Russian Startup Crowdfunds Drones-for-Schools Project

Image courtesy of COEX

A Russian startup is hoping a $30,00 crowdfunding campaign will advance drone education in the classroom.

Copter Express Technologies (COEX) recently created an Indiegogo campaign dubbed the COEX Clover Educational Drone Kit. The programmable quadcopter kit teaches students how to assemble drones from scratch using open-source software and basic components.

Company officials say more than 3,000 schoolchildren and other students have studied drone tech using Clover.

“Indiegogo was selected as an entry point to the international B2C market, to promote the updated version of COEX Clover for the study of flying robotics,” COEX Marketing Director Alexander Dubinin said of the campaign, which ends in November.

“The main goal is to assess the demand for our product and then spread to the Amazon and Alibaba portals.”

The crowdfunding campaign will end in November. As of Oct. 18, the project had been funded to just over $3,000 of the $30,000 goal.

The kit allows users to create customized drone-training courses and includes training materials for 72 and 144 academic hours, teaching materials for courses in aerial robotics and more than 100 hours of video on the practical assembly, calibration and operation of the drone.

“We are focusing on creating a solid flight controller companion as well as a Raspberry Pi computer ecosystem,” lead software developer Oleg Kalachev said.

In addition to drone-education programs, COEX also manufactures the Pelican line of industrial autonomous drones for “monitoring territories and delivering lightweight cargo” as well as automated UAV charge platforms.

The company’s Indiegogo page makes the case for educating students using the right drone solution for specific goals:

“One of the most important features to consider is the buildability of the drone. If you’re looking for a ready-to-fly drone, a modular quadcopter probably isn’t the best idea, just as a drone not meant to be deconstructed doesn’t serve its full purpose in a robotics classroom looking to investigate. By utilizing Clover – which can be taken apart, rebuilt, tuned and configured – you’re providing your students with a fully immersive educational experience. It’s these experiences that, down the road, translate to career interest opportunities.”

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