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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  • When I did first robotics we did a lot of lego mindstorms.  

  • Age 10-12 or grade 10-12?
  • If you want something that will survive kids you want ez-star clones.  There are many different adjustable and cheap autopilots and you culminate the semester with a competition.  

  • I think that doing any kind of drone with serious APM is a bit of a mistake for kids that age with that timeline.  I would just buy a few easystars and gyros and let them play around with some lego mindstorms.   You can get an ez star clone for about 75$ shipped. 

  • I think I may be able to help you with a quadcopter kit for $300, the ROFL kit: normally goes for about twice that amount, but in the interest of encouraging engineering in young people, there is a chance that we can make that for less.  Whether it's possible really depends on the details, and how many you need, please let me know if you're interested, we can go from there.

  • Hi,

    I am also in Atlanta (Marietta) and would be interested in helping you with your class.  That sounds like a great opportunity to teach a younger generation about aviation and more importantly, teach them about unmanned vehicles.  UAS are going to be a big part of the near future and having early exposure to them would certainly benefit them if they would like to get a job in this industry.  I am currently work in the UAV industry as a contractor doing everything from designing, building, and flying of airplanes and helicopters.  I would be interested in sitting down and talking about your idea and brainstorming to come up with a good plan to move forward.  I might also be able to help come up with sponsors that would be willing to donate some funding to your effort.  

    Please let me know if you would be interested in my help and we can set up a time to meet.  


    PS:  I also work with a number of groups at GT, are you affiliated with any of the groups on campus?

  • I would go with the plane. Engineering wise planes teach a lot more(airfoil, weight .etc). I built a multicopter in grade 8 for about 200$ and getting everything to work right was a major headache because of issues with the esc.

  • Hi guys,

    I build my Multicopter with only 150 euros.

     go to and you'll see how to do that .

    MultiWii project related stuffs
  • I would look to the FIRST Robotics teams as a good outlet to spread the workshop. 

    For example, as a FRC mentor, I would be happy to lead a workshop for students in Houston.   

  • With the above items you spread the cost of shipping since that can be expensive from places like Hobbyking.

    Also you would need a battery charger and some power tools to do the drilling and cutting of the lexan and aluminum towel bars.

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