WASP AVIATION

Team Dart took on the challenge of finding a way to make an incredibly dangerous process safer. After learning that darting large mammals for veterinary and research purposes is currently a leading cause of death for field biologists, the team aimed to simplify the practice however possible. As a jumping-off point, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) had a prototype of a darting drone that can take the place of the scientists who up until the present have had to hang out of helicopters to accurately aim and hit the animals they’re trying to help. SCBI was still having a lot of trouble hitting moving targets and sought the team’s help in improving accuracy, cost, and safety. With the foundation of varying backgrounds, the students of Team Dart collaborated in finding a drone-related solution to these daunting obstacles.

Meet the Team

Danny Oeland

Danny Oeland

Junior, Industrial Design

Brian Willis

Brian Willis

Junior, Biology

Scotty Matthewman

Scotty Matthewman

Junior, Industrial Design

Dennis McClure

Dennis McClure

Junior, Physics

Michael Dalisera

Michael Dalisera

Senior, Physics

Kelsie LaPore

Kelsie LaPore

Junior, WRTC

The Process

The Impact

  • Instead of renting a $900/hour helicopter, Team Dart proposes the use of small drones dubbed “wasps” that will serve as the mode of darting.
  • The majority of field biologist deaths are caused by the darting process as it’s currently executed; the team is working toward eliminating the danger element altogether.
  • With the use of a drone instead of a helicopter, biologist, and dart gun combination, the practice of safely darting large mammals will be much easier to carry out.

%

of field biologist deaths

%

cheaper than current prototypes

YOU CAN HELP!

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