GUBotDev brings blueprints to life


The GUBotDev Club is an integrated club of students and staff from Gannon University and Penn State Behrend and is dedicated to designing, building and testing unmanned aircraft.
Being a member provides great experience to engineering students and is extremely fun and exciting for students as they get to watch their designs become a reality in the form of a finished product.
Benjamin Pegg, a junior mechanical engineering student at Gannon, joined during his sophomore year after being introduced to it by other members.
“I joined the club because I find unmanned aerial systems interesting and I like working on projects, especially involving designing a product,” Pegg said.
The club has participated in many opportunities in the past year. Last fall, a team from the club entered the Erie Technology Incubator Accelerator Program and placed within the top four teams of the competition.
The GUBotDev club also had a display at Erie TechFest, which was held in the Bayfront Convention Center in December, and participated in an event at the JFK Center in the spring that was geared toward getting young children excited about STEM.
In order to further their continued participation and active involvement, the club recently put up a display on AJ’s Way.
Junior mechanical engineering student Alfred Beckstrom added that it “was [a way] to advertise to everyone and to get more students interested.”
In order to pique student interest, Beckstrom said that they brought out their 10-foot 3D printer that is used in the production of many of the club’s aircraft. They also put on display many of the quadcopters that the club has built.
Currently, the club is working on many projects and continues to develop and expand the ways in which their aircraft are designed and built. Part of the process involves choosing materials that are lightweight, allowing for speed, while also remaining strong to endure the countless crash tests that are bound to occur.
The in-depth research, as well as the teamwork involved, has really provided great opportunities and experience for the student members. Beckstrom and Pegg both relayed their continued interest in the club and how the club has helped them on their career paths.
“This club puts the hands-on leaning into school,” Backstrom said.
He also expressed his excitement about getting to actually design and build something as opposed to simply learning how to do so in the classroom.
“The type of project we are currently involved in has helped us see how we need to set up and plan a project, design a prototype, make parts lists and estimate a manufacturing price for a unit,” Pegg said.
“It has also given me [insight] into working with other engineers to collaborate our ideas to decide on the best method to accomplish the task at hand, and adapt our ideas combining the best capabilities that we each thought of.”
Pegg added that he, Beckstrom and Brenon Joseph, another student in the club, are working on “a solar powered drone with autonomous capabilities and a rotating wing to gain the maximum efficiency.”
The GUBotDev club offers an amazing opportunity for students pursuing a career in engineering, as well as those students who simply want to pursue a hobby of building and flying remote control aircraft.
Due to the club’s involvement in various events and organizations around Erie, it also allows students to see their work being recognized and admired by the community around them as well as provides a great opportunity to network with others in the technology industry.
The club is always open to new members as it constantly looks to grow.
Pegg said he hopes that the club will continue to expand and reach out to even more students.
“I think that, as our projects get more publicity, we have an opportunity to grow beyond our current size and involve more people in many different types of projects, from design, to software, to [manufacturing],” Pegg said.

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