Hello all, I have been a member of this community and active in the UAS industry for some time. I am currently teaching a 2 credit sophomore level mechanical engineering design class at a 4 year university where the students typically make devices to compete in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) student competition. This year the competition is a relay race for vehicles with different energy sources. (http://www.asme.org/events/competitions/student-design-competition)
I am teaching the same class next semester, however the class/project will have a UAS twist to it. As much as I would like to have each student team put together a fully autonomous APM based aircraft and fly it, it is simply not practical from a cost, liability, and course load/timeline perspective at the moment.
I think it would be practical to have the students use a cheap/simple RC quad control board (aka hobbking/kk quad control board) to design and construct a quadrotor to complete some sort of indoor mission. I was wondering if this creative community could help me think of a potential competition/task that falls within the following guidelines.
1. A significant component of the competition involves designing a novel mechanism to perform a task(s) such that it can be determined to what degree one team did better than another.
2. The task is relevant to actual missions quadrotors/small UAS would perform in the real world.
3. A person with minimal RC flying skills could complete the task.
I have some ideas but at this point I don't want to taint other's input. Thanks for any ideas/thoughts. I think this will be a great opportunity for students to get some exposure to the systems engineering that surrounds UAS and get them interested in this hobby/career path.