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Meet Team Bath Drones – the group of students taking autonomous drones to new heights

Final-year students from the University of Bath are embarking on the IMechE Unmanned Aircraft Systems competition for a second year running
15th February 2017
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A team of eager engineers from the University of Bath are once again taking on the IMechE Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) challenge this June.

A new team of final-year undergraduate students is compiled each year to create Team Bath Drones. Each year the group advance on the previous autonomous drone and this system is seeing huge progress.

“It will be capable of flying a reconnaissance path of maximum ground coverage, as well as having the ability to drop a payload autonomously upon target recognition”

 

Hemant Chudasama, Public & Youth Engagement Manager at the university, tells us, “Led by Alex Powell and supervised by Dr Pejman Iravani, Dr Jon du Bois and Dr David Cleaverthe team has interdisciplinary expertise in aeronautical, mechanical and electrical engineering.”

Drones doing it for themselves

The Sky Seeker was the group’s last project; a drone that could successfully autonomously pinpoint targets and deliver a package of 2kg over an impressive distance.

Sky Seeker: Check out this video showing off the
capabilities of Team Bath Drone’s last project

 

artemis-team-bath-dronesThe current drone the team are developing is called Artemis (the concept art for which can be seen on the right). Hemant explains, “it will be capable of flying a reconnaissance path of maximum ground coverage, as well as having the ability to drop a payload autonomously upon target recognition.”

Artemis promises to be incredibly advanced. The design infuses an aerodynamic structure with sophisticated system controls that enable the drone to do its thing without further human instruction.

“I know all of us love the fact that Bath is a university that really does focus on applying engineering theory in practice”

 

The students are passionate about what they’re building for the wider picture, but of course, “The end objective for the team is to win the competition!” says Hemant.

The opportunity to be involved in such a project is all thanks to the University of Bath. Hemant tells us, “Bath is a beautiful location in the country: a city surrounded by rolling hills, with very old and traditional architecture in the centre, all fused within a tourist-attracting commercial hub.

“The university itself attracts students from all over the world and provides us students with great support from professors to help us achieve our ambitious goals! I know all of us love the fact that Bath is a university that really does focus on applying engineering theory in practice.”

Ready, set, fly!

ts_teambathdroneThe UAS competition is designed to encourage the next generation of young talented engineers to get inspired. Despite being a student only competition, the project also means a level of professionalism must be implemented as undergraduates from across the globe are invited to enter.

IMechE says the challenge, “bridges the gap between academia and industry in developing applied UAS-related activities; giving you the perfect opportunity to strengthen links with industry, other universities and enhance employment opportunities for graduates in the aerospace sector.”

Because of the high-calibre competitors, it truly is a team effort in the quest to conquer this competition. Hemant says, “Our official team is limited to 10 individuals, however, we have a lot of engagement and interest among younger engineering students, who we mentor towards having the skills to produce their own entry when they get to their final year!”

There’s still a lot of work to do in order to prepare for June, but the team have experience on their side.

Best of luck to Team Bath Drones from TechSPARK! You can find out more about Team Bath Drones from their website, or follow the group’s Twitter here: @TeamBathDrones