14 Apr 2022

Soaring New Heights at Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition 2022

Enhanced categories challenge aspiring aeronautical talents to showcase their ingenuity in this special edition

Singapore, 16 April 2022 – The Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition 2022 (SAFMC) Awards Ceremony was held today at the Singapore Expo, the first large-scale physical event for students since COVID-19. Running for the thirteenth year, SAFMC 2022 also celebrates DSO National Laboratories’ 50th Anniversary with a ‘DSO50 Special Edition’, boasting bigger challenges and upsized prizes.

SAFMC remains the largest and longest running flying machine competition in Singapore, attracting more than 1,500 participants this year, with more than 60 awards given out. Participation surpassed last year’s, reflecting a consistent and strong interest for flight science in Singapore.

Experiencing the Future of Aerial Robotics

SAFMC 2022 is one of the first competitions in Singapore that allows participants to push the boundaries of innovation by incorporating Man-Machine Teaming, Multi-Machines Teaming, or even Swarm technologies into their flying machines to overcome a suite of obstacles and missions. This is timely to provide participants a glimpse into the future of aerial robotics by exposing them to new challenges and innovative solutions.

Raising the Bar for Challenges

Participants had to undergo a 3-month journey, from researching and designing their own flying machines to presenting their big idea before a panel of judges, before finally demonstrating the capability of their flying machines during Challenge Week. The evaluation criteria included the aircraft’s flair, design, functionality, application of aerodynamics principles, and the participants’ presentation skills.

A new boomerang challenge was incorporated for Category A: Paper Planes. Participants had to creatively design their paper planes to ensure that the planes return to them at the same spot after launching it. A team from Geylang Methodist School (Primary) achieved the best boomerang flight and clinched the Category A Boomerang Award.  

For Category D1: Semi-autonomous, a team from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia, was able to build a programme to control their flying machine using hand gestures, omitting the need for wearables, while Team TTsquare from Singapore University of Technology and Design in Category E used both light detection and ranging algorithms (LIDAR), and camera sensors to ensure that their swarm of drones can navigate through the obstacles in waves quickly without colliding. Team TTsquare was awarded the Category E Championship, along with a cash prize of $20,000. 

Guest of Honour, Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State for Defence, graced the awards ceremony to present the awards to championship teams, who also got to showcase their unique flying machines, including lighted swarm drones, through a live demonstration.

In his keynote address, Mr Heng said, “SAFMC plays an important role in inspiring the next generation of innovators. It is a learning journey that encourages the curious to let their imagination take flight, and see for themselves how their ideas today have the potential to be the solutions of tomorrow.”

Mr Cheong Chee Hoo, Chief Executive Officer of DSO, reinforced the importance of SAFMC in his welcome address, “SAFMC has indeed fuelled the passion of its participants as they continue in their science and technology journey. We are heartened that many of them have participated in DSO’s extensive outreach activities and internships. Some even took up our scholarships and eventually joined DSO as defence researchers!”  

Since 2009, SAFMC has served as a launch pad for Singapore’s defence research and development talent, providing opportunities beyond the classroom for students to further their knowledge and passion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.


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For further information on SAFMC 2022, please contact the following representatives:

Sean Poh                                                                               Edwin Yong

PR Representative                                                                 Corporate Communications
Edelman Singapore                                                               DSO National Laboratories

9067 1080                                                                            6450 4162 / 9116 6850

[email protected]                                                        [email protected]


Jacqueline Lau

Digital Communications

Science Centre Singapore

9757 2250

[email protected]  


About Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition

The Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC) is Singapore’s largest flying machine competition, jointly organised by DSO National Laboratories and Science Centre Singapore, and supported by the Ministry of Defence. In conjunction with DSO’s 50th anniversary, SAFMC 2022 has been enhanced in both challenges and prizes, and is one of the first competition in Singapore to allow participants to push the boundaries of innovation by using wearable, collaborative, and swarming technologies for their flying machines.

Since 2009, this nation-wide competition has attracted over 16,000 aviation enthusiasts. It will once again challenge young bright minds to come up with innovative creations like no other. SAFMC is part of the DSO Amazing Series of Competitions, which aims to inspire and nurture youths in Science and Technology. Open to all students and the public, this annual competition will serve as an expedient platform to those who want to get one step closer to their aviation dreams.

SAFMC 2022 has attracted 1522 participants across different schools, with 488 registered teams across 127 schools and institutions.


About SAFMC 2022 – A DSO50 Special Edition

The Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC) 2022 is a special commemorative edition that features specially enhanced categories in celebration of DSO’s 50th anniversary. The enhanced categories are as follows:

Open to Polytechnic and University Students

  • Category D1 (Semi-Autonomous) - Participating teams are tasked with designing and building up to three semi-autonomous small air platforms, controlled using wearables, to perform a multitude of tasks in an indoor course.
  • Category D2 (Autonomous) - Participating teams are tasked with designing and building three autonomous small air platforms to collaboratively perform a multitude of tasks in an indoor course.

Open to Public

  • Category E (Swarm) - Participating teams are tasked with bringing, or designing and building, a swarm of 10 to 25 drones to compete in an obstacle course.

About DSO National Laboratories

DSO National Laboratories (DSO) is Singapore’s national defence research and development organisation. For the past 5 decades, DSO has been undertaking indigenous development of advanced defence and weapon systems that provide the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with the superior technological edge in the battlefield. While its primary focus is to support the SAF, DSO also extends its defence R&D capabilities to support homeland security.

With more than 1,600 research scientists and engineers, DSO investigates emerging technologies, matures promising ones and integrates them into innovative system concepts to meet Singapore’s defence and security needs. For more information, please visit www.dso.org.sg.

About Science Centre Singapore

Science Centre Singapore, a non-formal educational institution and leading regional Science Centre, along with its group of attractions, brings out the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through its unique blend of exhibitions, educational programmes and events. A custodian of creativity and innovation, Science Centre Singapore has captured the evolution of scientific developments for nearly four decades.

The Centre and its partners have played a pivotal role in transforming the way students and the public interact with and learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Since 1977, the Centre has welcomed over 30 million visitors and inspired them with more than 1,000 exhibits spread across 14 exhibition galleries and outdoor exhibition spaces.

The Centre’s group of attractions include Omni-Theatre, Butterflies Up-Close, Snow City and KidsSTOP. The Omni-Theatre is an immersive dual-technology edutainment destination fitted with Southeast Asia’s largest seamless dome screen and featuring the latest and brightest 8k digital fulldome system in the world. Snow City is Singapore’s only permanent indoor snow centre offering an Arctic inspired experience at Singapore’s first ice gallery and snow chamber. KidsSTOP - Where every child gets to Imagine, Experience, Discover and Dream - is Singapore’s first children’s science centre offering an enriching experience through purposeful play for children aged 18 months to 8 years.


For more information, please visit www.science.edu.sg.