12 universities consisting of over 130 students from across Canada have sent teams to Southport this weekend to compete in the Unmanned Aerial System Competition. Chairman of the Competition Charles Vidal details the event.

"What we're trying to do," says Vidal. "Is stimulate Canadian universities to develop technologies that will enable higher use of these technologies in Canada. In Canada we have a large territory with lots of infrastructure such as power lines, pipe lines, mines. Flying robots can really be beneficial to society."

The competition is a year-long journey. The first phase is to submit a design proposal detailing how they choose to approach the problems presented to them. The second phase is when they actually

RCMP Media Relations Liaison Constable Sean O'Keefe briefs the teams on their "mission". (Photo by Lucas Plett)construct and perform tasks with the drones. This year, the scenario will involve the drone operators working with the RCMP.

"They have to investigate a building that is suspicious," says Vidal. "They need to send their drone and look around the building, even looking inside the building through the window so they can describe the scene to the law enforcement officers. After that, they need to take a sophisticated listening device and place it nearby. Finally once the bad guys have fled, they left evidence behind so they need to go and find that evidence."

Vidal says that even though drones are widely used in recreational purposes, they can be used for so much more throughout society and this competition is an effort to make sure Canada is at the forefront of this emerging sector.