Students Build 3D Printed Search and Rescue Device for LA County Fire Department

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A pair of students at Palos Verdes on the Net have designed a 3D printed search and rescue attachment made to work with a quadcopter they’ll deliver to the Los Angeles County Fire Department in June 2015.  The claw-like device  is very much like toy-dispenser machines, but this one is no toy.

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Students Raul Castrellon and Lawrence Goo came up with a design which suited a search and rescue application, and it needed to be capable of carrying necessary tools or supplies to anyone in need of emergency services.

Castrellon, the president of the robotics team at Palos Verdes High School, and Goo, a student at Peninsula High School, used their skills to design the various parts the device would need.

The project received support from the LA County Fire Chief, and the student team also received sponsorship from MatterHackers and Airwolf 3D.

The students were mentored by aerospace and electronics engineer Ted Vegvari, the president and executive director of PVNet, but the team will need additional funding to refine their design.

“This is not cheap,” Vegvari says.  “We’d like to raise about $8,000 by February to complete the project and present it to the LA County Fire Department in June.”

Thomas Ewald, the Assistant Interim Chief for the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, says the UAV device needs to be rugged and reliable, simple to use, and easy to integrate into fire department operations for it to be a success, and he’s more than willing to take part in the project.

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Raul Castrellon, right, with the UAV project drone.

“I look forward to working with the students in the months ahead to give them feedback as they move forward. Innovations such as this have the potential to save lives and reduce property loss,” Ewald says.

Vegvari says he hopes this project will act as a springboard for students to come up with many other uses for 3D printing.

“Even if they don’t use this actual model, we are designing it with the hope that it will be good enough to be used for what it’s intended to do,” Vegvari says. “We want to create something to build on – something which will gain momentum for other kids to pursue. We want to build awareness that youth can contribute and get involved with community emergency operations.”

You can find more information about the Youth Design and 3D Print Search and Rescue UAV, or donate sponsorship funds to complete the device and lend the students a hand by contacting Ted Vegvari at www.pvnet.com.

Do you think student projects like this will help the US catch up in STEM education and inspire more kids to discover 3D printing technology? Discuss in the Search and Rescue Device forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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