UNB students building drones, preparing for skills test
New pilots will test their skills at an upcoming competition at the University of New Brunswick on Saturday
A group of students have spent months working on their version of the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles — more commonly known as drones.
And they will put them to the test this weekend at the University of New Brunswick.
The UAV UNB club has built a series different of quadcopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from scratch and with parts found online.
"Everybody just finished building and so they're learning to fly," said Faris Mahboob, club co-president and co-founder.
"We taught all our members how to design them and then we ordered the parts and they went to it and everybody did a good job."
While the basic design is similar, each homemade remote-controlled unit is different and each reflects the design of its builder.
Ryan Brown, a 20-year builder, said he feels there are huge applications for these units in the future.
"Photography is huge right now, before you needed a helicopter. Not anymore," he said.
"They're headed towards making deliveries, I know Amazon was looking into that, but there's potential for farming and surveying too," said Brown.
The group is sponsored not just by the University of New Brunswick's electrical and computer engineering departments, but also Resson Aerospace, a company that uses UAV technology with agriculture.
"We've been around since just September," said Mahboob.
"But we've got a ton of interest."
Flight competition this weekend
Saturday will put the latest UAV units to the test. The newest models and their builders will compete in a variety of challenges ranging from strength to speed.
"We have a bunch of different categories of competition from racing to lifting to flight time and stuff like that to see who built the best one and who has the most skills."
The flight skills test will take place out of the elements at UNB's BMO soccer dome on Saturday at noon.
"Inside here we don't even get them up to half of high speed," said club member Jack Campbell.
"That would be pretty unsafe, but the there's a lot more room in the dome.