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For the Win Robotics would like to welcome you to a new kind of learning, powered by Hopper.   You will learn many new things involving math, science and other technical subjects by doing - specifically by Building, Flying and Coding Hopper.   

What is Hopper?

Hopper is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) most commonly known as a drone.   Drones are aircraft without a pilot onboard.  They are controlled either with remote control or autonomously by a microprocessor onboard in conjunction with a computer.  

While the word drone usually refers to the air vehicle itself that goes into the air, control of the vehicle requires other carefully designed components.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses the term Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to refer to all components required to make a drone fly as a system of systems.  Hopper belongs in a category with other drones that weigh less than 55 lbs, designated as small UASs or sUAS.   While different UASs have different levels of complexity all UAS have certain components in common - an aerial vehicle with a payload, one or more control systems, flight crew and support equipment.  

Why have drones become popular?

Not having a human onboard allows a drone to be smaller and lighter than a manned aircraft, it also allows them to do missions and fly places where it doesn’t make sense to have a human.   While the first drones have largely military origins, recent advances in technology have allowed them to revolutionize many industries.  For example:

Aerial Photography and Videography: Drones equipped with high-definition cameras are used for capturing stunning aerial footage for film, television, advertising, and recreational purposes.

Mapping and Surveying: Drones equipped with mapping software and sensors are utilized for creating 3D maps, surveying land, monitoring crop health, and assessing infrastructure.

Search and Rescue: Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras and sensors are deployed in search and rescue operations to locate missing persons or assist in disaster response efforts.

Precision Agriculture: Drones equipped with multispectral cameras and sensors are used for monitoring crop health, assessing soil conditions, and optimizing agricultural practices.

Infrastructure Inspection: Drones are employed for inspecting infrastructure such as bridges, power lines, and pipelines, enabling efficient and cost-effective maintenance.

Delivery Services: Companies like Amazon and UPS are exploring the use of drones for delivering packages to customers, offering faster and more convenient delivery options.

Drones are an attractive option for any industry looking to increase safety, efficiency and capability.  


Kinds of drones

Drones come in many shapes and sizes depending on their mission.  Traditionally, like full size aircraft, drones could be fixed wing (like an airplane) or rotary wing (like a helicopter). Nowadays there are also aircraft and drones that combine the advantages of both configurations.   Beyond platform type and size, drones can also be differentiated by propulsion system, and operating characteristics (speed and altitude).

The selection of a specific drone for a given set of requirements requires trades depending on the mission characteristics.   Fixed wing UASs tend to have greater endurance and range, higher speeds and higher altitudes.  However they require greater launch areas, and can only fly forward.  Multi-rotors require almost no space to launch and can fly in many directions, but fly more slowly and typically don’t have a very long range.     

Hopper is a multi-rotor which allows it to take off and land in a classroom space, have stable flight characteristics and be able to fly in many directions. While we will talk about many flight topics that apply to all types of drones, we will largely focus on multi-rotor drones like Hopper.  Drones that have multiple rotors are named for the number of rotors they have.  For example: 

A quadcopter (like Hopper) has 4 rotors

A hexacopter has six rotors

An octocopter has eight rotors

As we learn more about Hopper and other drones, we will look deeper into the characteristics that might make sense for performing a specific mission.  


A body (such as an airplane wing or propeller blade) designed to provide a desired reaction force when in motion relative to the surrounding air


The Airframe is the main body of the drone that every other component attaches to

Anti-Clockwise [A]

Anti-Clockwise (or Counter Clockwise) [A] motion is one that proceeds in the opposite direction as a clock's hands


Energy source used to supply power to the drone

Clockwise [C]

Clockwise [C] motion is one that proceeds in the same direction as a clock's hands


Firmware is permanent software programmed into a read-only memory


The mechanism that allows for different position of the camera on the drone


a miniaturized version of the Universal Serial Bus interface which enables the direct charging of the drone's battery


A motor is powered by electricity that supplies motive power for moving parts


A Printed Circuit Board is a board design with a base board and copper traces to maintain connectivity between electronic components such as LED's, integrated circuits, and resistors for your devices

Propeller Twist

A differece in angle between the blade at its tip, and at the point where it meets the propller hub


Mechanical device for propelling an aircraft or boat, consisting of a revolving shaft with two or more broad, angled blades attached to it











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