John Blaske’s Amphibious Drone: The Aqua Quad

3D Robotics congratulates John Blaske, an aerospace engineering student at San Diego State University, who spent a spring internship at 3DR successfully designing and building a waterproof, submersible quadcopter—an amphibious drone he calls the Aqua Quad.

John started his career with the Marine Corps’ surveying detachment, where he gained valuable GIS experience. Following an honorable discharge in 2013, John, an abiding RC and flight enthusiast, enrolled in SDSU’s Aerospace Engineering program and soon developed an interest in drone technology.

“My first real encounter with fully autonomous drones was through 3DR,” John said. “Joe and Grant took me out to test fly the Aero. I was impressed with the precision of its autonomy and the versatility of Mission Planner, and immediately got hooked.”

The Aqua Quad started with the long-term goal of making a drone that could be submersible and controllable underwater, but could then surface, take off, and fly around. That’s a tall order, and John had little more than a month to work with, so he started with designing a waterproof quad. 3DR gave him an Iris to modify, and by SDSU’s Engineering Design Day—one month’s time—John had proved the waterproof concept and delighted the Dean of the Aerospace Department.

3DR hopes to further develop our internship program to empower more talented and passionate students like John, offering them a forum to apply learned concepts beyond the classroom. “There’s going to be a huge need for engineers like myself once the market takes off,” John said. “I’m already a step ahead with what I’ve done here at 3DR.”

Please join us in congratulating John on his hard work and success!

Views: 2479

Comment by Jethro Hazelhurst on May 21, 2014 at 9:20am

The big question in my mind is how did he water-proof the motors?

Comment by Project Nadar on May 21, 2014 at 10:33am

Motors are already waterproofed :D Try submersing a motor with long wires in the sink it and you ll see that it will run without any probs. Although sea water might bring some corrosion to the bearings but that's it. 

Comment by Sam Kelly on May 21, 2014 at 10:57am

Why isn't this called the Aquad

Comment by Duncan J on May 21, 2014 at 11:11am

^^ hahahahah Aquad. How do you make Styrofoam sink tho....  great concept though. sure relieves the concerns and anxieties regarding flying over water with this mod! GJ GJ students!  

Comment by Julien Dubois on May 21, 2014 at 12:56pm

Nice for flying under rain!

But I wonder how it can be fully waterproof with an embedded altitude measurement, maybe remote baro?

Good job, funny project:)

Would like a little video if possible.

Comment by Oliver on May 21, 2014 at 1:03pm


Comment by Glenn M on May 21, 2014 at 2:19pm

Needs a waterproof gimbal option really!

Comment by Pedals2Paddles on May 21, 2014 at 2:59pm

Awesome!  Videos?  Any thoughts about marketing it?

Comment by Acorn on May 21, 2014 at 3:22pm
Envious. I chose the wrong career.
Comment by Craig Baldwin on May 21, 2014 at 9:31pm
Aquad..... Yes, that would have been a great name!


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