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AlphaPilot AI Innovation Challenge Flies North to Canada
Lockheed Martin and The Drone Racing League formally open AlphaPilot registration through HeroX platform to global competitors.

Lockheed Martin and The Drone Racing League formally open AlphaPilot registration through HeroX platform to global competitors.


OTTAWA, November 13, 2018 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today announced that its recently launched AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge is officially live through the HeroX platform and ready to formally accept applications both in the United States and globally. The application process runs through February 28, 2019.

AlphaPilot was launched earlier this year by Lockheed Martin Chief Technology Officer Keoki Jackson through a partnership with The Drone Racing League (DRL), the global professional circuit for drone racing. This open innovation competition challenges teams to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will enable an autonomous drone to race a pilot-operated drone – and win. Participating teams will compete in a series of challenges for their share of over $2 million (USD) in prizes.                 

The objective of this challenge is to accelerate the development and testing of fully autonomous drone technologies. AlphaPilot participants will design an AI  framework, powered by the NVIDIA Jetson platform for AI at the edge, capable of flying a drone – without any pre-programming or human intervention – through challenging multi-dimensional race courses in DRL's inaugural 2019 Artificial Intelligence Robotic Racing (AIRR) Circuit. 

“Lockheed Martin is proud of its partnerships with universities around the globe and wanted to ensure the AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge is open to accept the innovative ideas from students, coders and AI enthusiasts from around the world,” said Lockheed Martin Chief Technology Officer Keoki Jackson. “We are inviting the next generation of innovators, including undergraduate and graduate students from around the world, to help us define the future of autonomy and AI.” 

The Lockheed Martin AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge officially opens for entries today, November 13, 2018. Selected participants are eligible for over $2 million (USD) in cash prizes, including an extra $250,000 award for the first team that outperforms a professional DRL human-piloted drone in a head-to-head race. Undergraduate and graduate students, drone enthusiasts, coders and other technologists interested in learning more and applying to participate can visit lockheedmartin.com/alphapilot or www.herox.com/alphapilot. Lockheed Martin anticipates accepting approximately teams of up to 10 participants each. 

“We are delighted to welcome AlphaPilot to Canada and excited for the opportunity to mentor young Canadians looking to shape the future of flight,” said chief executive officer for Lockheed Martin Canada Charles Bouchard. “This competition is a natural fit given both Lockheed Martin’s track record in pioneering new AI-enabled technologies and Canada’s growing international reputation in innovative fields including remotely piloted aircraft systems.”

“Projects like the AlphaPilot Challenge are the future of innovation and I commend Lockheed Martin for leading the way,” said Christian Cotichini, CEO of HeroX. “HeroX exists to connect leading companies to global human intelligence and we are proud to be working with Lockheed Martin. I can’t wait to see what breakthroughs the top global innovators create in autonomous drone technology.”

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Lockheed Martin to discover the best and the brightest in AI to push the boundaries of fully autonomous flight in AIRR,” said DRL CEO and Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski. “DRL is proud to be at the forefront of developing groundbreaking drone technology -- from custom-building high-speed racing drones as seen on ESPN to setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest racing drone on the planet – and we believe AI is an important part of the future of drone innovation.”

About Lockheed Martin Canada

Lockheed Martin Canada, headquartered in Ottawa, is the Canadian-based arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company employing 100,000 people worldwide. Lockheed Martin Canada has been Canada's trusted defence partner for nearly 80 years specializing in the development, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The company employs approximately 1,000 employees at major facilities in Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, and Victoria, working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and commercial sectors.

About DRL

DRL is the professional drone racing circuit for elite FPV pilots around the world. A technology, sports and media company, DRL combines world-class media and proprietary technology to create thrilling 3D drone racing content with mass appeal. Founded by Nicholas Horbaczewski in 2015, DRL is a privately held company headquartered in NYC. For more information on DRL, visit www.drl.io.

About HeroX

Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration. The HeroX crowdsourcing platform brings together global communities of problem solvers to deliver breakthrough solutions to social, economic, and strategic challenges. HeroX connects people to the problems they were meant to solve. For more information on HeroX, visit www.herox.com

Media Contacts

Cindy Tessier
Lockheed Martin Canada
+1 613.762.5753