New USC Unmanned Ground Vehicle Contest Announced!

National Unmanned Ground Vehicle Student Competition Announced!

Unmanned Systems Canada is pleased to announce Canada’s first Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) Student Competition, modelled after our very successful and long-running Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Student Competition. As with our UAV Competition, this new UGV Competition will allow students at post-secondary institutions across Canada to develop a scale model of a fully-automated snow plow during the 2018-19 academic year …then bring their prototype to Ottawa for a face-off competition against other student teams.

Plans are underway to host the 2-day competition at the new Ottawa Automated Vehicles Test Facility over the weekend of May 25-26, 2019. USC is currently in discussions with Invest Ottawa, industry partners, and regional economic development groups to finalize competition details and logistics.

The Challenge

USC will develop and distribute a ‘ConOps’ (Concept of Operations) challenge this fall for students to address during the 2018-19 academic year. To enter our competition, teams will need to:

  1. Submit a technical paper outlining their qualifications, approach and UGV design prototype of a scale-model fully-automated snow plow.
  2. Respond to questions and feedback provided by Competition Judges.
  3. Register for the Competition once their technical paper is approved.
  4. Design, test, adjust, and fundraise during the school year to prepare for the May Competition in Ottawa.
  5. Register on May 25th (opening day) at the Competition site – the new  Ottawa Automated Vehicle Test Facility, then provide a business-like ‘sales pitch’ presentation of their ‘company’ to UGV Competition judges, sponsors and audience members.
  6. Get last-minute ConOps instructions, adjust their models and strategy, then deploy their vehicles in a face-off competition on May 26th.

Overview of the Competition Location

Learn more about the Ottawa AV Test Facility supported by the Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Autonomous Vehicles Innovation Network (AVIN) program, visit their webpage at and watch a UAV-flyover video of the #UGVStudentCompetition site here…

The Benefits of National Student Competitions

This innovative competition provides students with valuable, real-life capstone projects, as well as a competitive scenario to apply their knowledge from various engineering and robotics sectors as they design, integrate and test new hardware and software.
Through participation on their project teams, UGV Student Competitors:
  • Develop critical employment skills such as communications, planning and budgeting, teamwork and collaboration.
  • Learn how to work under tight timelines, manage limited resources and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Gain skills and expertise that look great on their resumes!
  • Develop business skills and networking connections on the first day by ‘pitching their company’ to sponsors, USC Committee members and community members who come to watch the competition

Get involved in the Inaugural UGV Student Competition!

USC is looking for volunteers from our community of land, aerial and ground-based unmanned vehicle experts to help with all aspects of the competition. There’s lots of ways to support these innovative students!

  • Volunteer – join our USC UGV Competition Committee or help out at this year’s competition in Ottawa, ON
  • Support a team –  we keep entry costs low, but most students must fundraise to cover travel, equipment and accommodation expenses
  • Sponsor our competition – various event and student packages enable your organization to demonstrate your leadership in nurturing Canada’s rising stars in robotics, engineering and the UGV sector!

Get updates – and get involved!

Email our UGV Student Competition lead and volunteer Board of Director, Barrie Kirk, at [email protected] for event details, sponsorship opportunities and team questions.

As the USC Competition Committees firm up the ConOps and team application details, launch our registration page, and finalize sponsorship opportunities, we’ll keep our networks updated through the Student section of the USC website and newsletters from CAVCOE and USC.

If you are currently on the USC News mailing list, you’ll get  UGV Competition updates each issue. Stay tuned!

If you don’t receive USC News yet and want to keep informed about this initiative, USC’s 16th Annual National Unmanned Systems Conference (which includes a ‘Future of Mobility’ panel that Barrie is moderating), and other USC STEM initiatives, subscribe to USC News NOW.