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Scientific RC planes?

Old 05-06-2015, 08:02 PM
  #26  
pizzano
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PFBruno......the input you have provided is very well stated and "hits the nail on the head" in many aspects related to creative reality.....particularly the number of disciplines and time that is involved with scientific projects.

"the goal of an engineer is to just barely make something work with minimal resources for the job."

To expand on the above, the engineering aspect is quite a bit more involved than that.

Typically, during the infant stages of project development, the goal(s) of an engineer are as follows:

To first Analyze.....break down the "pieces" or requirements, in an objective order to solve or answer questions related to the feasibility, functionality, constructability, sustainability, economics and transferability.

To Design......determine and dictate the functions (and materials) taken from various technical inputs and turning those into outputs; in a fashion that can be "simply" duplicated and operational with user interface........ Through a media like CAD or other visual aids in order to provide a "modeling" aspect to physically work with.

To Provide and Distribute Developmental Attributes and Resources..........during the "design" process, ongoing checks and balances are employed to insure the aspects of those requirements stated during the "Analyze" stage are being adhered to. It is an important function that often gets pushed aside until something during the design stage slows the project down dramatically.........more than "one set of eyes" should be monitoring the development through the entire process.

I come by this knowledge through many years of hands-on "engineering" development and research related to concept implementation of bridge, highway, flood control and urban planning projects.......the principals mentioned above can be and are used in almost every "engineering" discipline on the planet......... We can thank the Aerospace and Automobile manufacturing industries for refining and implementing those procedures in all aspects of project development.........!

Last edited by pizzano; 05-06-2015 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:15 PM
  #27  
fhhuber
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Good engineers put in a safety factor.

If you don't (or you forget some factor) you end up with...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xox9BVSu7Ok
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:16 PM
  #28  
theapplepi3.14
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Originally Posted by PJBruno View Post
This is only my second post here, but as a reader I think constructive honesty is valued at WF. Please do not take this as personal criticism since these goals are common, and commonly missed.

The OP was part of a thread that contained my first post. My project is a long endurance automated powered glider. It was commissioned as a search and rescue drone for a maritime client. Since then it has turned into a modular aerial science platform. This hopefully inspired the OP to dig deeper into the science of flight.

Aerospace and maritime tech is very similar indeed and would be even more similar with less regulation. I write this site and encourage all sorts of entrepreneurs and inventors who want to build something for marine use. Most of my time is spent doing design/build on ROV and custom maritime instrument projects. In the past year we have transitioned to all types of robotics and automation.

I've been building machines and electronics since my early teens and have thirty years of experience in the lab, workshop, and field. Why do I tell you all this? To avoid common traps and pitfalls.

The advice on this thread regarding patents and int. prop. is accurate. You are kidding about a patent attorney working for shares, right? My last patent dealings were billed at $2200 USD/hr. The idea of patenting/copyrighting software is another no-go since last year's US Supreme Court decision, UK and EU are on the same path. Lesson; if you don't know all your current and pending industry regulations you will fail.

Another important lesson; there are no magic programs or machines that will make you an inventor. There are many expensive machines collecting dust since their owners don't have the knowledge to operate them or operate them poorly using just the basic functions.

I build all my own machine tools, so no technician is involved if something breaks or needs improvement. Nobody has an unlimited budget so I salvage what can be found cheap. Self-sufficiency is super important if you are on a small budget or a one-man show.

For field operations you need to be able to program in C since compiled high level languages will be too slow and clunky for any hardware other than a laptop. Remember; the goal of an engineer is to just barely make something work with minimal resources for the job.

Here is a starting point on what you need to learn to do basic "science" using an advanced electro-mechanical system. This is in addition to your scientific discipline.

My long endurance project had just over 3200 hours of development time as of April 1, 2015 and leveraged many of these skills.

Analog Electronics
Digital Electronics
mechanical engineering
electrical engineering
RF Design
CAD
CNC
CAM
G-Code
C, C+, C#
Structural Analysis Robot Simulation
Fluid Dynamics
Bio-mechanics
A Ton o' Physics
plastic forming
metal casting
manual machining
cast composites
woven composites
heat treating

All these skills come from years of fourteen hour days, and little other social time that wasn't business related.

When visitors were still allowed to visit my shop they were impressed with my DIY carbon loom and plasma cutter that can make a watch spring but don't understand this was all made with sweat and knowledge, not cash. So they think it's easy to get started and are frustrated that I don't have a step by step plan to be a successful inventor.

It's fun to dream about what could be but either commit to the work or don't. Inventing and entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, and judging from current and historic inventors it can't be done part time. Those overnight success stories never mention all the failures and second, third, and fourth tries.

There are some great outlets for citizen science, check those out. When you say publish, do you mean in a professional journal? In some fields it's difficult to get published even if you're a post-doc.

Do try a small project, just keep expectations realistic and related to your target user. Most of all work on what you know best. Good luck.
It is really great to get feedback from someone in your position! I know lawyers don't usually work for shares but I guess I thought they might make an exception if they thought my idea was good or because I'm a kid.

I was urged by a prof in aero/mechie to publish, and he said he would help. I was looking into a patient because my idea could be quite profitable for Boeing/Airbus/Gulfstream. Your feedback tells me a patient is not the best way to go though.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:07 PM
  #29  
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Definitely go for it. My post was essentially a disclaimer for those who don't understand what it takes to invent and develop an idea. A bit of a reality check.

Crowd sourcing your project or using a service like Patron is a good way to fund small ventures. Many people think they can buy their way to success and the inventing community is fairly sensitive to this viewpoint.

Publishing academically is required but don't forget the influence of a good ebook or tutorial. Make the project fun and informative, present it well and you will draw the kind of attention you want including job offers and investors.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:30 PM
  #30  
theapplepi3.14
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Originally Posted by PJBruno View Post
Definitely go for it. My post was essentially a disclaimer for those who don't understand what it takes to invent and develop an idea. A bit of a reality check.

Crowd sourcing your project or using a service like Patron is a good way to fund small ventures. Many people think they can buy their way to success and the inventing community is fairly sensitive to this viewpoint.

Publishing academically is required but don't forget the influence of a good ebook or tutorial. Make the project fun and informative, present it well and you will draw the kind of attention you want including job offers and investors.
Don't worry. I spent my fair share of 14+ hr days working on the project. Not a year's worth, but more than a couple days. The difference was I didn't take breaks except to go upstairs for 20-40min per day total to eat, and exercise so I got a full 14 hrs in! It took much less work than it should have though. Something like 200-500hrs.

I am going to present my system working on an RC plane because of the very reason you stated! As I said, the hard part for me is finding a lawyer!

What type of things do you invent? where did you get your education? It sounds like you have a very cool job!
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