Unleashing Innovation and Excellence: The 2023 SUAS Competition Takes Flight

ST MARY’S COUNTY, MARYLAND – RoboNation, a leading organization in robotics education and workforce development, proudly announces its new role in managing the internationally renowned Student Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) Competition. RoboNation brings its expertise, resources, and dedication to fostering excellence in autonomous systems development. Under the RoboNation banner, the SUAS Competition will continue to provide a platform for students from around the world to showcase their ingenuity, technical prowess, and teamwork. 

The highly anticipated SUAS competition returned for its 21st year, on June 20, 2023 and continued its legacy of showcasing the world’s foremost student talent in the world of aerial autonomy. This renowned global event challenged both university and high school student teams to showcase their skills in the realm of autonomous aerial systems.

“Since its inception 20 years ago, the Seafarer Chapter, Inc. has created this outstanding international drone competition. RoboNation is honored to take over that responsibility.” said Daryl Davidson, President & CEO of RoboNation.  “The wide-open nature of the SUAS competition serves as a catalyst for young innovators, fueling their innovation in the realm of autonomous aerial systems and encouraging groundbreaking ideas.”

With the mission to push the boundaries of technological advancement while encouraging hands-on student participation, the 2023 SUAS competition welcomed more than 45 international teams to St. Mary’s County Regional Airport in California, Maryland. These teams dedicated many hours of work to design, build, and test their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

This year’s competition put a spotlight on autonomous capabilities, propelling students to showcase their prowess in flight planning, obstacle detection, and target identification. From surveillance missions to search and rescue scenarios, the teams demonstrated their ability to navigate complex environments, analyze data, and take decisive actions in real-time.

“We aim to empower students to develop practical solutions that address real-world challenges while fostering collaboration and industry connections,” stated Phillip Tischler, Technical Director, SUAS.

Teams were evaluated by a panel of judges comprising industry experts, researchers, and educators with extensive experience in robotics, computer vision, and aerospace engineering. Criteria for evaluation included technical design, system integration, and overall performance.

A special congratulations to team ITUNOM UAV from Istanbul Technical University for being awarded the distinction of 2023 SUAS Champion. 

For more information on the 2023 SUAS competition please visit

RoboNation is a nonprofit organization on a mission to provide hands-on robotics education which empowers students to seek innovative solutions to global challenges. With a portfolio of nine educational programs, including K-12 and university level, RoboNation is cultivating the next generation of engineers, manufacturers, fabricators, programmers, and more. RoboNation participants are the highly-skilled workforce of tomorrow. Learn more at

Media Contact: 
Alicia Gavin
Digital Outreach and Design Specialist, RoboNation
+1 571-455-4156

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