Welcome to For The Win Robotics’ Educator Portal.
Our goal at FTW Robotics is to provide educators and students with access to informative and high-quality learning materials. All throughout our Educator Portal, we have focused on providing a rich and dynamic learning experience that helps elevate our Build | Fly | Code program and is an essential asset to walk through the B|F|C process with our Parrot Mambo DIY kits. Our content will always continue to be ever-evolving and specifically tailored to educators and students alike.
We believe that drone technology plays an essential role in our current and future society and that educators and students should have first-hand experience in this emerging field. We are dedicated to providing accessible materials and content and appreciate any feedback to further improve the Educator Portal experience.
We have also included a resources section within our Educator Portal to provide access to our newest learning materials and our past presentations.
FTW Robotics Team
WHAT IS A DRONE?
In aeronautical terms, “drone” has become the generic label given to an unmanned aircraft that navigates by either human remote control (R/C) or autonomously by its own onboard microcontroller.
Another term, sUAV(Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is used to identify small drones that weigh less than 55 pounds. The Parrot Mambo drones included in the For The Win Robotics’ DIY kits are classified as a sUAV.
Types of sUAVs
Most sUAVs are also considered to be multicopters or multirotors. These terms are interchangeable and are used as the generic name for a drone with multiple propellers. There are a variety of multicopters classified as drones. Here are the most common configurations:
As the most popular configuration for small UAVs, a quadcopter has 4 rotors positioned on a horizontal plane like a helicopter.
A hexacopter is a multirotor aircraft that has six rotors which gives it the advantage that it can lose any single engine and still maintain control to land.
An octocopter is a small UAV that has eight rotors.
The Parrot Mambo included in the DIY kit has 4 propellers and is in the configuration of a quadcopter.
Drones have found their way into various industries around the world and are being used for a range of purposes from mapping, filming and scientific research. Drones have been used to evaluate changes in terrain and eco-systems, analyze existing transportation systems, assist in public safety, and aid in the storytelling process in film, television, and journalism. The following examples are just a few of those potential careers.
Inspections & Mapping
Inspection of any industrial structure has a danger factor when performed by a person. Drones have the ability to fly into hard-to-reach places, hover, and capture photos and live video of the site for evaluation. This removes the danger of a catastrophic accident from happening and could potentially save lives.
Drones are commonly being used to inspect bridges, cell towers, power lines, wind turbines, solar arrays, buildings, roofs, oil pipelines, water treatment facilities, historical monuments, railways, highway overpasses, tunnels, and even nuclear plants for radiation measurement.
There are many drone companies and projects being launched that will aim to improve the way farms operate. Such projects and companies will seek to determine things like the health of crops, whether or not crops are getting enough water, how much pesticide to apply and where to apply it, and the best times for harvesting.
Drones can also be used by farmers to save time scouting their crops, getting a better idea for crop rotation, and mapping out their farm.
Environment & Wildlife
Drones are being used by scientists to gather data on the environment. Applications include air-quality testing by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as usage by NASA to test the makeup of the ozone. Drones are also a useful tool for firefighting. They are used to monitor wildfires and gauge their movement.
Drones are also being used to monitor populations of animals in the wild, especially endangered ones. Flown high enough so as not to disturb the animals, drones provide an excellent way to observe their habitats and gather data on their behaviors.
Motion Picture Industry
Probably the most obvious use of sUAVs is within the motion picture industry. Many major movies include spectacular aerial footage from drones, a practice that has saved the industry money because they no longer have to hire expensive helicopters for the job. Also, by bringing their own drone, numerous “out-in-the-wild” documentaries have been enhanced by aerial footage.