CFO Donates Discontinued Drones

Katy Ly, Editor in Chief

20 quadcopter drones were donated to Campolindo and more were offered to the rest of the school district in mid December, according to principal’s administrative assistant Carolyn Daughton.

“[An] individual in the community contacted all the schools and asked who’d be interested in having some drones donated. I replied back, ‘Yes, of course we’d love to have some.’ And he donated quite a few to us. Which is amazing,” said vice principal John Drury.

According to Drury, Las Lomas received drones as well.

“Not sure about Miramonte and Acalanes, but I’d assume they’d want some too,” Drury said.

The drones, made by Berkeley-based company 3D Robotics Inc. (3DR,) are a discontinued model called IRS+. The drone donor, Andrew Jensen, is CFO of the company.

Most of the drones provided to Campolindo have been forwarded to the Robotics Club.

“Not all the drones were in working condition, and some were kind of damaged but might be able to be fixed, and some were okay,” Drury added. “It’s kind of one of those things where maybe they could learn how to put them together, learn about the components.”

Robotics club president senior Stone Mao said that the club will be repairing broken parts, including propellers, on some of the damaged drones. “We’re thinking to either 3D print them ourselves or buy new parts online,” he said. Mao added that the club may use the drones for filming a promotional Robotics video or for a shipping container project.

“We’re growing plants inside [the containers.] I think we will be using the drones to harvest the plants and everything, so that’s part of the plan, but we haven’t really decided if we’re going to use drones or not,” said Mao. “We were thinking that [the drone] would fly to each plant and we attach a robot onto the drone and we could allow it to fly to different places and allow the robot to harvest food or water, let’s say.”

Some drones were also provided to the video tech courses. Video production teacher Justin Seligman said that the classes will use the drones for a variety of purposes. “I’m mounting [a drone] up with a GoPro to see if we can get some aerial footage with it. Eventually it could be used for sporting events. You could use it for streaming sports videos, like snowboarding.”

Though Jensen’s reason for donating wasn’t specified, Seligman said that he thinks it was for a tax write off, as “schools are non-profits, so when you donate stuff to a school, it’s a tax write off.”

“I don’t know why he owned so many of them,” Seligman added. “It’s kind of exciting to see what they get used for.”