Children attending Taking Flight Camp learn to build, fly drones

Campers create websites, log, upload content every day

SAN ANTONIO – Children attending the Taking Flight Camp at Northeast Lakeview College are learning to build and fly drones.

At the camp, campers create websites to log and upload content in every day to track their progress.

“They are going to see how these motors are being connected to flight controller. They will learn the skill of soldering,” said John Munoz, a robotics instructor.

Cameron Chueca, a camper, said he has always been interested in robotics. He said his passion began with his father.

“I grew up with … always having robots around, and I just grew into the fascination of how cool it is to build something like this and make it do certain jobs,” Chueca said.

Chueca’s father is in the Army, and Chueca hopes to have a career in the same field.

“Make it safe for the military. Less casualties,” Chueca said.

Unmanned aerial vehicles commonly known as drones have been around for many years. Early on, the military began using them and now they are being used to take pictures, deliver packages and several businesses are turning to them for support.

The company Surveying and Aerial Mapping is using an unmanned aerial system to inspect distribution lines.

“Today we are actually doing a thermal and visual inspection of the distribution poles and conductors for New Braunfels Utilities,” said Brandon Rench, a project manager for the company.

Chief pilot Stefan White has been flying drones for about five years and believes this is the direction many industries are moving to.

“It’s not replacing people, but just using it as a tool for various industries,” White said.

Regardless whether children or adults are learning about robotics and drones for a career in the military or engineering, White said the skills they learn are priceless.

“There is so much behind drones. Flying is one part. It’s technology that is advancing the drones. It’s computer engineering. It’s computer science,” White said.

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