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ASME Student Design Competition 2014

Hex-Copter at the 2014 SDC Regional ASME Competition

Name: ASME Regional Student Design Competition (SDC)
Held By: Drexel University's ASME Student Chapter
Location: Behrakis Hall, Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA
Date: April 25th to 26th, 2014
Placed: 3rd

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Design Competition (SDC) is held every year. Every September, ASME gives out rules for the SDC that will be held at every ASME regional conference (SPDC) around the United States the following spring. Each SDC has students create some type of mechanical system that will be able to complete a task or series of task that also meets requirements set by the SDC committee. The problem statement given by the SDC committee can be seen in the attacked file named "SPDC_SDC_PROBLEMSTATEMENT" at the bottom of this webpage.

Even though the purpose of the 2014 SDC competition was to create a lighter than air UAV that would be able to maneuver through a course, the rules were vague and more points were given to UAV's that could carry more weight, with only minimal points given to UAV's that were truly lighter than air. This competition turned into a weight lifting copter competition requiring motors able to produce a large amount of lift. Our team of originally 8 members came up with a design (shown in the image above) that was able to lift a maximum of 8.5kg at 80% thrust (above 80% thrust, the hex-copter would become unstable).

Our team competed at the ASME SPDC held at our own university, Drexel University, and placed 3rd at the competition.

I was on the motors and rotors and team, who decided on which motors and rotors to pick that would give the most lift, as well as all other electrical components needed. The motor/blade combination used was six 690kV Turnigy brushless motors, each with a 14" blade and a pitch of 4.5. These motors were meant only for high lift, and were inefficient in respect to power consumption vs. lift. Because of this, three 5,000 mA batteries were needed to be able to keep the hex-copter flying with a total payload (including the weight of the copter) of 8.5kg for 4 and a half minutes. 

I was also given the opportunity to assemble and test the entire hex-copter. I assembled the chassis, placed rubber between each fitting to make the accelerometer and gyroscope would only be minimally affected by the vibrations caused the by hex-copter, as well as assemble the electronics and programming the board to work with a remote control. Was not able to learn and be able to put any final tunings to the copter due to time constraints other than minor PID adjustments. 


Frederick Wachter,
Nov 2, 2014, 7:26 AM