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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a drone!

Students in Engineering Technology build drone from start to finish

By Staff Report
On November 15, 2018

Students brave the cold to watch the drone they created fly. Colton Brown/Courtesy Photo

Students enrolled in John Frazier’s Engineering Graphics class in GSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, pursued a specific class project.  Frazier and the class decided to construct a drone.


“I was proud of the students’ enthusiasm teamwork and commitment in successfully completing the class project-building a drone from start to finish,” Frazier said.


Frazier explained that the purpose of the project was to help students better understand the various concepts and core materials discussed during class, as well as the process of collection and arrangement of mechanical and electrical components and how they may be used to construct a workable flying device, such as a drone.


“I was privileged to embark on a drone project in Mr. Frazier’s Engineering Graphics class, Kish Jean, a freshman from Dominica, said. “Throughout this project, we were given the opportunity to create a drone from ‘scratch’ that involved drawing different components of the drone using AutoCAD software and then assembling the drone components,” the Engineering Technology-Electronic Technology major said.


The project began with students’ learning the basic information about drone technology.  Students started collecting, sketching and understanding the function of each component part.  After the function of each component part was explained, the students were required to draw all the parts using a computer-aided drafting software program.


Students were placed in groups to begin working on specific parts of the project. Then they all came together to assemble the parts together to build the drone. Some of the electronic components for this project were gathered from various sources; for example, the microprocessor was removed from an older outdated Nintendo Game Controller and used in the project.


Jarvis Logan, a sophomore from Mer Rouge who is majoring in Engineering Technology-Electronic Technology, said the skills he learned in Frazier’s class — such as lettering, sketching, orthographic projections, sections, auxiliary views and pictorial drawings — helped him in completing the drone-building project.
“I feel very fortunate and thankful to have Mr. Frazier as my teacher because he goes over and beyond the call of duty to make sure students understand all the details before beginning to build your  project, and is willing to answer any questions,” Logan said.


Frazier said the students were given the opportunity to solder and build a component part, and they appreciated the effort.


“The drone project was very interesting and it helped me understand the concepts of engineering technology being applied,” said Alvez Wright, a freshman from Ruston whose major is Engineering Technology-Drafting and Design Technology.


 After all the component parts were assembled, Frazier explained and demonstrated to the students how to calibrate and test the drone on a computer BetaFlight program.  


            Frazier used the BetaFlight program displayed on a smartboard to test and demonstrate each function of the drone, such as the revolution and polarity of each motor, flight mode, thrust, center of gravity and Newton’s law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction), which allows the drone to fly with four motors.


            “I really liked the way we helped each other to build the drone from scratch and how our teacher, Mr. Frazier, taught us about the motors and programming the drone,” Andrew Tanner III said. Tanner is a freshman Engineering Technology-Construction Technology major from Atlanta.


After the lesson on BetaFlight, the drone was completed and taken for a test flight. The students were excited to see their scratch-built drone take to the sky.  The class project was a success.


“This class assignment has been beneficial due to the degree of hands-on experience I’ve gained Kish Jean said.  “I value this project as a great accomplishment in my academic endeavors and was fortunate enough to see our work in action.


“Working firsthand on this project has equipped me with various skills which I believe will be extremely important in my field of interest. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to Mr. Frazier for making this opportunity available to us,” Jean said.


Dr. Edwin Thomas, program coordinator of Engineering Technology, said he was elated to see this project-based learning take place.

After all the component parts were assembled, Frazier explained and demonstrated to the students how to calibrate and test the drone on a computer BetaFlight program.   


Frazier used the BetaFlight program displayed on a smartboard to test and demonstrate each function of the drone, such as the revolution and polarity of each motor, flight mode, thrust, center of gravity and Newton’s law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) which allows the drone to fly with four motors.


“I really liked the way we helped each other to build the drone from scratch and how our teacher, Mr. Frazier, taught us about the motors and programming the drone,” Andrew Tanner III, a freshman Engineering Technology-Construction Technology major from Atlanta, said.


After the lesson on BetaFlight, the drone was completed and taken for a test flight. The students were excited to see their scratch built drone take to the sky.  The class project was a success.  


“This class assignment has been beneficial due to the degree of hands on experience I’ve gained,” Kish Jean said.  


“I value this project as a great accomplishment in my academic endeavors and was fortunate enough to see our work in action.  


“Working firsthand on this project has equipped me with various skills which I believe will be extremely important in my field of interest.


I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to Mr. Frazier for making this opportunity available to us,” Jean, said.


Dr. Edwin Thomas, program coordinator of Engineering Technology, said he was very excited to see this project-based learning take place.

 

 

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