Xander's Quadcopter Challenge Report
A challenge is a call to someone to participate in a competitive situation or fight to decide who is superior in terms of ability or strength. With challenge comes hard work and dedication.
A group of determined students in year 9, including myself, recently had to compete in a quadcopter (more commonly known as drone) competition. For the past couple of months, we have been building quadcopters with a large set of parts, flying them and also producing presentations about how we made our quadcopters and how our quadcopter can help in terms of the theme, emergency services.
The challenge started at the end of the last academic year, when the ‘then’ year 8s were asked to produce either a news report, piece of writing or a picture of a quadcopter, showing what quadcopters are and what there uses are, or just simply why they wanted to take part. After getting into my team of 4, we decided to create a news report about the functions and designs of quadcopters. It was really fun to make and our group all enjoyed the end product. Following this our team was entered and our creation journey had begun.
Every week (from the beginning of this year) each of the 3 groups have attended sessions to create and fly the copters. The creation started simple, like attaching the arms or screwing on the legs, but it ended up quite difficult like trying to sort out all the wires, and actually coding it to be able to fly how we want it to, or even just trying to bind it with the given controllers. But when we were finished, we were all bewildered at what we had created.
We then began to go on the flight simulator to practice our flying and to see who in our group will actually be the person to fly the drones. And after playing on the simulator we began to fly the drones in real life. We started off outside to fly them but none of the drones actually took flight, and our quadcopter was the only one to do anything, however all it did was tip over and break. After doing a bit of repairs we came to the conclusion that our propellers had been put on the wrong way. So, we replaced them with the ones in the correct directions. We also decided not to fly them, outside as they would go haywire in the wind. So, we took them to the science corridor. Ours was the only one to take flight so we used that one. And finally, it took flight... and immediately crashed afterwards.
The next session we decided to fly them in the sports hall as there is no wind and it resembled what we actually had to fly them in the most. After a couple of turns everything was going smoothly and nothing broke. That was until one of my friends took over. He ended up flying it to the ceiling, cutting off all power, and it fell the floor and it completely shattered. Almost. All that happened was an arm came off. So off we went to repair it once again.
What felt like the next day, it was competition time. On Wednesday 14th November, the three teams set off to Warminster to complete an obstacle course against 2 other schools, 7 teams in total. When we first arrived, we did final repairs, and we then did our presentations. Ours was about the things we would add to the quadcopter- if we got through- that could help save people, for example a hook to carry medical supplies. Following this we played some army simulation games and also tried virtual reality. It was then time for our teams to fly. I was flying first. I started to feel tense and nervous but I still carried on. I completed the course (containing hoops, pins, landing pads and much more) in a time I am very proud of. After all the teams had flown, we then ate lunch and listened to a police officer telling us all the different things they use drones for, which was really cool. We then returned to Nova.
We are still waiting for the results but in the meantime, it is safe to say that this whole experience was really fun and I really recommend it for the next year group who will hopefully take part also.
For more photographs of this event - please click here
Xander - Pegasus 6