Team RhinoHawk Origins

The Nova Labs Makerspace in Reston, Virginia, USA is a hub of innovation. The space is located right next to Washington DC, the heart of the nation and the source for policy initiatives. The team started as a way for members of the makerspace to learn about UAV technologies from each other and experiment with electronics, structures, and physics.


In June of 2013 we entered into a wildlife competition to help the rangers in South African wildlife preserves stop rhino poachers. The competition brought us together and helped us to develop a core skillset in UAV design, fabrication, and testing. We named the team RhinoHawk and worked hard to build the best system we could.

We were saddened to hear that in March of 2014 the competition was cancelled before the final flights due to regulatory and financial issues.

But that is not the end of the story…

A new competition was announced by the Outback Challenge and we were poised to jump right in. We put the band back together and committed to make it all the way to the finals and show the world that we had the right stuff.

Enter The RhinoHawk EX flight test vehicle

Our current design maintains the team name, but uses a whole new system. Many of the core team members are still leading the charge, and we have recruited many more to meet the needs of this great competition. We are making great headway and look forward to competing at the final in Australia on September 2018.