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The Wagner Hackathon was designed to create a UAV positioning system through video recognition, search for waypoints by landmarks in the absence of satellite navigation systems, and external control. 

The whole event begins with the signing of an agreement on the transfer of intellectual property. 

Team Selection

Teams of 2-5 people are allowed to participate.
You can send an application for participation in the Hackathon to us by mail:

hakaton@wagnercentr.ru.


To search for a team in the chat, fill out the form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScxZVTDNS-G0SRe6WhgqJ5-S3K9MOFs-l3g2oeVpZ7AsKR4XA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Start of registration of teams: 20th day 14:00
Hakatan’s tasks in PMC Wagner Center:
-Teams are offered materials from UAVs in various geographical conditions:

• Flight videos

• Metadata from sensors

• Satellite maps of the area

-Teams need to solve positioning problems without GPS:

Display the position of the UAV on the map at any time during the flight.
Direct the UAV to a point on the map indicated by the operator
Provide search for landmarks, in case of loss of visual reference points during the flight.
Return the UAV to the point of departure, in case of a complete loss of communication with the operator.
Additionally, teams are invited to solve additional tasks of swarm flight:

Determine the presence of other UAVs in the field of view
Show all UAVs on the map
Synchronize the flight of several UAVs to a point specified by the operator.

As a result of the Hackathon, we evaluate:

Flight around the PMC Wagner Center as part of a swarm of four DJI Mavic2 drones with GPS and control panels disabled.

The hackathon will be attended by HR managers and experts from the PMC Wagner Center. They will look for talented potential employees. Strong participants may be invited for an interview even before the competition is over.

On the third day, at the final stage, the flight around the PMC Wagner Center as part of a swarm of four DJI Mavic 2 drones with disabled GPS and control panels is evaluated.  Until this stage, the commands work in software, they are provided with a DJI drone emulator, which receives control parameters from the command program as input and returns the current coordinates of the drones, taking into account the wind gust.

That is, the following components are assumed:

  • Two computer vision systems – one determines landmarks on video, the other on satellite images
  • The system for determining the coordinates of landmarks at each point of the image from the video, based on the parameters of the lens, the values of the height, azimuth and pitch, yaw and roll of the drone itself and the gimbal.  When calculating, you should take into account the height map and magnetic declination for a particular area.
  • Integration of the three systems from the previous paragraphs – determination of all potential matches between objects on video, objects on satellite images and calculated geometry, with the choice of the most probable binding option.
  • Getting root access to the drone, reverse engineering firmware components and dynamic libraries, loading the program executable file into the system, modifying shell scripts so that this program always runs in the background and takes over control in case of loss of communication.
  • Command transfer mechanism for this program and an Android application for this.

If someone decides to participate, I recommend looking at the firefly code, there is a complete implementation of the second point.

Obviously, it is unrealistic to do all this in 2 days, so it is assumed that the teams already have all this from the very beginning, come to the hackathon, immediately transfer all rights, integrate this logic with the emulator and play ping-pong for two days, after which they get a chance to get  a miserable million rubles and a chance for an interview with an HR manager.  2nd and 3rd place generally receive 300 and 200 thousand.

In general, I think that mixing money and patriotism is a bad idea. That is, if you want to own all the rights to intellectual property and dispose of it for any purpose, you can hire people on hh.ru for a market salary, write them technical specifications, and they will do everything. If we have such a problem with personnel in our country, and the goal is to help the Motherland, you can turn to ideological people, but on different conditions. It is enough to simply publish a list of everything that needs to be developed, and give guarantees that the resulting developments will be freely available to every soldier of the RF Armed Forces, that the names of the developers and their contribution (if they wish) will be clearly indicated, that the developer does not lose any rights, that commercial use will not, and if someone tries to appropriate the developments, pass them off as their own and make money on them, they will come to these people with a sledgehammer. With such guarantees, I personally am ready, as far as possible, to send the results of my work for free. Of course, so that people can allocate more time for this, you can assign points to each task, and everyone who has scored a certain number of points in a particular month is paid a reward in the amount of a fixed salary of PMC Wagner. The main thing is that you can freely leave this system, and not “either retire or in a zinc coffin.”


“PMC WAGNER CENTER”

HACKATHON

WHEN

From 20 to 23 December 2022

WHERE

“PMC Wagner Center”

REGISTRATION

Prize fund 1 500 000 rubles

WHAT IS A HACKATON

The PMC Wagner Center hackathon is a competition for developers, analysts, designers, product managers, and other IT professionals. They solve applied problems from different areas.


The hackathon will last 3.5 days – from December 20 to December 23, 2022.

Purpose of the hackathon

Creation of a UAV positioning system through video recognition, search for waypoints by landmarks in the absence of satellite navigation systems and external control

Hackathon tasks

TEAMS ARE OFFERED MATERIALS FROM UAV IN VARIOUS GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS:

• Flight videos
• Metadata from sensors
• Satellite maps of the area

One

Display the position of the UAV on the map at any time during the flight

Two

Direct the UAV to a point on the map indicated by the operator

Three

Provide search for landmarks, in case of loss of visual reference points during the flight

Four

Return the UAV to the point of departure, in case of a complete loss of communication with the operator

Additionally, teams are invited to solve additional tasks of swarm flight:

  • Determine the presence of other UAVs in the field of view
  • Display all UAVs on the map
  • Synchronize the flight of several UAVs to the point specified by the operator

20.12 – 22.12 SECOND DAY

The whole day is devoted to the development and debugging of the project. Participants spend the longest time testing solutions and bringing them to a working state. The intermediate results of the team are shown to the experts at the second and third checkpoints.
A hackathon is like a marathon: the participants need to correctly distribute their forces in order to reach the final. Therefore, offline hackathons always have recreation areas where participants can sleep, stretch, play ping-pong.


As part of the hackathon, experts give lectures and master classes on technologies and tools that will help in working on a case.

Program stage – December 20 to December 22

At this stage, the teams create software models for coordinating the flight of the UAV. To check, the teams are provided with a DJI drone emulator, which accepts control parameters from the command program as input and returns the current coordinates of the drones, taking into account the wind gust

As a result of the stage, we evaluate:

  • Code quality
  • Correspondence of data on the position of drones with the desired ones
  • Availability of sustainable motion systems
  • Availability of a swarm reservation system
  • Flexibility of system settings

22.12 THIRD DAY

Teams complete work and prepare to defend projects. They should show the interface and functionality of the prototype. The presentation lasts 5–7 minutes, during which time you need to have time to talk in detail about the work done and the original features of the solution.
Protections pass in a stream, one after another. The jury exposes each project evaluation. Then the judges form the rating of teams and determine the winners.

Stage Physical – December 22

Teams can book two DJI Mavic2 drones in 1 hour slots.

As a result of the stage, we evaluate:

Flight around the PMC Wagner Center as part of a swarm of four DJI Mavic2 drones with GPS and control panels disabled.

From December 20 to December 23, 2022, the Hackathon will take place at the PMC Wagner Center! A large-scale event where everyone can try their luck by taking the prize fund!

For whom? Students, developers, analysts, IT-specialists and everyone who considers himself capable of coping with the task.
Teams of 2 to 5 people are invited to participate, and if you do not have a ready-made team, you can leave a request on our website, where we will help you find it.

December 20 – official opening, from December 21 to 23 – the main stage.

Participants will have time to solve the case, after which they will demonstrate UAV positioning systems through video recognition, search for waypoints by landmarks in the absence of satellite navigation systems and external control at the final pitch session.

Based on the results of the Hackathon, winners will be determined who will receive a cash prize: 1st place – 1,000,000 rubles, 2nd place – 300,000 rubles, 3rd place – 200,000 rubles.

To participate, you must register on the website: https://hakaton.wagnercentr.ru


“PMC Wagner Center” spoke about the completion of the hackathon (I wrote about it) and published a video summarizing the results. But for some reason, this video did not show the most interesting part, stated in the description of the hackathon – “flying around the Wagner Center PMC as part of a swarm of four DJI Mavic 2 drones with disabled GPS and control panels.” What’s more, I didn’t see anything that said any third-party code was being executed offline on DJI drones. It seems that all these disassembled drones lying on the tables, and the process of controlling the drones from the remotes are there only for a beautiful picture (although I do not exclude that the video was just edited this way, and all the tasks and results fully corresponded to the declared ones).

The description of the hackathon said that “teams are provided with a DJI drone emulator”, but the video at 00:34 shows Python code using the airsim package, the function names and dependencies in which are the same as the quadcopter simulator package of the same name (which has nothing to do with DJI) , developed by Microsoft and used for the Game Of Drones competition at the NeurIPS conference in 2019. The goal of this competition was to create a program with a neural network, which, by controlling the drone in the simulator and analyzing the video image, should reach the finish line before the rivals, avoiding all obstacles and flying through all checkpoints. Such offline virtual drone racing.

Following the results of Game of Drones, the winners published detailed reports:
– Sangyn
– USRG (addition)
– Dedale
– Spleenlab AI
– Chuchichaschtli
– Quetzal C++

The Quetzal C ++ team generally made their neural network freely available on GitHub, and one of the members of this team wrote a master’s thesis based on the results.

It would be interesting to see similar articles from hackathon participants describing their approaches to solving the same problem, as well as an article from the organizers describing specific criteria for evaluating proposed solutions in the simulator and a table of results of all participants according to these criteria.

Competitions of this kind have been held for a long time, including in Russia. And the physical stage in such competitions is present, but with the use of open iron. The description of the hackathon from PMC Wagner Center differed only in that the use of a drone from DJI was announced, moreover, an amateur model that does not support the DJI Onboard SDK, which makes this task rather non-trivial. In the end, what did DJI have to do with it, I still did not understand. Well, if we add to this the fact that on December 11 they wrote “Today, as a result of numerous DoS attacks, our Hackathon page was temporarily blocked,” although this page was deleted on December 9, unfortunately, it turns out to be a completely frivolous approach.


On December 23, 2022, the first all-Russian hackathon at the PMC Wagner Center ended.
It-specialists from all over Russia have developed breakthrough solutions for cases aimed at creating artificial intelligence for UAVs, creating travel tasks based on landmarks in the absence of satellite navigation systems and other external factors. “PMC Wagner Center” provided young professionals with all the necessary computing power, equipment and UAVs for experiments and protection of their projects.

More than 100 people applied to participate. In total, 12 teams took part in the hackathon, with a total number of 43 people from different cities of Russia – Kaliningrad, Perm, Sochi, Moscow and St. Petersburg. 11 teams reached the stage of defending their projects before an expert jury. PMC Wagner Center experts were pleasantly surprised by the unprecedented excitement, professionalism and scale of the team’s ideas – 27 teams submitted applications a few days after the announcement of the hackathon. The competition was held in two stages: first, all teams had to pass a qualifying selection in order to confirm their competencies and prepare for face-to-face competitions. The face-to-face stage lasted three days – during this time, the teams worked on a difficult task: they wrote codes, tested solutions, and created software models for coordinating the UAV flight.

As a result of the hackathon, three winning teams were determined, who divided the Prize Fund in the amount of 1,500,000 rubles among themselves.

Winners:
1st place – GrAILab (St. Petersburg)
2nd place – SR Data – Iskander (team of Russian cities (Kaliningrad, Sochi, Moscow)
3rd place – Artistrazh (Moscow)

One of the key missions of the PMC Wagner Center hackathon is the development of IT projects in Russia to protect the interests of the Motherland and our army. The knowledge gained can already be used today to clear the territory from anti-tank mines to petal mines, as well as to inspect buildings from destruction and search for people in emergency situations, localize natural and man-made disasters in order to protect not only the military, but also the civilian population. With the help of the hackathon, it was possible to attract talented programmers, students to participate, helping them, advising, inspiring them to new achievements, and several participants of the hackathon received an invitation to further cooperation with the PMC Wagner Center.


👆👆👆 Hackathon “PMC of the Wagner Center”: Molfar made a deanon mess and announces the names of the winners

The offices of the Wagner Center PMC are home to the pro-government online magazine PolitRasha, Z-bloggers and the Cyber Front Z project, which creates paid comments in support of the war in Ukraine.

In these same offices should also sit “developers of dual-purpose programs”, whose names “will not be disclosed”. Apparently, due to the lack of developers, they decided to organize a hackathon. The organizers promised a “large-scale event” with drone flights around the building, but in the end, everything resulted in the recruitment of young professionals.

GrAILab – a team of developers from St. Petersburg took 1st place at the Wagner Center PMC hackathon
2nd place: SR Data-Iskander
3rd place: Artistraj


“Night Wolves” told about participation in a special operation to liberate Donbass
“Like in 2014, we are back in the ranks at the forefront”

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In the Donbass, residents of settlements that were under shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine learned what a humanitarian catastrophe is. They lived for weeks in basements and bomb shelters, without light, heat or food. Without help, they simply cannot survive. The authorities of the LPR and DPR, volunteers bring humanitarian aid to the front-line villages, evacuate women, children, and the elderly. Each such trip is a risk, but there is no other way now. Volunteers include members of the Donbas branch of the largest motorcycle club in Russia, Night Wolves.

“Like in 2014, we are back in the ranks at the forefront”
PHOTO: LINA KORSAK
The MK correspondent spoke with the leader of the Donbas Baikrs and found out what kind of participation they take in the Russian special operation.

Officially, the Donbas branch of the club opened in 2004. In 2014-2015, the Night Wolves supported Crimea, the LPR and the DPR. They took an active part in the fighting. And now the bikers are back at the forefront.

Vitaly Kishkinov, call sign “Procurator”, deputy of the People’s Assembly of the Luhansk People’s Republic, president of the Night Wolves motorcycle club, told how in the current difficult situation, motorcycle movement helps the civilian population in the liberated territories.

– I would like to point out right away that we not only help, but also stand at the forefront of protecting and liberating our lands and our citizens. In the territory where we are currently working, and this is the city of Rubizhnoye, a humanitarian catastrophe is taking place in the truest sense of the word. The enemy out of spite hits the residential areas, which have already been liberated by the forces of the People’s Militia of the LPR…

Vitaliy said that the Ukrainian armed formations deliberately open fire in order to prevent the organization of humanitarian corridors, the delivery of humanitarian cargo and the removal of civilians. There are many people who want to leave the restless cities, only in the last five days about three thousand people have been able to take out of Rubizhne. On private vehicles, on buses, under fire.

“Unfortunately, there are both dead and wounded,” the Prosecutor shared. – Both among civilians and among the military. And this is not at the forefront, but directly in the humanitarian mission.

The interlocutor explained that urban battles are always complicated by residential development, spotters hide on the roofs of skyscrapers, in empty apartments. When they see a crowd of people, they open fire on them.

– Literally the day before yesterday, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic, we brought humanitarian cargo to Rubizhne, – says Vitaly. – People gathered on one of the streets to get food. At this time, the Ukrainian spotter corrected our location, and artillery fire began. Unfortunately, the victims could not be avoided. A woman died, a girl’s leg was torn off, one of my fighters was injured. The situation is really terrible. The methods used by the Ukrainian national battalions and ukrofascists are the same as Hitler’s Germany during the Great Patriotic War

About Post Author

Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, cyber intel and OSINT training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, cyber counterintelligence, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, threat intelligence
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By Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, cyber intel and OSINT training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, cyber counterintelligence, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, threat intelligence