Grandville High School continues to be a leader in student-built, student-operated technology. As part of a unique partnership between the Grandville High School Marching Band, and the GHS RoboDawgs, autonomous model aircraft will fly around several band performances this fall. These specially built and programmed quadcopters carry three cameras and will capture 4K resolution video of the Grandville band as it performs.
Last spring, the Director of the Grandville High School Marching Band (Mr. Garcia) approached the RoboDawgs about building aerial drones which could be incorporated into the band’s 2015 show. Considerable work went into this idea, but ultimately the governing body for high school marching bands adopted a policy prohibiting model aircraft from flying as part of a band performance at any Michigan competition.
The idea did not die, however, and the RoboDawgs went to work outfitting a custom quadcopter designed for filming the marching band.
The Grandville High School RoboDawgs have more than five years of experience with unmanned drones, having built much of their experience with drone watercraft. The team has been working with drone quadcopters since the summer of 2014. Students have built three medium scale quadcopters, all with dimensions of less than 18″x18″x12″ and each weighing under 10 pounds. The team and its coaches have logged hundreds of flight hours in West Michigan and on Mackinac Island. They have flown in a variety of locations and under wide range of wind and weather conditions. The team has developed appropriate safety precautions, and logged hundreds of flight hours over the last fifteen months. The team has developed extensive safety policies, and they have never had a crash which resulted in personal injury or property damage.
The RoboDawgs are thankful for the vision and foresight of the school’s marching band director and our administration. As we have demonstrated for more than 15 months, small model aircraft can be programmed and flown in our suburban setting without posing an undue risk to people or property.