Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP)

Research mentor: Dr. Dan Dolan, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Lab Overview: CAMP provides students with opportunities for experiential learning on co-curricular multidisciplinary engineering design project teams. Many of the teams conceive, design, implement, and operate vehicles for regional, national, or international competitions. Some work on industrial projects and service learning projects. While application of engineering principles is a key objective of CAMP, the principal objective is to develop maturity in students as measured by reflective judgment and design thinking. Values such as respect, trust, deep understanding, responsibility, and well-being are addressed and assessed. The projects thus address integrated education; student development takes place simultaneously with the discipline learning.

SD-RET research project: This project involves unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research and development. The lab is presently working on four projects on this topic; power line monitoring, livestock monitoring, sensors for military applications, and the student competition team project. All of these projects involve sustainability, at least indirectly. We are trying to find ways to use small UAVs to replace larger machines for the stated tasks. The object being to replace units using tens to hundreds of kilowatts with units using less than 1% of that power to accomplish a stated task.

The SD-RET RAs will:

  • gain an understanding of the physics of flight, power systems, sensors, flight controls, and autonomous flight
  • learn how to address the routine aspects of UAVs today; such as selection, setup, and flight. They will also learn about computer vision and advanced sensors. The research will involve use of vision and sensors for operation in cluttered environments.
  • design, construct, and test a UAV system for a particular task.
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South Dakota School
of Mines & Technology

Department of Mechanical