by Nicole Capozziello
Published May 31, 2019
Earlier this month, a group of SEAS freshmen and sophomores travelled to Rochester carrying precious cargo: two drones that they had designed and build themselves.
The drones were created to take part in the SUNY TYESA (SUNY Two Year Engineering Science Association) Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Statewide competition. The annual competition took place at Monroe Community College, in Rochester, NY, on Friday, May 3, 2019.
SEAS sent two teams, each of whom had created a drone, or UAV, that met the specific challenge of delivering supplies to a location where human access or navigation is challenging or dangerous. To qualify, UAVs not only had to maneuver through a series of obstacles but change altitude and carry and deposit a payload to a specific drop zone, before returning to their starting point.
“It was an exciting experience. Most of us hadn't flown drones before, so the concept of making one from scratch and competing against other teams seemed far from reality,” says freshman Anoop Kiran. “Never did I believe that I could be part of a team and work towards the concept of making something new to benefit humanity.”
SEAS Team B took second in the overall competition for its UAV.
“We built a drone with a ping pong shooter on top, capable of shooting from at least 6 feet away,” says Aryan Dahad, a student in mechanical and aerospace engineering. “It had an autonomous payload delivery system below it, which dropped the payload on delivery located by sensing a guided red laser light.”
This was UB’s first time taking part in the competition. “I’ve very proud of the teams’ accomplishment of designing and building a UAV for competition in 13 weeks,” says Andrew Olewnik, Director of SEAS Experiential Learning Programs and a research professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “Other teams at the competition spent one or two semesters constructing their drones as a part of a class.”
“Engineering Intramurals projects like this help in gaining valuable skills and other intangibles serving as applications of coursework,” said Kiran, who’s looking forward to taking part next year, with hopefully even more success.
Team A was advised by Naveen Ramesh, a master’s student in electrical engineering, and comprised of Anoop Joseph Kiran, Bradley Hopkins, John Meschino, Noah Schutte, Samuel Slick and Jacob Vladyka.
Team B was advised by Amit Ramnikbhai Mathukiya, a master’s student in electrical engineering, and comprised of Aryan Dahad, Stephen Durko, Spencer Gustavson, Joshua Middleton and Andrew Slisher.
The students, all freshmen and sophomores, were all from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The TYESA UAV Competition was sponsored by the Monroe Community College Engineering Science and Physics Department. For more information, visit the competition's website.
TYESA is an organization comprised of members from institutions of higher education in New York State that grant an Associate in Science degree in Engineering Science and adhere to TYESA's curriculum guidelines.