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University of Memphis, Department of Mechanical Engineering Students design Amphibious Drone for Water Sampling Missions

Posted by Marco Sterk on

March 11, 2017 - Memphis, Tennessee

During a Drones Lightning Talks session held on March 8, 2017 at the FedEx Institute of Technology, Senior Mechanical Engineering Students from the University of Memphis presented a video of a first prototype of an amphibious drone designed to land on water, collect a water samples, and takeoff from the water.  

The drone is an X8 Octocopter configuration using a custom-built carbon fiber frame, designed and manufactured by the students, and uses as propulsion system eight T-Motor U7 motors with T-Motor 16" carbon fiber propellers and Flame 80A Pro ESCs installed to provide the drone with enough lifting power to carry a specialized water-sampling apparatus. 

The modular design will also allow removable payload, which can be replaced with a system for new missions, or can be upgraded to accomplish a more detailed goal. Plans are to complete the first iteration of the amphibious drone by May 2017.

Team members are Mechanical Engineering Senior Students Bradley Cowan, Clayton Smith, Caleb Harris and Dr. Eddie Jacobs, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator for Electrical and Computer Engineering, Coordinator for FedEx Institute’s DRONES Research Cluster and Dr. William A Alexander, Assistant Professor Department of Chemistry, University of Memphis

Supporters of this projects are: FedEx Institute of Technology DRONES Cluster, Herff College of Engineering, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), 901Drones and Express Drone Parts.

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