Drone Dash 2
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Drone Dash 2

October 18, 2019

Well today we’re here to build our
drones and the design of them is effectively to fly around and pick up
objects using a device that we design and at the moment, in our teams, we’re
just designing the device to pick up the objects and the others are designing how
to fly the drone. Drone Dash 2 is a competitive engineering challenge held by the University of Bristol and Airbus for our students. Students compete to build and fly a drone to complete a search-and-rescue challenge. Day one of the challenge involves students using our brand new ‘Hack Space’ area to create their drones and their mechanisms. Day two is the fly-off in the Anson Rooms at our Students’ Union. What I’m currently doing is laser-cutting parts for the opening system. It’s all about rapid prototyping, so it’s quickly drawing up a sketch on the
computer, printing it out, seeing if it works and then if it doesn’t, just modify
it slightly and give it another go. When we look at the drone competition here, it’s a perfect combination to bring students together from across all disciplines and
across all years; we have people here from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical
Engineering, Computer Sciences, Engineering, Maths and we get to meet some real good, young engineers who show the teamwork and talent that is what we need at Airbus. So the idea is just to give people a bit of a challenge aside from just getting a drone flying and going through the motions and just actually getting it going. A drone is more of a platform for all these interesting things that you can do with it and a lot of students haven’t used this type of platform before. This is something I haven’t done before. The University has things like ‘Robot Wars’, which is very electrical-related, but when it comes to this, this is nothing to do with Python or the basic stuff we’ve been taught, or the fundamentals that we’ve been taught in uni, this is much different and it’s actually really fun! So today we’re kind of flying and testing the drones more extensively and essentially trying to
move the objects. We’re just aiming to spike the objects up and drop them on the position It’s a lot of fun, you learn a lot of things and just getting to like participate in this, it’s my first time flying a drone
and that’s a very good experience by just by itself. Collaboration with industry is
a core part of what we do. Our students, our staff and our industrial partners all working together to make something like this happen is a fantastic example
of adding value to students. This is all extracurricular work for them but it brings a lot into the curriculum as well; the skills that they’re developing in
events like this adds to their experience and to their learning, so we’re really
really happy to be partnering with Airbus on this and look forward to many
more drone dashes in the future.

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