Ideas take wing as students compete to build drones

By Iman Sherif, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Emirati engineering students gained practical experience at a different level last week while testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) they built on their own during a nationwide Higher Colleges of Technology competition.

Male and female students divided into nine teams from across 17 campuses applied their mathematical and scientific knowledge to build and fly their creations.

“This is an engineering design project where students design, build, test and pilot remote-controlled UAVs,” said Mike Jacobsen, chair of electrical engineering at Abu Dhabi Men’s College. “They do this by following specifications and guidelines and then fly the machines by satellite GPS systems.”

The teams were judged for speed, performance and endurance of their respective UAVs. “Students were judged for design, weight, specifications and knowledge of their aircraft,” he said. “Through this competition they learn teamwork, presentation and leadership skills.” Students also gain engineering research experience through the application of knowledge to solve practical problems, Jacobsen said.