This module will be first offered in the 2018/19 academic year.
Laboratory exercises are provided to familiarise the students with particular components, which they may elect to use in the main part of the module, namely the group design exercise. The students will work in teams to design, build and test an autonomous or remote controlled drone, which is capable of completing particular manoeuvrability or tracking tasks. The module aims to give the students an opportunity to to try out their ideas or concepts and learn from them in a benign environment.
Conventional laboratory experiments are useful mainly to assist understanding or analysis. Because they are of necessity stereotyped, they are of limited usefulness when a circuit or system must be designed to meet a given specification. The majority of engineering tasks fall into this latter category, and therefore require design or synthesis skills, in addition to the understanding of underlying engineering principles. This is additional to the analysis skills emphasized in the course so far.
This module includes a group design exercise that has been devised to provide a bridge between 'conventional' experiments and the project work in the third and fourth years, (which in turn provide a bridge to 'real' projects in industry). The exercise has real deadlines and concrete deliverables and students are encouraged to be creative, develop imaginative solutions and to make mistakes.