A group of Year 12 students from UTC Plymouth took part in a Celebration & Assessment Day (CAD) run by EES (Engineering Education Scheme). It was the culmination of a six-month project with our partner businesses Babcock and the Royal Navy.

Over the last six months the students were set the real life task of designing and producing a vehicle that could be sent into a gas turbine uptake on board a ship to carry out structural inspections and send back a live video feed to the operator. It was a challenging task and at times very stressful (for me it was the whole six months!). The students learnt a lot from this project including project management, hitting set deadlines, working with other agencies and all the other aspects that go into a real life project like this.

The final design was based on a rocker boogie chassis that was remote controlled, ran off mains as well as battery. The live video feed was provided via FPV camera (First Person View) and the vehicle was able to climb the vertical uptake walls using 6 magnetic wheels which the students designed and cnc’d themselves.

On the CAD itself the students had to give a 15-minute presentation on their project to a panel of assessors (all from the engineering sector) and in which all students had to talk. They also had to produce a marketing stand where they were then further questioned about their project and all this after having submitted a 40-page report!

Unfortunately, a power spike went through the project and blew the ESC’s (Electronic Speed Controllers) and the FPV camera and unfortunately replacements didn’t arrive in time so the student did not have a working model to show off on the day. Undeterred and never disheartened the students showed great commitment and determination to carry on with the CAD when they could quite have easily given up, so credit for them there.

Throughout the whole project the students acquitted themselves really well showed the complete ethos of UTC Plymouth and although they did not win overall they can take great pride in what they achieved.

Jason Parkes.