BeeSmarter #4 (2016) – The drone rush

We participated in BeeSmarter the third time this year but now we changed category since we became university students. (Which is a mobile programming contest. If you haven’t checked out the previous ones: BeeSmarter #2)

The best moments

The challenge

Instead of the usual game challenge we got a much harder but a lot more interesting problem. There was a quadcopter given and we had to come up with a fun or useful application for it.

The quadcopter was a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 which has a (pretty bad) Android library so we could control it with a phone through its wifi.

We got a grid of qr codes which we could use to localise the drone within that space but we ended up not using it.

Navigational aid consisting of a grid of Qr codes

Navigational aid

The goal

After a little discussion with the Team we came up with the application idea: Teaching programming to children with controlling the quadcopter. We decided that we will try to finish basic instructions in the given 24h like: take off, land,  rotate, wait and move forward.

And if we still had time we would have implemented as many from our other ideas as possible: take a picture, get the orientation, branches, variables.

The result

After 24h with little sleep we pulled through in spite of the many problems we faced. (Bad Parrot API, Android Build Tools not working, etc)

Sleeping just a little

Sleeping just a little bit

But at the end we managed to get the basic instructions – we were aiming for – done.

Application Menu Instructions to the drone: Take off, Move forward, Wait, Turn

 At the end we presented our project with this slide show:


We were a bit disappointed at how little we achieved but we gained a lot of experience and considering that this was our first REAL competition this is not that bad. All in all we earned the 7th place with hard work.

The team for BeeSmarter #4

The team: Team.getInstance();

Surprise: I set the background on an iPad to my selfie


There was an auction system where teams had to bid for resources like accumulators for testing, iPads, iPhones… Since everybody was busy testing theirs apps with the drones we could get an iPad and iPhone for as low as a couple “BeeSmarter Credits”. So I left the university a little surprise…