Hi, my name is Seán Tjong! My friends and I are entering a drone competition as part of our school curriculum. We’ve decided to document our adventures in drone building and racing. We’re excited to write and share our project’s journal on RobotShop’s Blog. We will update you on a regular basis on our advancements. We hope you’ll learn something from us, or at least be entertained!
Who are we?
To begin, we are all in our fourth year of education in Irish Secondary School, known as Transition Year (TY) in Ireland. In TY, we have the opportunity to engage in any number of activities during the school year. We decided to enter ourselves into a competition to build a drone. This competition is being run by Syndic8.ie, an organization holding a global competition to encourage students to develop and learn practical skills in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, robotics, and programming. The competition finals will see many teams compete in a race.
What’s the competition about?
Drone Racing (FPV) involves a mini camera mounted on your drone streaming live video, giving the pilot first person view of the action! This competition involves designing and assembling your own FPV Drones. Using hi spec goggles and a mini camera on top of your drone, whizz around obstacles, LED gates and other competitors as you hurtle towards the finish line! Not only will you learn how to design and build your own drone but you will also master controlling it at speeds of up to 185 Km/h!
By entering this competition, we’ll learn about team management, sponsorship research and negotiation, designing and manufacturing our aircraft, documentation writing and presenting, and of course drone racing! We have entered ourselves as two teams of three that will be working together to win. We’ve just completed the writing of the portfolio presentation of our aircraft, and are now about to enter the manufacturing phase of our aircraft.
What we have
We have decided to go with a quad-copter racing drone. This is a proved design and a great base to start. By registering with Syndic8, we have been given a Controller Transmitter and Receiver, a Flight Controller, an FPV Video Transmitter, and a Lithium-Polymer battery. This is the common ground between all teams, as we all receive the same items. Obviously, this is not enough to make a drone, and we have to source or manufacture the other components.
For instance, our designer has made a Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawing of the perfect frame which we will soon be 3D printing. For buying components that we can manufacture, RobotShop is our preferred source of drone components.
What are we lacking right now?
So what else do we need? We need propellers, motors, motor controllers, first-person view (FPV) goggles and camera among other things. RobotShop kindly helped us out and we have ordered the T-Motor AIR 350 Multirotor kit which contains our propellers, motors, and motor controllers. We have ordered a Quantum Cyclops V2 FPV Goggles to give us the ability to see what the drone sees but first we need a camera. For the camera, we have decided to go with a Crazepony-UK Turbowing Cyclops3 camera with a wide-angle, mini camera.
Where we are now
As of right now, all of our components are on the way and we are expecting them by the end of March. We’re very excited to receive them and start assembling our aircraft. The project wil then enter into its next phase of assembly and testing, bringing us one step closer from the trials and ultimately the races. We will make sure to update you again soon, so stay tuned!