Better Place Drones

2023 ~ Present | Cobra Aero


The drone industry has grown to the point where larger, more robust applications are feasible. These applications include firefighting, planting seedlings to fight deforestation, and supplying first aid to areas that lack the infrastructure to support conventional aircraft. This VIP project fills this gap by creating a universal hybrid drone platform for students to use as a base for further innovation in the heavy-lift or extended range drone space. No prior drone experience is needed to apply. Anyone with a background in Engineering or CS and an interest in drones will fit right in.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Future applications of this work include:

  1. First Responders and Search and Rescue
  2. Agriculture
  3. Firefighting
  4. Construction and Heavy-Lift

These platforms, intended to be universally accessible, would provide students with a base on which to build custom software or hardware which could also have commercialization opportunities. It can be thought of as a physical analog to Apple’s App Store, with a common payload interface for a wide range of student-designed payloads. The long-term goal is that the universality of the platforms be adopted in industry to further support drone development progress.

Methods and Technologies

  • Design
  • Prototyping
  • Analysis
  • Optimization
  • Entrepreneurship

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputer Science
  • EngineeringAerospace Engineering
  • EngineeringElectrical Engineering
  • EngineeringMaterials Science and Engineering
  • EngineeringMechanical Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

AE - aerodynamics, controls, structures. ME - mechanical design, prototyping, power systems, structures, robotics. MSE - composites, robotics. ECE - electrical engineering, circuits, software and hardware integration. CS- flight route optimization, app design, ground station software. All majors with interest in drones are welcome.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
MRDC 4211
Meeting Day 

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

Cobra Aero