The primary purpose of the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) has been to "move the state-of-the-art in aerial robotics forward" through the creation of significant and useful mission challenges that are 'impossible' at the time they are proposed, with the idea that when the aerial robotic behaviors called for in the mission are eventually demonstrated, the technology will have been advanced for the benefit of the world.
Beyond those technologies and behaviors that have been demonstrated during past missions (full autonomy, obstacle avoidance, tracking, etc.) the following are emphasized:
1. Manipulation of large objects
2. Fast outdoor operations over long distance
3. Interaction with moving frames of reference
4. Aerial robotic repair of mobile platforms
5. Optical recognition
6. Navigation using GPS/Optical/Magnetic only (no other aids)
7. Use of ONLY onboard computing (no data links except for kill switch and safety pilot override).