UNR Starts Minor Degree Program in Drone Technology - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

UNR Starts Minor Degree Program in Drone Technology

UNR Starts Minor Degree Program in Drone Technology

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In the basement of an engineering and mathematics building at the University of Nevada, experts in drone technology are hatching a program they hope will fit well into what some see of the future of this area.

"There are unlimited ways this can be used," says Kam Leang, an associate professor at UNR.

And in the background his students are testing the latest in autonomous systems in a net cage built just for this technology. One is the size of a Frisbee with four small helicopter propellers on it, the other is the size of a small saucer.

"We have them stabilized," Leang says. "And we are working on sensors to keep them from bumping into things like the sides of buildings or other barriers. We're really going for refining these systems for flying indoors. We could be the leaders in that technology," he says.

And the university is right there with him. Manos Maragakis is the Dean of the College of Engineering.

"We have been working on this for a year now, setting up the Unmanned Autonomous Systems program to offer a minor in this technology. We would have gone on with it anyway because it will be valuable in the future. But getting the FAA designation as a testing site for the drones really is helping us. We are offering programs that make up a minor in it now. And if all works out well, I can see that we could eventually be able to offer a major in it. And we are looking ahead to see what we need for a program like that."

For now they have 25 students interested and enrolled in the program that is just beginning this semester. And it's only a minor, at this point. But they do have high-flying hopes to see it expanded in the future.

Written by Erin Breen

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