AUVSI launched their first ever hackathon Xbuild in association with HackDFW. The hackathon took place on the 28th – 29th of April at Galvanize, Boulder, CO, USA. It brought together engineers, computer scientists, coders, physicists, etc. to build innovations in unmanned systems that can help solve real-world problems. The theme of the hackathon was “using unmanned aerial vehicles for good” and it tasked participants with developing solutions to address challenges facing unmanned systems.

FlytBase Sponsored Xbuild

FlytBase was proud to sponsor the event with other industry leaders such as Facebook, Trimble, MD5, Verizon, etc. As part of being the sponsors for the hackathon, participants were provided free access to our following resources:

  1. FlytBase Platform
  2. FlytAPIs
  3. FlytSDK
  4. FlytSim Simulator and other developer tools
Xbuild workshop
Nitin Gupta, CEO FlytBase conducting the workshop at Xbuild

Along with these resources, FlytBase mentors were present throughout the event to help and guide the teams. They conducted a workshop on building scalable drone applications using the FlytBase platform which covered: controlling a fleet of distributed intelligent drones for delivery, surveys, emergency response with simple python scripts. Real-time communication with the drone over 4G/LTE was made possible with FlytCloud and APIs. With FlytSim teams had access to simulating and controlling a fleet of drones, with all information displayed on a single web-based dashboard. The FlytBase platform also provided them APIs for easy payload integration.

FlytBase Challenge

As part of the FlytBase challenge, teams were encouraged to build a smart drone application, that makes the best use of the FlytBase platform and its extensive features, to deploy drones at scale. The applications were focused on the following:

  1. An automated delivery network of drones
  2. Multi-drone survey
  3. Long-range pipeline inspections
  4. Automated emergency response

The key to presenting a solution (using FlytBase) was an automated deployment of a fleet of drones to significantly improve the efficiency of the mission both in time and cost of operation. Use of AI, ML for automated scene classification, and for detection of fire, person, car, etc was encouraged.

All said and done, here is what the teams built using the FlytBase platform, in about 24 sleepless hours.

Team Drone Doctor:

Drone Doctor is a solution to conduct rapid remote triage from drone video at the scene of a mass casualty.

Drone Dr. application was built, keeping in mind cases of a trainwreck with hazardous materials and the requirement to do rapid remote triage. Their solution was focused on trying and finding an innovative way to control a drone with a limited dexterity that is common with hazmat and similar anti-exposure suits.

“Working with FlytBase was super easy for us. I click a button and instantly I have a simulated aircraft on a cloud-based platform. We used the FlytSim software to launch a simulated drone and used navigation and telemetry APIs to control the drone using a Myo armband interfaced with FlytBase to arrive at the disaster site.” – Team Drone Dr.

Team airBoi:

XBuild Team Airboi
Team airBoi presenting their solution

airBoi, a smart mobility solution for traffic management and planning, accomplished by unmanned, computer vision aided drones.

airBoi is a drone-assisted system. It schedules drones to follow a predetermined route and records footage to analyze traffic to help reduce road accidents. By 2050, 75% of the population will reside in urban cities. This will highly affect traffic in big cities. To potentially solve this problem, the project focused on improving efficiency in transportation and promoting security in a technological infrastructure.

“We used the FlytBase to simulate an automated fleet of drones, and scheduled flights for specific pathways to monitor traffic.” – Team airBoi

MERS (Mobile Emergency Response System):

Team MERS Xbuild
Team MERS at Xbuild

MERS is an interactive sensor integration platform that provides analytics data for emergency responders.

The aim of MERS was to improve existing dispatch & emergency response time in the wilderness through technology. MERS sends an atmospheric balloon (the payload) that collect area survey and sensor data, optimizes IBM Watson cloud service to distribute analytics.

“We mainly used FlytBase to coordinate the payload delivery and retrieval operations.” – Team MERS


Voice-controlled Autonomous System for Hazard detection and Rescue

VASHR uses fleets of drones to detect hazards like sharks, medical emergencies on boats, swimmers in distress, active shooter situations, etc. Then, once a hazard is localized, a rescue drone with an appropriate payload is deployed to the location and using a sky crane, delivering the target payload.

“With the FlytBase platform, everything was accessible to us. I just have to call the APIs and have drones flying everywhere. In just few hours we came out with the implementation.

The visualization was one of the best parts, to be able to see the each and every drone of the fleet on a single dashboard and controlling them remotely was very convenient and efficient.

We used FlytSim and the drone fleet management capabilities of the FlytBase platform to simulate an automated fleet of drones, for the emergency response system.” – Team VASHR

Winner Xbuild
Team VASHR receiving the FlytBase award at Xbuild

The winner for the FlytBase challenge was team VASHR for exhibiting a best automated and scalable solution using the FlytBase Platform.

Xbuild sponsors
Thank you note

Xbuild was an amazing experience, it was great to be a part of AUVSI’s first hackathon. We look forward to the next edition.

Wish to conduct a drone hackathon and need FlytBase as partner/sponsor? Visit and write to us.

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Write to us at or schedule a demo with our expert to learn more.


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