DJI Kicks Off 2016 DJI Developer Challenge


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Get ready to Build the Unimaginable because registration for the 2016 DJI Developer Challenge is now open. Flex your developer muscles in the world’ most prestigious aerial robotics competition and receive exclusive DJI Developer equipment and the opportunity to win US$100,000 in prize money.

The 2016 DJI Developer Challenge, now in its third year, is a highly anticipated event for the startup and developer community. We are collaborating with Ford Motor Co. and the United Nations Development Program (UNPD) on this year’s developer challenge. Disaster relief has benefited from recent developments in aerial technology and there is an increasing use of drones by emergency response units, NGOs and the government sector around the world. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford has been at the forefront of turning its vehicles into smart, connected platforms.

This year, the challenge is centered around a theoretical search-and-rescue mission. Participants will be tasked with building an application that enables a drone to autonomously take off from a moving vehicle, collect data on the whereabouts of survivors and transmit the information from the disaster site back to the vehicle, then land autonomously on the same moving vehicle.

The winner of last year's challenge was UT-Dronefly from the University of Texas at Dallas and Penn State University. Their app was designed to conduct powerline inspection in a safer and more-efficient way. In 2014, the first year of the DJI Developer Challenge, Team BetterW from the South China University of Technology developed a forensics app specifically designed for highway accident investigations. 

Fifteen teams will be shortlisted into the challenge’s second round. They will be provided with DJI’s flagship SDK aerial platform, the Matrice 100, as well as a Zenmuse X3 camera to mount on the Matrice. The teams must then provide progress reports leading up to the final competition. Ten teams will advance into the final round, where they will use their app to perform the mock search-and-rescue mission, taking off and landing on a moving Ford F-150 pickup truck and transmitting the data collected.

To apply or get more info about the 2016 DJI Developer Challenge, visit To sign up to become a DJI Developer or more information about the DJI SDK, visit