Three engineering students took home the top trophy at the Collegiate Drone Racing National Championship held at Purdue University on April 15th. It is the first year a national championship has been organized for pilots of unmanned aircraft to compete against each other at the college level.
Twenty-seven universities fielded teams of pilots who navigated obstacle courses flying custom-designed drones. The course was designed for testing both a pilot’s speed and precision.
Georgia Tech was led by aerospace engineering major Nick Willard, who flew in the final race to seal the victory. Willard competes in many non-collegiate Drone Racing League events, and has won racing events televised on ESPN. He is affectionately known by drone racing enthusiasts as “Wild Willy.”
Their times and rankings, combined with Willard’s, put Georgia Tech into first place among the field.
The Georgia Tech team brought home a total of $15,000 in equipment and prizes.