WorldSkills Russia, COEX, SUAI, and Nelson Mandela University have launched cross-training for students of Russian and South African universities

WorldSkills Russia continues to train foreign specialists in Future Skills. One of the new educational courses was a cross-training programme in Aerial Robotics. The course for university students was organized jointly by WorldSkills Russia, Copter Express (COEX), SUAI (State University of Aerospace Instrumentation), and Nelson Mandela University (South Africa). As part of the training, students study the structure and specifics of the flight of multicopters, the basic principles of aerial robotics, and also master programming in a simulator and on a real device. The course was taught by Svetlana Solomatnikova, International Expert in Aerial Robotics, Product Manager of Aerial Robotics at COEX; Nikolay Mayorov, Director of the Institute of Aerospace Instruments and Systems at SUAI; Damian Mooney, Autonomous Operations Group Coordinator, RPAS Consultant at Nelson Mandela University (South Africa); Oleg Kalachev, Leading Programmer-Developer at COEX.

“Technologies are being improved and the need for autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles is increasing every day. And there are not enough specialists who can not only use but also modernize existing solutions, as well as create new ones. Technologies do not develop by themselves, there is a team behind each technology. And the task of COEX, as a market participant, is to set the direction for development. Now one of the most common and at the same time poorly developed areas in the field of UAVs is ROS, PX4 technologies, and additional technologies from related fields that are being added to them such as computer vision, neural networks, high-precision sensors, and other means of data collection and processing. Due to such directions for development, the company helps the guys to unlock their potential and direct it towards the creation and improvement of technologies that most companies will use. This means that a specialist will be in demand at any stage of market development because he will be aware of the development technology and its adaptation to certain customer tasks,” said Svetlana Solomatnikova.

“The implementation of the university training course Aerial Robotics in online format allows us to combine our university laboratories in joint research, achieve the implementation of educational projects on Future Skills at a new level, accelerate joint project work. Lectures and practical classes reflect both modern advanced developments, hardware complexes of unmanned aircraft systems, and the solution of urgent tasks of autonomous piloting. This course allows us to prepare our students for real international industrial tasks,” said Nikolay Mayorov.

“The course material is divided into two main sections: the hardware of drone development and the software side of drone control. Nelson Mandela University has focused on the hardware systems of the drone with in-depth insight as to what types of drones are needed, how to determine what parts to put into the drone, how to connect all those parts together, and how to calibrate and tune the components to ensure that the drone is stable and controllable. With the online format, there will be some lectures that have a fair amount of theory in them. At the end of the 45-minute sessions, students were asked to answer a number of questions to test their knowledge,” said Damian Mooney about the course.

The international course is held for the first time for international students of higher educational institutions and is aimed at cross-training, exchange of international experience, and networking within the expert community.