SU students changing the future with drones

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — These five Syracuse University students are transforming the drone industry as we know it.

Working with the international company Millennium Engineering, they built a tether that would catch a charging reel falling from a drone. They only have a 10 to 15 minute flight time, so the theory is if it is used to, say, look for forest fires, it would be tethered to a charging station and could stay in the air longer.

“The idea would be for the drone to fly to one of these charging stations, attach to this cable, continue its patrol whatever it needs to do while getting recharged, let go of it and then go on,” said Yevgeniy Yesilevskiy.

But in order for that to happen, the charging device would need to safely get back on the ground and that’s where this team comes in.

Jackie Hingre said, “There were five members on my team, so each member gets a different component.”

“How exactly does this work? Does the drone stop and this lifts up and kind of takes the mechanism?” we asked.

“So basically the flight controller would attach the drone to the top of it,” Hingre replied.

The drone flies up, the umbrella opens and the connector piece falls safely to the ground.

“One of our testing, we actually did an umbrella drop for the parachute mechanism we made off the Carrier Dome,” Hingre said.

This step alone took them about a month and eight tried. But after two semesters of testing, when each piece finally worked in harmony…

“It was absolutely insane.”

Solving equations in the classroom while creating technology for the drone industry.

The team took first place at the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Competition. Next year, the group who gets the drone assignment will likely have the task of actually charging the drone in the air.

For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla

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