XBuild is the official hackathon of AUVSI, the world’s most influential association for unmanned systems professionals.

The future belongs to those who believe they have the power to make a difference. Imagine the possibilities that exist when top engineering minds gather together to harness the power of their imagination, skill and ingenuity to innovate solutions for the unmanned systems industry.

Through its exhilarating atmosphere of innovation, collaboration and cutting-edge problem solving, XBuild is the spot where expertise meets creative expression and technology meets forward thinking. It’s the spot where you take center stage to demonstrate the transformative power that exists when bright minds are encouraged to tap into their fullest potential.

We give you the resources to make anything you want. Together, we can create the future of unmanned systems.


XBuild is for everyone!

We welcome makers, who are 18 or older, of all skill levels and experience. If you’re a new face in the unmanned systems industry, and have never laid hands on a drone, we want your fresh ideas. Maybe you’re a professional working in the field—we want you to come and share your experience, learn new perspectives, and get a chance to stretch your creative muscles


Your submission must contain:

  1. A description of your project.
  2. All of your team members.
  3. Ideally, some images or descriptions of your work.

Hackathon Sponsors


$8,200 in prizes

First Prize

$3000 cash.

Second Prize

$2,000 in cash.

Third Prize

$1,000 in cash.

IBM: Best Use of Watson or IBM Cloud

Eligibility Requirements: Use one or more of Watson IoT Platform, Watson APIs and IBM Cloud compute and other IBM Cloud services in your app to be eligible. Projects will be judged on originality, how well IBM technology is used, and how well the project solves the intended use case.

Description: The Watson IoT Platform provides a framework for managing devices and the data that they create, providing applications with events and access to sensor data. By using the Watson APIs, developers can add cognitive processing capabilities for language, speech and vision to applications. With IBM Cloud, you can host a web application, REST APIs for apps and mobile backends for applications on Cloud Foundry and other compute services. Use Watson Studio to ingest and analyze data and then create machine learning models that you can deploy for use in your apps.

Prize: Beats Solo 3 Wireless for each team member

ACEP: Unmanned Systems in Emergency Medicine

Develop innovative uses for unmanned systems for use in Emergency Medicine. This includes areas like Emergency Medical Services (EMS), disaster medicine, air medical transport, event medicine, and tactical emergency medicine. Solutions can include hardware, software, or data collection.

• An interactive hands-on learning experience with EMS, air medical, or tactical medical units to see first-hand how the use of unmanned systems could be integrated into current operations
• ACEP challenge coins and poker chips
• ER/DR t-shirts
• ACEP water bottles
• ACEP badge holders
• ACEP pens
• Complimentary exposition registration to the ACEP 18 National Conference, October 1-4, 2018, in San Diego
• Complimentary exhibit booth in the ACEP innovatED to display your innovation at the ACEP 18 National Conference
• Opportunity to create and distribute an article to ACEP’s 37,000 emergency physician members via an interview with a top ACEP emergency physician leader
Opportunity to conduct a mini-focus group meeting with emergency physician leadership in Denver or at the ACEP 18 National Conference to gather feedback from emergency physicians on your product’s development and/or launch


In certain environments a GPS signal may not always be available or reliable. Design and develop a solution to navigate an aircraft around obstacles in this type of environment using machine vision or any other creative solution. Stereo camera data will be supplied.
Data can be accessed at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1g441I9g89lAd7FhAAdCIDNsWfQqrbFvw
Prize: 1 GNSS inertial board per team member ($13-15k value)


Build a smart drone application that makes the best use of FlytBase platform to deploy drones at scale. The application could focus on automated delivery network of drones, long-range pipeline-inspections, multi-drone surveys, automated emergency response, etc.

The key would be automatic deployment of one/many drone(s) to significantly improve the efficiency of the mission. Using AI, ML for automated scene classification, and for detection of fire, person, car, etc. is encouraged.

Autonomous drones with 4G connectivity, live video streaming are provided to you. In other words, the drone can fly from point A to point B in response to series of simple API calls. And, all real-time communication, including drone location, control, live video stream is available remotely over 4G through APIs.

All contestants will be provided a cloud based sandbox (simulator) with RESTful, WebSocket APIs. A python library with sample code to control drone over Internet will also be provided. The application built can be tested extensively in simulator.

Submissions will be evaluated based on overall depth of the application concept, attention to flight workflow from safety point of view, level of automation, integration with AI/ML tools (you may use off the shelf AI services provided by Google, IBM, Azure, etc.).

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:




Judging Criteria

  • Scalability
    Does this product work when applied outside of a hackathon setting?
  • Creativity
    How innovative is this idea, and how did you come up with it?
  • Functionality
    Does this solution solve the problem it's intended for?
  • Execution
    How well does the solution work technically?
  • Awesomeness
    You can't describe it, but you know it when you see it.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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