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Ahadrone Kit Cardboard Drone by Srinivasulu Reddy

Home > Winners > Design #80654 >Interview
Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Srinivasulu Reddy (SG) for A' Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Srinivasulu Reddy by clicking here. Access more information about the award winning design ahaDRONE Kit here.



Interview with Srinivasulu Reddy at Monday 8th of April 2019

FS: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SG: It happens many times that we buy a product and right when we switch it on, we realise that the button is a little too small or too big or some other feature is not serving the intended purpose, this happens inspite of having the most empathetic team of designers put their thoughtful selves into the development. I firmly believe that design and development of a product is an ongoing process, it’s never really done until the product itself is put out of use. The idea of keeping a product open for development even after it is in the hands of the enduser is what motivated us to take up pursue this project.

FS: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SG: By keeping the the engineering work and the intellectual properties as open sources, we wanted to allow the end users to extrapolated the work we have done.

FS: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
SG: We want to continue develop ahaDRONE along with user engagement to enhance user's experience at many levels.

FS: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
SG: It took us well over a year to reach to this point.

FS: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SG: In our effort to keep our drone development costs to the minimum we started exploring the use of corrugated boards to build airframes of quadcopters, we realised that by reengineering the corrugation process we must be able to get a corrugated board suitable for aerospace applications, we needed to justify the cost of engineering, that is when we considered productising our work in the form of a do-it-yourself drone kit.

FS: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
SG: We intend to manufacture ahaDRONE kits ourselves.

FS: What made you design this particular type of work?
SG: The very idea of making a functional drone using cardboard was fascinating, and we also realised that it is an easier medium than EPP or plastic for the end user to make modifications. After several brainstorming sessions we came to a conclusion that a kit is the most effective way to reach to our targeted market.

FS: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
SG: It is only through collaborations with established designers that we were able to realise the product, other than the actively collaborating teams and the influence of quantitative data I cannot recollect any major external influences.

FS: Who is the target customer for his design?
SG: Our target customers include Educational Institutes, Recreational drones users and the members of DIY community.

FS: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SG: EPP, Plastic, aluminium and carbon fibre are the mainstream material used to construct quadcopter, however we came across few drone projects made using alternative material such as foam, wood and cardboard, these were more of a DIY projects than finished products.

FS: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SG: Earlier to this project we were working to build an ecosystem of opensource gadgets based on cardboard, 3D printed and electronic components for which we had been considering the name “ahaTHINGS”, it struck us positively to use the prefix “aha” and add it to “DRONE”, call it “ahaDRONE”, everyone agreed and we are using it.

FS: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
SG: PTC Creo, Rhino 3D, KiCAD EDA Tool and Arduino Studio

FS: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SG: Making a drone using a corrugated board, one that functions as well as a copter built using a plastic airframe is the most unique aspect of our design.

FS: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
SG: Besides our diverse in-house engineering team which includes domain experts in CAD, electronics, software and avionics we closely worked with Guru at Guru Artz, who helped us modelling and Himanshu Gupta at NR Containers who helped us getting the kind of corrugated medium we were looking for, several other individuals provided valuable inputs and feedback at important times, we are thankful for all of them.

FS: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
SG: Besides engineering the corrugated board, ahaDRONE development involved developing the flight controller hardware, integrating the opensource autopilot software and designing the airframe using CAD/CAE tools.

FS: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
SG: ahaDRONE begin a flying machine, required a sufficient amount of quantitive analysis while developing the corrugated medium and the airframe. Developing and calibrating the autopilot required a fair amount of research.

FS: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
SG: Since we had to assess the efficacy of existing corrugated process, which itself was well established with a legacy of over a 100 years, we had challenges in many stages, such as experimenting with different types of paper, glue or processes, we could overcome these challenges with the help of our corrugation partners, who allowed us to experiment with their machines.

FS: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
SG: We received lot of appreciation for ahaDRONE, thought of submitting to both national and international competitions, a little bit of recognition will boost the moral of all the teams that contributed to towards the project.

FS: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
SG: We were convinced that we could build a cardboard drone, off the shelf corrugated board didn’t meet our requirements very well, so we went on to engineer the process of making corrugated boards to suit our application, now that we have built a fully functional cardboard drone, we realised that being persistent helped us get here.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A' Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.

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