Drone development geared for gradeschool

Time_Mags_Drones

It has always been a fascination of mine to one day develop flying robots to do my bidding. It’s inevitable, the drones are coming. I’m not talking about toy drones. My focus is on industrial, heavy duty drones that will change our tech landscape forever.

The U.S. government is being cautious and rightfully so. Most drones on the market have a decent payload capacity and can transport weapons with ease. Around the nation, colleges and universities have integrated drone development into their programs to better educate our youth on the inner workings of such craft. Virginia Tech is home to one of six test sites that are assisting the FAA in creating regulations for commercial drones. Such drones used to cost upwards of $10,000, but the diy community has developed and open sourced the software needed to achieve stable flight and with real-time GPS tracking and OSD (On Screen Display) telemetry data that is overlaid on a wireless video feed to a ground station. Recent drones use smartphones, but they’re limited by transceiver power and sensitivity. Electrical components to achieve stable flight have dramatically come down in price thanks to SMD fabrication techniques and the masses buying into devices with IMU’s (Inertial Measurement Unit) such as smartphones and game consoles.

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Reybotics plans on developing drones that will infiltrate k-12 across the nation. If students can play games and orient themselves well in virtual reality worlds using Sony PS3 and Xbox game consoles, then controlling drones would be a walk around the park. I can foresee these kids coming together to tweak their highly customized aerial drones while learning concepts in physics, mathematics, CAD (Computer Aided Design) to design and develop components in low cost 3D printers. Only the smartest and most capable drone tech survives.

I began building my first few robots from scratch at the age of 14 with limited resources and no mentors. With a little push in the right direction, our youth can help change that landscape instead of just riding the wave. It’s a beautiful head fake, a.k.a. indirect learning. Curriculum delivery by use of hardware has proven to better engage students and help them retain concepts that were once only taught on chalkboards across America. The landscape is changing. Most are falling behind.

I will continue adding to this later once heavy R&D begins! :)

As of now, I’ve been playing with a DJI Phantom 2: [VIDEO LINK]

1 reply
  1. Glenn Simpson
    Glenn Simpson says:

    I could not agree with you premise more strongly. The robotics industry is in the same stage of evolution today as the computer industry was in the 1980s. Drones / UAS are one offshoot of robotics. I commend you on your vision and efforts to be involved in the genesis of this exciting industry. I too am committed to introducing technology and expand the horizons of our youth as early as possible. I am having an introduction to STEM for my wife’s preschool on November 14th at the HobbyTown in Brownsville. I have no guidance documents or training in education so I am going to start with simple robot races for the children. My hope is to get there parents excited to see their children having fun while learning about basic technology at such an early age.

    Reply

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