Risk

Several risks have presented themselves throughout the class. The chart below tabulates some of the risks we have foreseen during the course of this project.

Risk Risk level Actions
Drone Flight Medium to High Avoid contact with people and property. Fly in areas away from obstacles (open fields)
Drone Take-off/ Landing Medium Select take off/landing area with open space and little to no obstacles
Lithium-polymer battery High Follow safety protocols for charging, use, and disposal.
Dropping pizza Low Verify fiducials as proper drop zone (no obstacles below).
Drone crashes causing missing project deadlines Medium Prepare with additional parts, avoid major crashes

With flight, there is always the risk of crashing. We consider this to be one of our highest risks. If we do crash, the drone would definitely need replacement parts and at the worst, the entire drone would need to be replaced. We know this risk is real because we have crashed our drone.  This has disrupted our schedule as we had planned on having our drone flying successfully before the semester ended. With this set back, we are now back to ordering parts for our drone. Something we’ve discovered is the PCB board of the drone, which was broken during the crash, is not an easily ordered part as it is not sold separately. We are still in talks with the manufacturer to see if we can replace this piece. Another consideration we are looking into is ordering a completely different kit, one which will have replaceable parts for all pieces of the drone. While this would help us get back on track should a crash occur again, this does not actually reduce the risk of crashing. To reduce this risk, we plan for all future flying to be done in areas with minimal infrastructure and populace.

Another high risk associated with our project is the lipo battery that powers our drone. lipo batteries, if damaged, can explode. An explosion would definitely cause damage to our drone and would set our project back as we ordered replacements and dealt with the consequence of the explosion. However, an explosion is not likely to happen immediately after damage is sustained by the battery. If the case of the battery is punctured in any way, like it was when we crashed our drone, the proper way to handle the battery to prevent an explosion is to discharge the battery and then submerge the battery in a plastic container of salt water. We followed this procedure after we determined our battery had sustained damage and this is the plan we will follow if this should happen in the future.

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