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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.  


the study of the science of flight

Autonomous Vechicle

A vehicle capable of operating or navigating without any human intervention


Drone is the common name for an unmanned aerial vehicle


Federal Aviation Administration is the division of the Department of Transportation that deals with rules, regulations, and guidance for aviation

Fixed Wing

Heavier than air vehicles that generate lift via wings and the aircraft's forward speed


a rotary wing aircraft with six rotors


a rotary wing aircraft with eight rotors


a rotary wing aircraft with four rotors - Hopper is a quadcoptor

Rotary Wing

(also called a Rotorcraft) is a heavier that air vehicle that generates lift with rotor wings (or blades) rotating around a central shaft.


An aircraft with no pilots, passengers or other crew members on board. It it controlled through remote control, or operates autonomously with onboard programming.


Small Unmanned Aerial System - is defined by the FAA as a UAV weighling less than 55lbs and its associated control systems.



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