The RoboDawgs had a busy night at the Homecoming football game. While a crew led by Senior Captain Lucas Buck ran the team’s mobile football canon, a second group of RoboDawgs flew one of the team’s quadcopters.
As usual, the football shooter was a big hit. With a range of nearly 200 yards, the football canon mounted on a RoboDawg robot delivered foam footballs to all corners of the bleachers.
The team’s quadcopters have continue to accumulate successful flight hours in and around Grandville High School events. The RoboDawgs have been following the Grandville High School Marching Band, and the team continues to take still photos and video to be compiled in a promotional video for the band. While mechanical problem kept the RoboDawgs from flying directly over the halftime performance, we did get some good still photos of the game.
Safety policies in place require all drones to complete multiple test flights over target areas, and the RoboDawgs flew seven successful flights over the GHS stadium last Friday afternoon. AeroDawg II, programmed and watched over by Senior Amanda Bowerman and Junior Hannah Evele, looked like it was good to go right up until game time last Friday, (Some afternoon photos from practice flights are posted above.) The specific quadcopter prepared to fly at Homecoming (AeroDawg II) then failed a pre-flight motor test at 6:37 on Friday night. One of the copter’s eight rotors was not spinning at the proper speed, and the RoboDawgs changed their flight plans to allow for safe operation of the quadcopter in a controlled area just outside the north end zone. We took many fine photos of the game and stands, but flew a restricted flight plan to assure that the unmanned aerial vehicle posed no danger to people or property. Amanda and Hannah’s caution was based on hours of practice flights – and with hindsight the choice made by these two proved to be the right one. This afternoon, during extended testing, the speed controller for the left rear rotor of AeroDawg II failed and caught fire, Due to the team’s safety rules and the experience of our students and coaches, this failure took place on a test bench at the Robotics Center. A new electronic speed controller will be installed this week and AeroDawg II will complete another full set of qualification tests before being flown again in public.