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Homepage / Working with Cranfield students to build cargo drones – an industry partner perspective

Working with Cranfield students to build cargo drones – an industry partner perspective


Our early stage company, Flugauto Inc, is designing advanced unmanned aerial systems for cargo delivery and is teaming up with Cranfield Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics and Control MSc students to work on propulsion and unmanned vehicle control topics.

We are designing and building drones specifically for cargo use cases (for example, delivering small packages) and our drone design is tailored to the requirements of the logistics industry. Some of the differentiators are around reliability, ruggedness and dependability. Our unique vehicle architecture allows precision control and enhanced maneuverability especially in challenging environmental conditions.

The projects we undertake with the students at Cranfield cover the areas of propulsion and control systems. The propulsion project is aimed at better understanding our propulsion systems to maximise vehicle thrust end energy efficiency and the control systems project looks into adaptations of control laws to exhaust the possibilities of our vehicle architecture.

The topics were initially provided by us to Cranfield earlier in the academic year to present to students to choose from as we are sitting on Cranfield’s Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics and Control MSc Advisory Board. These topics are of interest to us but are also of academic relevance. We typically provide a problem statement and preliminary outline on deliverables and approach.

The students need to complete a project over several months as part of their coursework and chose a particular topic of interest relevant to their work. Supervised by Cranfield academics, they are then in touch with James, our CTO, and myself throughout the project to obtain support in their research and access to necessary resources or information.

The projects for this current academic year kicked off in March and joint sessions with the students, Cranfield academics and our engineers have already been conducted.

The deadline for thesis submission is in the summer and we are hoping to provide some of our hardware for experimental testing of the work done by the students.

Overall, this is a fantastic opportunity for us to access world class resources and knowledge while giving students the opportunity to work with our team on real world engineering problems and leading-edge technology. I am a Cranfield graduate myself and very much look forward to working on these projects with the Cranfield team.

Frank Noppel

Written By: Cranfield University

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