Walk around local parks and backyards of most neighbourhoods and you’ll see these remote controlled vehicles flying in the sky, usually taking aerial footages or sometimes simply recording first person aerial views.
Clearly there is no limit to the many different things a drone can be used to do. Thanks to 3D printing, many more possibilities have and are being discovered where a drone can be put to use.
By enabling people with 3D printers to make simpler versions of drones, 3D printing has played a crucial role in ensuring the widespread accessibility and popularity of drones and drone-based solutions. Not only has this made it possible for videographers to experience an easier time filming special events than ever before, but it has also led to a new ‘breed’ of aficionados typically known as hobby makers; who are finding creative ways of using drones to better other peoples’ experiences and lives.
Austin Kelly, a design engineer and educator, is one such hobby maker who has come up with a brilliant idea on how to use drones to improve the education sector. A little while ago, Kelly launched a Project on Kickstarter in which his unique drone kit is offered as a STEM learning solution to kids. Kelly intends to provide DIY 3D printable drone kits to upcoming designers and engineers as a way of enabling them have better understanding of STEM education basics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
In addition, the kits will enable kids to have a clear picture of what goes on in the process of designing and 3D printing.
Kelly intends to achieve this by using his very on SkyBots, which are DIY 3D printed drones. Among many things, the design engineer believes this will provide kids with vital hands-on experience of what it takes to build one’s own drone from scratch.
The most important thing will be for kids to know how to assemble both 3D printed and non-3D printed parts to build a drone of their own. Ultimately, the kits will help young design engineers understand how important each and every part is in creating a complete fully-functional drone.
How the SkyBot Kit Came About
So, is the SkyBot kit entirely meant for students? The company’s Head of Marketing, Freddie Hernandez, tells a different story.
Freddie explains that when they began working on bringing SkyBot to life, their major goal was to come up with a unique kit that would provide the best hands-on drone learning platform for not only students but professional engineers as well.
A lot of considerations had to be taken into account for this to be possible. Finding the appropriate size, weight, pricing and durability of the kit was going to be essential for the project to become a success. Although small and lightweight, it was up to the team to make SkyBot robust enough in order for it to be usable in all sorts of environments.
The bot also needed to exhibit good intelligence to make it useful to users with no piloting skills and to add on all that, SkyBot had to be reasonably priced so that it’s as affordable as can be.
Check out this YouTube video where kids themselves review the SkyBot…
Freddie admits that it was only through many design iterations and software development cycles that the SkyBot team was able to realize their goal of creating the DIY 3D Printable Drone. One of the most outstanding design features of the drone was its inimitable hexagon-shaped structure, which was meant to encourage further modification by the young design engineers whom the kit was being made for.
Introduction to the Market
The company plans to make the very first delivery of SkyBot by the month of August 2015. Being sold at only $64, the kit will be delivered to all the backers who will have placed an order through Kickstarter by the time the project ends. Compared to many other drones in the market which go for hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars, there is no doubt that the company has really done a good job in the price area by making SkyBot truly affordable.
With a goal of raising $6,400 in order to begin the production of SkyBot, the company only needs to get a minimum of 100 orders by the end of their project on Kickstarter. Young designers and engineers who may want to have first hand experience in getting to use SkyBot have only a few weeks left to Support This Project.
Kits will be delivered with all the necessary drone-building components which include:
- Hexagon Basket design minimizing weight while in flight.
- Quad-Rotor platform to help in understanding of drone lift.
- Fully accessible control board.
- Standardized Quad-Rotor hardware.
- Slide in LIPO Battery pack.
- Basic additional support blades.
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