Royal Institution Coding for Year 9s

On Saturday we ran the Royal Institution Coding for Year 9 Master Class #dronesforgood:

Thank you to Martin, Nathan, Anouchka, Ollie, Flora, Richard and Elpida, not forgetting Andy our Director who spent a lot of his time trying to persuade the 3D printer to make the quadcopter frames.
It all starting off with a quick presentation about drones, their uses and the #dronesforgood examples of their use in the ReMap Lima project. Then we got on to the fun uses, including Star Wars, The Phantom Menace Pod Racing, the speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi and finishing up with the FPV racing of quadcopters in a forest for real: [YouTube link]

Over the course of the morning, we showed a class of 30 how to build flying robots. I think they were impressed by the fact that every one actually flew and everybody got to have a go, even if controlling them proved a little difficult:

You can just see the CASA X Frame quadcopter hovering.
Here is Martin's video of the Dragonfly's maiden flight which he tweeted:
The dragonfly was the only frame that was badly damaged, getting snapped in half by an impact with the ground. Everything else survived intact apart, from a broken prop guard on one of the H Frames.

We even managed to do some filming with the unmodified HubSan X4 with its 0.3MP camera:

The 3D printed frames after the masterclass - dragonfly is still missing in action.

After the mass flying session we moved into the computer room and Ollie ran a workshop on designing 3D objects with Sketchup. We also let them have a go of the quadcopter simulator and the Oculus Rift roller coaster demo.




The most amazing flying video was posted by @kaisaph on one of the test flights in the office before the event - Glowing Ghost. Why is it glowing like that? Kaisa is running the next master class in this series later in the month on wearable technology.

The professional photos of the event can be found on Flickr here:

And Ollie's blog post about the event can be found at the following link:

All in all, it was a really good event and I like to think that by enabling 30 kids to explore the technology behind how drones work themselves, we've taught them that the small quadcopters are a lot of fun, but the big ones can be really dangerous, so you have to fly them responsibly.

ReMap Lima


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