DIY Drone Summer Camp

We are interested in putting together a technology summer camp for HS (10-12) students where small teams actually build a working drone of some sort using existing designs/components. What low-cost designs would this group suggest? A multicopter would be really cool but I am not sure if we could come up with a truly affordable/survivable solution. Could we build a small AR.Drone sort of craft for $300? Would a rover be best to start with? Has anyone developed any sort of HS curriculum around drones? Is anyone interested in helping with this project?

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  • @ct @Thomas, thanks for letting me know, much appreciated!

  • The idea is still alive but has not gotten off the ground for a number of reasons. Maybe next year!

  • Admin


    ct has not been heard from on this site since Aug 2012 so I do not know how current/relevant this discussion thread is now

    Just an observation.



  • Hi All,

    I love this idea and happy to get RefactorU ( involved in the summer camp effort and lend whatever support we can.

  • What types of activities do you guys think students would use the educational drones for?

    There could be task based challenges where the students would think about how to use the drones as a tool.  Like search and rescue, scavenger hunt etc.

    The "performance based" challenges are tough since testing and tweaking a drone can be time consuming and challenging.

    There could also be science based learning potential, like using aerial photography to study local fauna in some way.

    Interested to hear everyone's ideas!

  • I see the summer camp activities as being driven by learning objectives rather than the quick assembling and learn to use kit approach.

    Why? ...... Because it addresses and achieves 2 objectives with the same energy input.

    1- It can relate or complement and even supplement  academic objectives of the next  school session.

    At the same time,

    2- It uses the kit form of drones as the mechanical backbone of a modern and interesting way to learn while having fun. So everybody wins.

    The academic design that I work-on combines these 2 objectives.

    First draft of the project  due  August 4th.

    For the time being, let me name the project ``Drones motivation camp ``

    I will be glad to keep those interested posted.

  • How could I get involved in that camp when it comes available? I'm going into my senior year and I am actually developing my own uav system for a summer project. That camp sounds like a lot of fun!
  • I would be very interested in learning more. We were unable to get the program going this year but hope to try again next summer.

  • I James.
    I am completing a educationnal programme based on the assembly and the understanding of ground drones FPV driven.
    The programme will start in jan 2013 with 4 teams of 4 students.
    Phase 2 of that programme will be using QUAD with FPV gears.
    I am therfore interested in fallowing your developpement.
    The programme objectif: Prevent drop off with motivating activities using drone related  technology.
    Dr Bernard Michaud
  • This is an older thread but I'd like to revive since there seemed to be a lot of interest in drone aircraft for education.  My company (Rotary Robotics) is developing a very low cost aerial camera product (around $250 to start) which will be a fixed wing aircraft with an integrated autopilot/camera module.  One of the potential markets is in education.  The autopilot firmware will be ArduPilot (completely open source), and fully hackable by the users.  The camera SOC will be the same Broadcom CPU as the Raspberry Pi, and also available for user code customization.  Our intent is to provide this as an assembled unit able to take aerial photos out of the box and controllable through a smartphone interface.  Our price point depends on selling a fairly large volume of them, so we are looking at a lot of potential applications.

    So for those interested in using drones for education, does this sound like a product that could fit your imagined curriculum?  It doesn't have the same "DIY factor" as some of the low cost kits scraped together in the thread earlier, but it also would start off more consistently assembled and configured.  Most of the challenge (and fun!) would be on the software side, but there is also plenty of room for hacking on sensors or other gadgets on top of the base plane.

    Would love to hear any other thoughts or comments!

    For reference, this was a recent article about us:

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