November 17, 2014

Welcome to University High School's InvenTeam blog. This is Alex Dao, the team's administrative lead, and Josh Jia, the administrative assistant, bringing you some updates. After our press release in mid-October, the University High School InvenTeam has reached out to several news outlets. Our district wide NewsFlash blog and school newspaper wrote stories about us receiving the InvenTeam grant. We are continuing our media outreach as our progress on the aerial search drone continues.

In the last month and a half, things have been busy as we are making good progress with our drones. The University High School InvenTeam is divided into 3 different technical groups: 

  1. TeamA is working on the aircraft 
  2. TeamB is working on the wearable beacon/transponder and base station, and 
  3. TeamC is working on the flight path optimization for the drone.

Along with the technical side, we have other members who stepped up to take care of various functions of the team, including Justin, our financial lead; Vijay, our sustainability lead; and Matthew, our communications lead.

Technical lead, Taymour Mohamed, and his team have researched the different types aircrafts: RC helicopters, RC Blimps, RC fixed-wing planes, and RC Quadcopters. Examining the pros and cons, the team decided to remove RC blimps and helicopters due to their lack of speed and battery power, and had to decide between the fixed-wing and quadcopters. We met with Dr. Harris from the nearby University of California Irvine (UCI) for further assistance. He suggested that it would be wise to invest in a kit that can initially be used for testing purposes before we reach our final goal. As a result of our research and considerations, we have purchased the 3D Robotics Quad Kit and will begin our tests on the communication system between the drone and base station. We will work on locating radio signals next and start on the early stages of an autonomous flight path algorithm that attempts to maximize the area covered while using as little power as possible.