On Saturday, May 7 hundreds of community members filled the hangar as Vaughn hosted its first International Drone Day event.  The event allowed visitors, students and staff to build, design and test their own drones in specially designed flying nets in the college hangar. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Club coordinated the event in an effort to raise awareness and celebrate the flying devices.

Upon arrival, participants attended workshops, which were designed as introductory courses for people requiring more information about the aerial vehicles. The first workshop 3D Modeling of Quadcopters and Introduction to 3D Printing, required little or no prior knowledge of Computer-Aided Design (CAD).  Instead, the participants used Computer Aided Design (CAD) to format their own quadcopter by sketching pieces with their own level of difficulty.  The Arduino workshop was an introduction to automation, robotics and flight controllers where participants learned how to write sample codes to control various actuators and motors. The last workshop of the event taught the basics of building a personal drone.  In this workshop, the participants gained useful tips and principals about quadcopters, wire splicing and safety.

The event hosted a panel discussion facilitated by Management Department Chair Dr. Maxine Lubner, about the current and future state of UAV’s for recreational and commercial uses.  The panelist included the Honorable John Goglia, independent aviation safety expert and former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member, Loretta Alkalay, aviation attorney and former legal advisor to the Federal Aviation Administration, Steve Cohen president of Drone User Group, Adam Dershowitz Exponent Inc. managing engineer and Jimmy Oliveri, UAS pilot and cinematographer. The discussion covered legal updates for drone users, STEM education, the history and future of flying drones and commercial uses of drones in New York City.

After the panel discussion, all visitors were able to enjoy food, games and face painting at the Friends, Family and Alumni Day festival, which coincided with Drone Day.  A Vaughn tradition, the event allows alumni to catch up with old friends, and current students to enjoy a fun day with family before the end of the semester.