Making Drones Workshop

Year: 2015
Client: Goldsmiths, University of London
Collaborators: Superflux

A series of mini drone building workshops, speculating on what the function of a future drone will be. This tied in with the themes of the larger Drone Aviary project by Superflux.

dronecover

This series of workshops ran twice, with current Goldsmiths, University of London students as part of the Goldsmiths Design Festival. Then for the National Art & Design Saturday Club with teenagers from South East London.

dronemaking

Part one of the workshop got students to plan out what they would use a future drone for. We got a wide range of drawings and functions back, from a firefighting drone, to a drone that sensed other drones around it. At this stage we let the students imaginations go wild so that they were not limited by any ideas.

Next we introduced the students to the kits they would be building the drones from. The kit consisted of salvaged flight controllers and motors from the hubsan x4 drone. Small arduino boards with various sensors to choose from. And laser cut frames, to mount everything onto as well as prototyping materials. Students choose one aspect from their planned designs, and we built these. Soldering and programming the drones on the day. This process was later streamlined for the Saturday Club workshop, with two functions on offer (one exploring sound the other exploring light). This version of the kit came pre soldered and was plug and play.

droneflying

Part two of the workshop focused on controlling and flying the drones which we did outdoors. The students learnt a bit about aerodynamics, as well as some of the limitations of flight such as weight.

The goal of the workshops was to get the students to take a hands on approach to the technology. Which could lead onto making bigger or more complex drones. But to also realise the critically that comes with any new technology. That adding a few sensors diverts the narrative of a drone from a toy to something more pervasive.

Making Drones Workshop

Year:
2015

Client:
Goldsmiths, University of London

Collaborators:
Superflux