Embry-Riddle’s Autonomous Eagles Flight Team

Auto Eagles

The Autonomous Eagles is a newly-formed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flight team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  The main concept behind the group was to form a professional grade aerial team that would be able to perform and compete at conferences and competitions.

First developed back in September of last year, the small but talented group consists of leader Andrew Grant and members Sean Gaffney, Riley Griffin, Bjorn Vasenden, and Glenn Borland.

Despite being a relatively new team, the Autonomous Eagles have made great strides in achieving their set goals; one month after their formation, the team performed at ERAU’s own OctoberWest. Moving forward to this year, the team held an aerial robotics demonstration at Air Conference in January that caught the attention of local Phoenix, Ariz. news stations.

Having several areas of specialty, the group focused their abilities on designing, building, and testing multiple types of aircrafts, including but not limited to tricopters, quadcopters, hexacopters, and general fixed-wing systems. With each of the team’s five team members having had previous experience with creating and flying UAV and UAS crafts, the group is able to produce a wide variety of crafts that contribute to the group’s overall success.

When asked how the group gained so much progress and acknowledgement so quickly, leader Grant attributed the success to the group’s hardworking dynamic, “When looking for people to be on this team, I was trying to find people who not only brought unique skills to the group, but also have A-plus personalities, are willing to learn and work hard, and have a sense of humility.” He also noted that the team is based upon the honesty and integrity of its members.

In regards to the large amount of recognition the team received, Grant remarked that, “It just got really big, really fast.” As a result of the events the group have already performed at and the team’s own resourcing, they have acquired the attention of outside sponsors that help pay for the many parts the team purchased for their equipment.

Looking towards the future, the team has several large-scale projects in the works, including possible collaboration with other campus clubs and teams. With the majority of the Autonomous Eagles being freshmen, the team looks to expand their own horizons with building more efficient and grander crafts along with honing in on and improving their own skills and experience. 

Photo: Navneet Singh

Source: Embry Riddle

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