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  • Crowd-voting Opens on Darpa's UAVForge
    Posted by Graham Warwick 4:59 PM on Oct 27, 2011

    It's time to vote on the concepts entered in Darpa's UAVForge competition to crowd-source the design of a "perch-and-stare" VTOL micro-UAV small enough to fit in a rucksack.

    If, like me, you have already registered on the website, you can vote on the concept videos that have been posted there, even if you are not part of one of the teams competing.

    I count 48 videos — too many for me to go through here but, not surprisingly, a lot of them are quad- or hexrotor designs: 15 of them by my count. There are also a handful of coaxial-rotor and conventional helicopter designs.

    Several of the concepts are designed to take off vertically then transition to winged flight, then back again. I count seven tailsitting flying-wing concepts, four tailsitting ducted-fan, three quad-tiltrotors and a couple each of fan-in-wing, tilt-fan and tilt-wing designs.

    Among the unusual, unique and/or way-out-there concepts are a monocopter, a flapping-wing UAV, a couple of airship-based designs — and a proposal to use live birds by strapping a sensor payload and control system on to their chests.

    If you have time, even if you are not registered, it is fun to browse the videos over on There is a wide variance in their style of presentation, and some interesting music choices.

    Voting closes by midnight Nov. 2 (U.S. East Coast time). I haven't picked a favorite yet, but do check out the National University of Singapore's coaxial-rotor GremLion concept.

    Tags: ar99, unmanned, Darpa

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