For the second year in a row, Flint Hill School’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Robotics team won the Best High School award at the AUVSI Student Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) Competition, which was held June 14-17 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.In only its third year participating, the team significantly improved from 21st overall last year to 5th this year, placing behind Universite de Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada) in 1st; Cornell University in 2nd; Technion Israel Institute of Technology in 3rd; and Istanbul Technical University in 4th.
The international competition was predominantly comprised of teams from universities — 59 teams registered and 44 made it to the final flight demonstration portion. Other competitors included: California State University, Fullerton; Harvard University; Munich University of Applied Sciences; Penn State; Rutgers University; U.S. Naval Academy; The University of Texas at Austin; and University of Toronto. See a list of all the teams.
The team also earned $3,550 in prize money. “No high school team has placed above 17th place in the competition’s 15-year history,” said the team’s faculty advisor Mike Snyder, a robotics and computer science teacher with Flint Hill’s Upper School. “As the Flint Hill students walked up to receive their award, they were given the only standing ovation. I am so proud of this team.” Looking ahead to his Senior year next year, team captain Vale Tolpegin ‘18 said, “I look forward to another great year, and I hope we can get first place in SUAS!