It’s a New Year!

It’s a new year for the team! We recruited ten new members who will continue running the Computer Science Club and working on the drone next year. HASMAAD will remain at the school for students to work with. The original MCA InvenTeam wanted other Academy students to experience the benefits of hands-on project-based-learning, so the drone will stay at the school as the InvenTeam legacy. Every year, new students will be invited to work on the drone and improve it, carrying on the spirit of developing a real-world application in our school.

More exciting news…we published an article in the Techniques magazine! The February 2015 issue features an article about the MCA InvenTeam and HASMAAD written by Meenal Kumar, Shreya Shirodkar, and Neha Shah.

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ACTE CareerTech Vision Conference

Seven members of our team recently attended the ACTE CareerTech Expo in Nashville, TN. For four days, Neha Shah, Shreya Shirodkar, Meenal Kumar, Syed Raziq Mohideen, Hrishi Dharam, Hima Tamminedi, and Prathm Juneja, stayed in Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland, and discussed the invention. During a 15 minute presentation (the video will be posted soon), Mr. Paterno and three students spoke about HASMAAD as well as the plethora of benefits project based learning entails.

Overall, the experience was an amazing way to see how projects have repercussions in the real world, and it was great to make connections with organizations and companies. The team received a lot of constructive criticism as well as insightful questions about the mechanics of the drone, and we are working towards addressing any concerns and furthering HASMAAD.

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November Update

Despite the culmination of our grant cycle, work on the drone will be continued. We are moving forward with HASMAAD as a part of the Computer Science Club at our school. Currently our team consists of seven members of the original team since six members graduated. We are looking to expand our team and include other students who will continue improving HASMAAD after we graduate.

We have also filed a provisional patent on the drone, specifically on the innovations of the unique image processing algorithm and the vertical spray boom. This is a huge step for us and we are very excited to apply for a full patent in the future!

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June Update

Attending the LMIT EurekaFest event was an amazing experience. At the exhibition, we presented our invention to the public. We also met with other InvenTeams and learned about their inventions.

We are fortunate to have been a part of the 2013-2014 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program. We would like to thank The Lemelson Foundation for the opportunity with this grant. Additionally, we would like to thank our school district and our school for providing us with resources and support.

2014 Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest

2014 Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest

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May Update

With the arrival of many required parts as well as a realization that pipe sizing is different from tube sizing, the spray boom has now been completed. It consists of a 1/2″ aluminum pipe with two 3/8″ holes drilled that allow two TeeJet nozzle bodies to clamp on to the boom. There is a cap at the end of the pipe as well as an adapter that connects the 1/2″ pipe to a 1/4″ NPT fitting at the end of a 5′ flexible pvc hose. During our first test flight with the spray system attached, we discovered that the spray boom sways too much and interferes with the flight of the drone. To fix this, we’re using a shorter flexible PVC tube and a much longer rigid aluminum pipe. We also have another plan to reduce the weight of the spray boom. The 1/2″ aluminum pipe has an actual outside diameter of .84″ and has relatively thick walls compared to 1/2″ aluminum tube (not pipe). We connect a few feet of aluminum tubing to a short length of PVC tubing and connect the aluminum pipe assembly at the end of the tube.

The aluminum pipe assembly that the nozzle clamp on to

The aluminum pipe assembly that the nozzle clamp on to

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MCA InvenTeam Representing at a Street Fair

This past Saturday, a town in our county, Woorbridge, held a street fair. The Academy was one of the organizations represented at the fair. The Academy booth was shared by the LMIT team and representatives of other aspects of the Academy. Not only was it fun but a lot of people showed interest in what we do! Check out the photos below.

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April Progress + Testing

Transmission System Troubleshooting.

Transmission System Troubleshooting.

About a month ago, we began to have issues with our video transmission and reception system, which, if not solved, would have crippled the Image Processing team’s efforts.

Transmission System Troubleshooting Complete!

Transmission System Troubleshooting Complete!

After weeks of grueling trouble shooting and part replacement, we have finally gotten the system working again. The 5.8ghz transmitter had an issue in which the video feed was replaced with a purple fuzz, and once we were finally able to narrow down the issue to the transmitter, we ordered a new part and the transmission is now completely clear. As mentioned in previous blog updates, we are still using the dual receiver, which allows us to receive signals from two antennas, increasing the reliability of the system. 

 

 

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The transmitter and camera have also been successfully mounted on the drone, and we will have video footage from the drone itself after our next test. 

 

 

Picture of the feed the computer receives from the drone's camera.

Picture of the feed the computer receives from the drone’s camera.

 

Autonomous Flight Testing

After mounting the camera, we took the drone outside for autonomous mode testing. In this test, the UI team sent the drone pre-scripted commands through the Mission Planner software. We were able to control the drone’s height, speed, direction, and movement. In the video, the drone is taken to a high altitude using joystick control and then the autonomous mode is activated. It then descends to its programmed altitude and flies to its given waypoints in a very stable manner. The entire process from take off to landing can now be fully automated. Be sure to check out our gallery for more pictures. Next milestone?: Control drone flight based on image processing.

Spray Boom + Tank Update

In the past few days, our team received one of the most important components of our hardware system: the tank. We decided to opt for a prefabricated backpack sprayer and we’re currently working on a mounting apparatus to attach the entire spray system to the frame of the drone. We have the general design planned and now we need to begin working with our aluminum stock to construct a mount that will be secure and stable while keeping it as light as possible. We are also using a push-in tapered rubber plug as an easily removable cap for the tank. The plug expands and contracts via a wing nut which will create a secure and easily adjustable fitting for our tank.

We are creating the mount for the tank before assembling the system itself so that the navigation and control team can observe the behavior of the drone in fight with the tank and a fluid inside. Pictures to come!

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