Nevada Union physics group develops robo quad-copter
May 2, 2013
Nevada Union's Future Engineers of America team took a project to new heights Monday as it launched its remote-controlled quadcopter.
The idea came about after the club's president, Kyle Logan, sought classmates to revamp the physics club, and one of the members, senior Tyler Greebe, suggested a quadcopter — a helicopter with four rotors.
"I went to my physics teacher, expressed my hopes to have a physics club, and people started to show up," Logan said. "Tyler knew about (quadcopter) availability, and the former club had attempted to make one. … We decided, 'Why not try to one-up the other club?'"
The goal of the project is to build the copter, hook it to a video recorder and transmit information to goggles to view the flight first-person, Logan said.
"We just need to get a better transmitter for the video, and we need to get goggles," he said.
The funds for the project came from the previous club members, graduated seniors who raised money during their time in school.
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The parts to the quadcopter came in a kit by Parallax, a Rocklin-based company that designs and manufactures microcontroller development tools and small single-board computers, according to its website.
Logan contacted Parallax to help in the development of the copter, and Kevin Cook from the company joined the students Monday.
"He's a really nice man and was a big help with some of the steps we forgot or needed to do," Logan said. "I told him we were planning on using the unmanned aerial vehicle technology with the camera to be able to see what the quadcopter sees, and he gave us some tips and tricks and said he'd love to help."
When the quadcopter was ready to take off, Logan said he felt a rush of excitement.
"When it went into the air, my heart skipped a couple times as if dropping off a very large roller coaster," Logan said.
"If this goes off, this will probably be one of my greatest accomplishments."
The goggles and final parts of the project will hopefully be ready in October, Logan said.
"We flew (Monday). We have the remote. Now it's just a matter of learning how to fly it and setting up the more detailed aspects of it."
The project is a way to showcase the Future Engineers of America club, Logan said.
"My end goal is just to be able to do this as a form of research and scientific exploration," he said. "Being able to expose this type of technology to students and the Nevada Union community and provide a way of entertainment for the physics and applied sciences group."
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
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