate indoors, while providing full light, low light, and thermal imaging. The drone design, fabrication, assembly, and testing were performed by University of Maryland students. Due to advanced onboard sensor processing, Gambit was capable of maintaining the desired position and orientation without GPS making it possible to operate predictably in challenging indoor environments with minimal training. Thermal, HD, and night-vision cameras were mounted on a remote-controlled gimbal with a 180° range of motion, which enabled the drone to precisely maneuver in constrained environments and positively identify objects of interest in any lighting condition.
UAS 3.1: FastFind solution summary
Team AMAV’s (UMD) system was based on the DJI Matrice 300 drone, a popular choice for first responders. The M300 drone was equipped with a Zenmuse H20 RGB camera and a FLIR Vue TZ20 thermal camera to enable person detection in an occluded environment like a forest. To facilitate the use of the system by first responders and to enhance the probability of detecting missing people from aerial video, custom-built software was developed for mission planning and real-time image processing. AMAV’s first responder software included a machine-learning algorithm trained to process the live video stream from the drone and provide a visual indicator to the operator if a person is detected. The AMAV software ran on a laptop connected to the DJI Smart controller via an HDMI cable. The modularity of the AMAV software ensured that it could be adapted to support most UAS platforms preferred by first responders.
Team description and biographies
The University of Maryland’s Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicle Team is a student team that designs, builds, and flies multirotors to compete in national and international competitions. The UMD AMAV team is sponsored by the Maryland Robotics Center, the UMD Department of Aerospace Engineering, and the UMD A. James Clark School of Engineering.
Derek A. Paley (faculty advisor) is Director of the Maryland Robotics Center and Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland.
Josh Gaus (co-advisor; UAS 4.0 only) is a UAS Test Engineer at the UMD UAS Research and Operations Center.
Animesh K. Shastry is the team leader and a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland.
Qingwen Wei is a senior in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland and a certified Part 107 pilot.
Henry Segal (team member in UAS 4.0 only) is a freshman in the Department of Computer Science with a double major in Mathematics and a minor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Maryland.
Jeffin Kachappilly (team member in UAS 4.0 only) is a 2nd-year student in the Master of Engineering in Robotics program at the University of Maryland.
Wei “Sway” Cui (team member in UAS 3.1 only) is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Prior to his current role, he worked as a software engineer in Los Angeles AFB and Wright-Patterson AFB.
Dhruv Srinivasan (team member in UAS 3.1 only) is a B.S. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland.
Thomas Brosh (team member in UAS 3.1 only) received the B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2022, along with a minor in Computer Engineering. He is now employed at Northrop Grumman.
Paul Zaidins (team member in UAS 3.1 only) is an M.S. student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. He previously received a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas and a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.