RUX - 72HR Drone Swarm Visualization Design Concepts Challenge

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Challenge Summary

Welcome to the first ever Topcoder RUX (Rapid User Experience) design challenge! We are very excited to introduce this new type of challenge that focuses on rapid exploration and new concepts on a user experience problem. It is time to start a new RUX leaderboard! 

The RUX challenge uses the same format as our famous LUX Challenge except it is not "Live" at an event, and is just a little bit longer (3 days). The new RUX Challenge Series provides you with an opportunity to show digital leaders from some of the largest companies in the world just how good your concepting and user experience (UI/UX) design skills are. 

RUX (Rapid User Experience) challenges are fast, fun, and have more chances for you to capture prize money!

This "RUX - 72HR Drone Swarm Visualization Design Concepts Challenge" will run during the next 72 hours! At the end of the challenge, we will take your concepts, your presentation screen and share your collective creative talent with our customer.

Note: You do not need to have design contest experience to join this challenge - Just jump in and give it a try! Make sure to follow the challenge details, the challenge forum and ask questions.
The goal of this challenge is to take the provided design problem, analyze the user experience and provide design concepts and visual ideas on how the application might look and work!

Challenge Timeline and Rolling Checkpoint 
- Challenge Starts: Wednesday, 22nd June 2016 13.00 EDT
- Rolling Checkpoint will start: Thursday, 23rd June 2016 13.00 EDT
- Challenge Ends: Saturday, 25th June 2016 13.00 EDT

We are offering 5 Prizes Placements!
Plus 8 placements for Rolling Checkpoint prizes @ $50 each!
1) 1st Placement: $2000
2) 2nd Placement: $1500
3) 3rd Placement: $1000
4) 4th Placement: $750
5) 5th Placement: $500

Rolling Checkpoint Review ($50*) 
Adam Morehead (adroc) & Trevor Gerring (tgerring) will provide a quick design review if you submit your initial designs by (Thursday, 23rd June 2016 13.00 EDT)
-- Within the hour, we will start providing checkpoint design feedback/guidance
-- You must watch the forum for your feedback!
All qualifying* checkpoint submissions will win $50

Background Overview
Drones. They are now being used in a huge variety of ways. There are drones to combat deforestation, drones to deliver packages right to your doorstep, and of course drones that make spectacularly awesome toys!

Then there are swarm drones. These drones are not toys. Swarm drones are semi-autonomous flyers programmed to soar in groups, or "swarms", of up to fifty drones at a time. When equipped with high-def cameras and various other sensors, the Navy uses these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to protect maritime assets, deliver supplies to ships or overseas, and detect threats coming from all directions.

Please see this video to understand more about swarm drones: https://www.youtube.com/embed/OEyq67Q8kIs?rel=0

Design Problem
Create visual designs for 3 types of user dashboards (Commander, Marine, and Swarm Engineer) to manage and monitoring these swarm drones in an effective and efficient manners. Each user will have slightly different needs based on their role. It is important to understand the user’s role and then identify and design functionality, visuals, and features that would be most beneficial to that specific user.
Design Consideration
- Think about designing an application that provides a user ability to control and manage multiple drones at the same time.
- A great experience for a user to be able view all surroundings using the drones.

Some example drones features to think about
1) Drones equipped with sensors

- Think of these as "filters" or "Views" for the user. Applying filters the same way you would on Instagram or snapchat could be a cool concept to explore. We are open and looking for other ideas as well 
- EO (Electro Optical) Camera
-- This is just a regular camera, like a GoPro
-- tracking things, people, objects and machinery

- Infrared Camera
-- Also called a Thermal Imaging Camera or Thermographic Camera
-- Detect infrared radiation
-- More information: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Thermographic_camera

- Gas Sensors
-- Know the composition of the air 
-- Air quality of an area before sending humans
-- Would display gas levels and alert the user if there are dangerous amounts

- Geiger counters (used for measuring radioactivity)
-- The military used specially equipped vehicles with geiger counters to scan the Fukushima Nuclear Plant site after the meltdown.
-- Drones could be used in a similar way to scan large areas at once. 
-- More Information: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Geiger_counter
-- Make sure you read the additional information as there are 2 types of readouts available for a Geiger Counter; Counts and Radiation Dose

- RF (Radio Frequency) Detector
-- Scan the air for radio frequencies
-- Scan and localize radio frequencies to detect clusters of people/ machinery

- Hyperspectral Imaging cameras
-- IR, frequency bands, electro frequencies for humans
-- More information: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Hyperspectral_imaging

- Synthetic Aperture Radar
-- Can generate 3D images scanned objects
-- Can be used to map landscapes
-- More information: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Synthetic_aperture_radar

2) Data being sent back from the Drones:
These are all just general metrics and data that would be good to have at the Swarm Engineer level
- Aviation/ flying type data
-- Pitch
-- Yall
-- Altitude
-- Speed
-- Etc. 

- GPS Location
-- Level of Uncertainty (how certain it is of the actual position)

- Weather related data
-- Wind Speed
-- Forecast
-- Weather radar

Application Scenarios
For this challenge, there are 2 types of use case scenarios that we would like you to focus on:
- Search and rescue
- Tracking people/ Objects/ Machinery (vehicles)

RUX Challenge Requirements
Client Name: Swarm Drones 

Application Name: Create a name for your application. 
(eg: DroneControl, SwarmRescue, etc = something simple!)

Suggested Screens
- IMPORTANT: RUX challenges include 7 screens plus presentation screen. Make sure you show enough screens/ user flows so that we understand the functionality, how things work, and the features that are available to each user type.
- These as suggestions - you can modify as needed
- Make sure that you are including the most information for each user type
- The user needs to be able to read the information efficiently and make decisions fast. 
- The UI should be streamlined and easy/ fast to use and understand
- We are open to your ideas on what devices would be best for each user, Desktop, Tablet, Mobile, Watch, etc. Just make sure it makes sense for the intended user.
- Label your design files correctly so that we know what the Commander screen are, what the Marine screens are, and what the Swarm Engineer screens are. This is very important so that we can review correctly.

00) Application Logo
- Create a simple logo for your application
- Something simple and clean that does not distract from your application designs
- See reference logo in branding guidelines

01) IMPORTANT!! Presentation Screen - 1920x1080 (16:9 Ratio)
- In a RUX challenge, this screen is very important so make it look good!
- If you were walking into a meeting and needed to sell your idea - use this screen to showcase your concept.
- DO NOT put extra text on this screen - use it to showcase your application!
- You must include in your SUBMISSION folder!
- Also include your presentation source file

Commander Screens
02) Commander Dashboard

The Commander is the leader that needs to know all of the important information so that they can make educated decisions. They need to be able to monitor activity, redirect, and tell the swarm what he/ she wants.
- Able to view/monitor data from larger screen, (ex. Desktop)
- Overview of all functions, data, status from all drones, etc. 
- Think of global views like RTS Games like StarCraft, HomeWorld, etc. However, your design SHOULD NOT look like games. These are just references for the types of UX or basic concept a Commander screen should have.
- Ability to visualize current drone trajectory and predict/ set future trajectories
- Where are all of my drones at any given time and basic status of each one
-- Functional or not
-- Functional, but camera not working.
-- Sensor broken (which one), etc.

- Specify what he wants the drones to do
-- All UAVs (drones) to search this area (touch screen, draw a circle, etc)
-- How they want the drones to get there as well. (avoid this area, go this “route” to get to the location) (The idea of no fly zones is really important. This could also be part of the “drawing” or touchscreen idea)

- Can specify what he wants and the drone software can figure out what to do
- Other imagery from other sources
-- Live satellite feeds
-- Superman View (view drone Squadron), one drone is flying high above the rest, providing a bird's eye view of the entire swarm
-- Weather, wind speed, etc.

- Select 1 drone to see what it's seeing (using the drones various cameras)
- Click 1 drone to get more detailed info, battery life, status, etc.
- Camera views (instagram like filters):
-- IR camera (infrared - heat signature) 
-- Gas Sensors (composition of the air)
-- Geiger Counter (radiation levels)
-- Radios (scan the air for radio frequency channels)
-- Electro Optical (regular camera)
-- HyperSpectral (detecting human signatures, infrared +)
-- Synthetic Aperture Radar (generate 3D images of surfaces)

Marine Screens
03) Marine Dashboard
- Able to view/monitor drones from smaller screen (ex. Tablet)
- Camera views (similar to commander)
- This user is the consumer of the information found by the swarm
- Concerned with the results, I need to know if someone or something is in this specific area
- Similar levels of information as a commander
- Details of what the sensors pick up
- Specify imagery and at what angle to take the photo (avoid a building, tree, etc)
-- See an image and then give feedback that they need it at a 30 degree angle from the west, for example
-- In the moment scenario and feedback to make educated decisions before moving troops
- Alerts
- Video Streams
- Search specification (where to search, how to search)
-- Go around this object (map, draw)
- Presenter take over (take over the swarm if needed)

Swarm Engineer Screens
04) Swarm Engineer Dashboard

- Able to view/monitor drones from smaller screen (ex. Tablet, Phone)
- Fixated on each individual platform/ Drone
- Controlling smaller swarms or entire fleet at once
- Overall Swarm health
- Treat them like the engineer
-- Want to see all the details, settings, features, etc.
- Autonomy is great, but isn’t always possible (need to have manual override option)
-- Option to pilot 1 UAV/Drone
-- Select other UAVs to follow this one controlled pilot
- All the details on each drone
- Aviation/ flying type data
-- Pitch
-- Yall
-- Altitude
-- Speed
-- Etc.

Branding Guidelines
- US NAVY colors: blues and whites
- Complimentary colors for notifications, alerts, icons, etc.

Target Audience
- Commander (in charge)
- Marine (in the field, part of the rescue team)
- Swarm Engineer (one pilot, controlling the 50 drones)

Judging Criteria
- Concepts! How do you tackle creating this experience?
- Presentation! This is critical!
- Cleanliness of your graphics and design.
- Your design concepts should be possible to build and implement.
- Creativity and simplicity are the keys to success as it must be engaging to users.

Submission & Source Files
Preview Image

Create your preview image as one 1920x1080 (16:9 Ratio) JPG or PNG file in RGB color mode at 72dpi and place a screenshot of your submission within it.

Submission File
- Please upload PNG images in a zip file with all requested contest requirements stated above. Number your files (01, 02, 03, etc) this will help review them in order.
- Please submit documentation in pdf format with as many pages and images as required to explain your design and solution.

Source Files
All original source files of the submitted design. Files should be created in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and saved as layered PSD/AI files. 

Final Fixes
Note: This RUX challenge could have final fixes based on the missing requirements asked in challenge details.

Please read the challenge specification carefully and watch the forums for any questions or feedback concerning this challenge. It is important that you monitor any updates provided by the client or Studio Admins in the forums. Please post any questions you might have for the client in the forums.

How To Submit

  • New to Studio? ‌Learn how to compete here
  • Upload your submission in three parts (Learn more here). Your design should be finalized and should contain only a single design concept (do not include multiple designs in a single submission).
  • If your submission wins, your source files must be correct and “Final Fixes” (if applicable) must be completed before payment can be released.
  • You may submit as many times as you'd like during the submission phase, but only the number of files listed above in the Submission Limit that you rank the highest will be considered. You can change the order of your submissions at any time during the submission phase. If you make revisions to your design, please delete submissions you are replacing.

Winner Selection

Submissions are viewable to the client as they are entered into the challenge. Winners are selected by the client and are chosen solely at the client's discretion.


Topcoder will compensate members in accordance with our standard payment policies, unless otherwise specified in this challenge. For information on payment policies, setting up your profile to receive payments, and general payment questions, please refer to ‌Payment Policies and Instructions.


Screening Scorecard


Your Design Files:

  1. Look for instructions in this challenge regarding what files to provide.
  2. Place your submission files into a "Submission.zip" file.
  3. Place all of your source files into a "Source.zip" file.
  4. Declare your fonts, stock photos, and icons in a "Declaration.txt" file.
  5. Create a JPG preview file.
  6. Place the 4 files you just created into a single zip file. This will be what you upload.

Trouble formatting your submission or want to learn more? ‌Read the FAQ.

Fonts, Stock Photos, and Icons:

All fonts, stock photos, and icons within your design must be declared when you submit. DO NOT include any 3rd party files in your submission or source files. Read about the policy.


All submissions are screened for eligibility before the challenge holder picks winners. Don " t let your hard work go to waste. Learn more about how to  pass screening.

Questions? ‌Ask in the Challenge Discussion Forums.


  • Layered PSD files created in Adobe Photoshop or similar
  • AI files created in Adobe Illustrator or similar

You must include all source files with your submission.



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