Makers Club drone designing and mission-based drone competition

Participants, judges and organising committee at the end of A.R.D.C

Nineteen teams made up of 95 participants and nine accompanying staff from eight universities and five schools unleashed their creativity and innovation skills in the drone competition called All Rounded Drone Competition (A.R.D.C). The competition took place in UTAR Sungai Long Campus from 24 to 25 November 2018.

The A.R.D.C is the first inter-varsity/schools drone designing, mission-based challenge and mini-drone racing competition organised in Malaysia by UTAR Makers Club. This competition saw curious minds from universities and secondary schools putting their creative and technical skills to test in building their very own drones.

Participating teams (clockwise, from top left) from UPM, Shen Jai High School, UTAR and UNITEN at the entrance of the Campus. The drone replica was built by students in Makers Club

Present at the opening ceremony were UTAR Vice President Prof Ir Dr Ewe Hong Tat, Corporate Communication and Public Relations Director Ong Soo Weon, Founder of Poladrone Cheong Jin Xi, A.R.D.C Chairperson Kevin Lim Kai Wen, Founder of KakiDIY Johnson Lam, Advisor of A.R.D.C Danny Ng Wee Kiat, Co-Founder of KakiDIY Vijay Devan, participants, exhibitors, guests, staff and students.

Expressing his support towards the idea of the competition, Prof Ewe said, “Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and conquered darkness. Similarly, the drone technology has allowed mankind to conquer the 3D space. With drone and creative innovation, a whole new world is waiting to be discovered. Previously, aircrafts carried out remote sensing but now drones can do the job with lower costs. Such technology is changing the world. So, I am very happy that this competition is held to encourage students to showcase their creative and innovative side in building a drone. It is a great start for you to experience the brainstorming of ideas to design your own drone and experience the thinking process that goes into the successful construction of the drone.”

Founder of Poladrone Cheong Jin Xi said that, “I met Kevin Lim, the organising chairperson, about a year ago who came to me with all these ‘crazy’ and ‘wild’ ideas about his plans and passion for drones. Today, here we are seeing it happening. They really thrive on organising events like this with full passion.”

Cheong Jin Xi (left) and Kevin Lim during the opening ceremony

According to Kevin Lim, “There are more to drones than just racing. You can customise it to become something more and the many possibilities of its uses are emerging. I hope everyone here will not only focus on the outcome, but also appreciate and enjoy the learning process as well,” Kevin Lim is also the President of UTAR Makers Club.

Officiating the competition (from left): Kevin Lim, Prof Ewe, Cheong Jin Xi, Lam and Ong

Launch gambit designed by Makers Club

From left: Lam, Cheong Jin Xi, Lim and Prof Ewe at the opening gambit

Participants receiving the A.R.D.C LED bracelet made by the organising committee

Hosted in collaboration with the Department of Mechatronics and Biomedical Engineering of the UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, the A.R.D.C aimed to deliver an interactive form of engagement in promoting innovation and creativity among students. It is also aimed to create a platform to encourage the application of knowledge and new ideas across higher learning institutions as well as secondary schools.

Team from Monash University Malaysia Campus sketching and planning their drone design 

The two-day competition kicked off with each group discussing and mapping out their drone design before materialising it. Prior to the competition, the participants also attended a one-day drone workshop at the Kuala Lumpur Engineering and Science Fair (KLESF) 2018 which was held at the MINES International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) from 2 to 4 November 2018 where students in the Makers Club set up booth. Having equipped with knowledge and tips on building drones, each group designed the frame or body of their drones using their own software. Using the latest technology, the designs were then printed into shape using the 3D printers as well as other materials provided by the organising committee and sponsors.

The session was physically and mentally challenging for the participants as they worked through the day and night to ensure that their design was not only attractive but also practical and durable to ensure the drone flies with stability.

Participants getting their drone frame printed using 3D printers provided at the competition venue

Participants were provided with drone flying simulation to practice before the competition 

On the second day of the competition, participants were wide awake with their drone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Most of them had pulled an all-nighter as they had less than 10 hours to get their drones ready. Upon finishing, the teams put their drones to test in a closed testing area that was netted. To win the challenge, the drones were tested on flight and manoeuvre efficiency, flight duration, performance and design while completing the mission challenges of the competition.

Team from UPM testing their drone

By noon, the hall was filled with relieved yet anxious participants as they were asked to stop building or modifying their drones. Judging the drones’ design and performance were Kevin Lim, Johnson Lam, Cheong Jin Xi, Founder of Quad-TECH Drone Enterprise Amirul Aizad and Founder of Malaysian Drone Conceptual Robotics Darween Reza.

The drones were judged according to a few criteria. First, the aesthetics of the drones were evaluated from the design, followed by a short presentation from every team. The second test saw the teams flying the drones and making it airborne for as long as possible. The competition finally reached the anticipated final challenge where the drones went head-to-head in a race.

For the secondary school category, the teams were required to choose a pilot among their team members to fly the drone through obstacles, by going above and below the obstacles. As for the university category, the teams race their drones in an air circuit for three laps.

Line up of drones ready for action

The participating teams from universities:

The participating teams from secondary schools:

The results of the competition are as follows:

University Category:

Champion Team: "We got this" from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC)

First Runner-up Team: "Vulcan Robots" from Monash University Malaysia Campus

Second Runner-up Team: "Mum Droners" from Monash University Malaysia Campus

Secondary School Category:

Champion Team: "ALL ROUNDED" from Kuen Cheng High School

First Runner-up Team: "Nighthawk" from SMK Damansara Jaya (SMK DJ)

The champion team for the university category walked away with a trophy, DJI F450 drone for each member of the team and a training session sponsored by Poladrone. The first runner-up team saw each member receiving a Turnigy TGY-i6 transmitter while the second runner-up team received a Jumper T8SG Lite transmitter each. For the secondary school category, the champion team brought home a DJI Tello drone each as well as a training session sponsored by Poladrone. Meanwhile, each member of first runner-up team received a Microzone transmitter.

All participants in the competition each received a free t-shirt, led bracelet, lanyard and buttons. The drone materials and its parts were also provided as part of the competition. All meals were provided for the 2-day event. More than a hundred UTAR students were involved in helping to organise the event and assisting the participants during the competition.

University category winners: The champion team from TAR UC (2nd row), 1st runner-up (front row, right) and 2nd runner-up from Monash University Malaysia Campus (front row, left)

Secondary school category winners: First runner-up (left) from SMK DJ and champion from Kuen Cheng High School

Kevin Lim applauded the participants for their performance, “With the current limitations, the participants could already do so much, imagine what they could do with more support. They performed so well and I saw unexpected ideas from them.” Kevin also aims to bring in more industry players to be involved in the future activities of UTAR Makers Club to give better exposure and experience.

Marian Yeow Chee Yen from Monash University Malaysia Campus said that,“I learnt so much more after participating in this competition. It was a very good exposure for me and my team. I would also like to thank the UTAR student team supervisor assigned to guide us who has been very supportive. He guided us well throughout the competition and provided us with better suggestions and ideas. He is also very patient.”

Incidentally, each participating team is assigned a UTAR student supervisor who is knowledgeable about drones to assist each team during the process of designing and subsequent construction to ensure that the basic principles of drone engineering are adhered to. One of the key objectives of the competition is to educate the participants about drones and to create interests in drones and drone technology. It is not just about winning the competition but more about educating the participants and creating a new practical learning experience.

Another participant, Ng Shien Ming from Kuen Cheng High School said, “When I first heard about this competition, I was very excited. It was a good opportunity for me to learn more and perhaps win some prizes too. What I did not expect was to build a drone frame. Building a frame was not that easy as there were many aspects that we had to take into account. But on the bright side, I learnt a lot of new things together with my teammates. I’m certainly grateful for that.”

Mohammad Hafiszul Amin bin Mohd Fau’ad from Universiti Tenaga Nasional was very engrossed during the design stage of the competition and he said that, "In the making of our drone, we focused on the durability or our design rather than the looks. Since drones are meant to be flown very high, our drone is made to be able to withstand the fall from high altitude."

Companies and exhibitors related to aviation and engineering were also invited to exhibit their products and provide advice. Workshops and talks related to aviation were also offered to the participants and members of the public for free. This included indoor air-show with RC stunt aircraft, drone demonstrations and helium stunt-enabled blimp.

Visitors flying the drone in the framed netted enclosure sponsored by Jaya Nets Sdn Bhd

Participants at the woodwork station with tools sponsored by Makita Power Tools (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

The competition was supported by KakiDIY and Malaysian Conceptual Robotics (MyCRO). It was sponsored by Poladrone (main sponsor), My 3D World 3DPrinter Malaysia, My Robot Education Sdn Bhd, Solo Labeller, Kumpulan ABEX, Engineus, Hup Seng Industries Berhad (HSIB), Kon10, Ong Soo Weon, Datuk Lee Leck Cheng, Jaya Nets Sdn Bhd, Gardenia Bakeries Sdn Bhd, Hup Seng Industries Berhad (HSIB), FVP Freerider and UniUti.

For inquiries on UTAR Makers Club and its activities, please email:

A.R.D.C Organising Committee

 Team Kamikaze from HELP College of Arts and Technology

Team Airborn from Kuen Cheng High School

Team Foreva from Universiti Tenaga Nasional

Team Grand Sapphire from UTAR

Team Guardians from Universiti Putra Malaysia

Team SJ from Shen Jai High School

Team Wright Brothers from HELP College of Arts and Technology

Team Nameless from UTAR


Wholly owned by UTAR Education Foundation Co. No. 578227-M        LEGAL STATEMENT   TERM OF USAGE   PRIVACY NOTICE