Senior Design Drone Development

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 December 2015

As the semester comes to a close, I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on the work that has been completed on my senior design project.

The final drone design is to be composed of a set of functions that can be visually seen in the picture below.

Drone Project


  1. The drone must be placed into a known environment and checked by the operator to make sure it can safely operate.
  2. After the safety checks have been completed, the drone will take off under manual control and scan the area to calculate its surroundings.
  3. After successful take-off, the operator will switch to semi-autonomous mode of operation (i.e., drone moves by itself under supervision of the operator).
  4. The drone will continue to navigate through the hallway, while checking for heat signatures and avoiding possible collisions.
  5. If the drone detects a non-normal heat signature, an alert will be sent to the user for further investigation.
  6. The user will determine if the heat signature is relevant and decide if the drone should continue searching. Regardless of the decision, an image will be captured and stored for later observation.
  7. The drone will continue to search until the user commands it to return,
  8. or when the batteries run low and the drone must return.

Construction of the drone took place in the middle of the semester. We started with a Blackout 330 frame and mounted all of the basic drone components on (motors, propellers, battery, receiver, etc), as you can see in the picture below.

Drone Project

Test flights were performed using the basic system to ensure functionality. I am excited to return back to Ohio University after break, because next semester we will be working on attaching the lasers for semi-autonomous navigation, as well as the infrared and RBG cameras.

One thought on “Senior Design Drone Development

  1. Pingback: Engineering Ambassadors Blog

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