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    In the Comments Below: Let Us Know Your Drone Project Ideas!   Use the Hardware of Your Choice! 


    As a Bonus: We Will Be Sending Out a Limited Number of MKR 1300 WAN Boards for Project Proposals that Use Them!


    "We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us.  Resistance is futile."  - The Borg Collective



    Arduino is celebrating its 16th Birthday on March 27th, 2021!  We will be celebrate by having a a workshop will present his Arduino Day project from last year,  The Nanodrone and its evolution to its present form, the NanoDrone II. Visit the workshop to learn how you can win a pair of MKR 1300 boards and more!  You can also submit your proposals for Arduino Projects for Arduino Day for a chance to win a limited number of Arduino boards!

    Project14 will celebrate its 4th Birthday with an Attack of the Drones Project Competition that begins the day before Arduino Day!  You are free to use whatever electronics components you choose! Attack of the Drones is an homage to Sci Fi and its influence on drone technology.  Your project can feature any kind of drone such as a UAV drone. a droid, a robot with wheels, a Cylon Hunter, a Borg,  or a humanoid.  You'll get a chance to apply what you learnt to a finished project for a prize.There will be activity planned around May the Fourth, Revenge of Sixth,  and Borg Day (Borg introduced in Star Trek on May 8th, 1989). The competition will close on Geek Pride Day on May 25th 2021. It is also the 44th Anniversary of the release of the first Start Wars movie (May 25th, 1977)!  We will have a winners announcement on June 5th, Hot Air Balloon Day to celebrate the anniversary of the first public demonstration of a UAV!




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    The Theme


    The Attack of the Drones competition is an homage to Sci-Fi and its influence on drone technology, this year's Arduino Birthday contest, and a celebration of the 4th Birthday of Project14 contest.   Your project can be a UAV (unmanned arial vehicle) drone such as a multi-rotor or a fixed-wing drone, an FPV (first-person view) drone, a UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) drone, a UUV (unmanned underwater vehicle) drone, or a Sci-Fi inspired drone such as a Star Wars droid or a Star Trek Borg.  This contest launches on Arduino Day and will kick off with Arduino Day Workshop: NanoDrone II: AI and Computer Vision with LoRa (Win a PSoC6 and a Pair of MKR 1300 Boards!)where balearicdynamics and jancumps will present NanoDrone II, a device that can be easily installed on a semi-autonomous UAV to cover large areas of terrain, as well as installed on a ground robotized device.  NanoDrone II is the evolution of last year's Arduino Day Project, The Nanodrone.  The idea for the project is to make a relatively low-cost system to monitor plants and cultivation areas to detect the grown state as well as potential parasite and damaged plants. Also, making an appearance will be Seven of Nine.  This contest coincides with and celebrates May the Fourth (4th of May), Revenge of the Sixth (6th of May), and the first of appearance of the Borg on Star Trek (May, 8th 1991).  It closes on Geek Pride Day, a date the holds significance to followers of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Towel Day) and Star Wars (the release of A New Hope on May 25th, 1977).  The winners announcement will be on June 5th which is National Hot Air Balloon Day, in honor of what many consider to be the precursor to the drone for its use in first the unmanned flight.


    The first public demonstration of a UAV was a hot air balloon launched in Southern France on June 4th, 1787 by the Montgolfier brothers, the balloon was too small to carry to people, and it quickly captured people's imagination, although how they would be used remained unclear.  In the 1930s, following WWI, radio-controlled planes began being used as wireless radio-controlled pilotless areal targets by first the British and the US.  The term "drone" is said to have originated from a British Radio Controlled arial target known as the “Queen Bee”and term "drone" stuck to describe unmanned air-craft, particularly if they were radio-controlled.


    Denny was a British born actor who appeared in nearly 200 films to his credit, and an amateur British boxing champion.  His film career was interrupted during WWI when he served in the Royal Flying Corps as an observer/air gunner in Bristol F.2B Fighters with a home defense night fighter squadron. He was injured during a nighttime interception training mission from an apparent anti-aircraft friendly fire.   He recovered in time to complete his pilot training, but not in time to see any aerial combat before the war ended. After WWI, Denny resumed his acting career in Hollywood, landing roles in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Around the World in 80 days, a couple of episodes in the campy Batman TV show and also the movie, and Frank Sinatra's crime caper Assault on the Queen.  While his acting career progressed he developed an interest in radio controlled airplanes. He opened a hobby store, where he sold radio controlled model air planes known as "Dennyplanes" along with their signature model engine "Dennymite", designed and built by engineer Walter Righter, whose engine was selected by Denny for its consistent reliability.  Righter designed and built 10 prototypes for Denny, and was chosen after running them flat-out for 50 hours.  The original model store became e a chain known as the Reginald Denny Hobby Shop, and exists today as California Hobby Distributors.  Perhaps informed by his experience in World War I, Denny saw the potential for radio-controlled planes use as arial military targets.  He established the "Radioplane Company" to develop radio-controlled airplanes for use by the military as aerial targets. In 1936 Denny and financier Paul Whittier established the Radioplane Company, whose mission was to develop radio-controlled airplanes for use by the military as aerial targets.  Once again Denny partnered with Wrighter who again built the engines for prototype that sufficiently impressed the US Army.  By 1940, Radioplane Company manufactured nearly 15,000 drones for the US during WWI.   Walter Righter designed and built all of the engines used in the Radioplane target drones.


    In the eras following the World Wars, drones would subsequently be used militarily as decoy targets, for reconnaissance in secret Soviet programs and in Vietnam, and for offensive operations in the post cold war era. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, drones were used for disaster recovery as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a certificate of authorization which will allow the M/RQ-1 and M/RQ-9 aircraft to be used within U.S. civilian airspace to search for survivors of disasters.  You can read a Not So Short History of Drones to take a look at some notable dates in the evolution of Drones such as the first radio controlled boat by Nicolas Tesla, the first areal photographs and also the first UAV with a camera, its extensive military usage, the origin of FPV flight, UAVs for scouting and surveillance, how the devastation of Hurricane Katrina fast tracked UAVs to fly in civilian airspace for search & rescue and disaster relief operations, and finally how the pandemic of 2020 forced the world to re-imagine the potential uses that drones hold for society.


    Now, drone technology is being deployed to film movies in Hollywood, arial photography, emergency response, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, the use of autonomous drone systems to follow endangered species and transmit information about their well-being back to researchers, disease control and prevention including from animals to humans, delivering medical supplies in rural regions that lack access to health care, reducing costs and expanding yields for farmers, forecasting the weather, unmanned navigation of vessels in oceans and ports, mining, construction planning, infrastructure development, to help city planners determine which areas may benefit from green space, inspecting ships and airplanes, to take video of accident scenes to determine insurance claims, personal transportation, retail delivery, news coverage, gaming, the search for extra terrestrial life in space, and to provide comprehensive surveillance of commercial and residential properties.  It's even possible to move drones using just your mind.  Brain Drone Racing "allows people with disabilities, people in a wheelchair, people with upper limb differences, and those considered healthy to compete in the same race. Also, all genders are able to compete in the same sport. This sport also integrates virtual reality, drones, and neurotechnologies."


    The use of drone technology is something that's been explored heavily in Sci-Fi, long before drones took over the world we live in.  For example, in Back to the Future II (1989), a USA Today-branded drone covers of hooligan's in a late 80s imagining of what 2015 would look like.  The movie also features dogs being walked by, you guessed it, autonomous drones.  While its difficult to predict how drones will be used in the next 10-15 years,  Sci-Fi has already done a great job predicting capabilities we wouldn't have otherwise imagined.  We can also turn to Star Wars and Star Trek for helping us to imagine the drone reality we live in now.


    Key Dates:


    Project14 Birthday Special: Attack of the Drones (4th Anniversary of Project14)26th March 2021
    Arduino Projects for Arduino Day 2021(16th Anniversary of Anniversary of Arduino)27th March 2021
    Arduino Day Workshop:  NanoDrone II: AI and Computer Vision with Arduino LoRa27th March 2021
    Star Wars Day Poll (May the Fourth):4th May 2021
    Borg Day (31st Anniversary of the Borg on Star Trek) 8th May 2021
    Attack of the Drones Closes on Geek Pride Day  (44th Anniversary of Star Wars):25th May 2021
    Hot Air Balloon Day Winners Announcement 5th June 2021
    Droids in Star Wars

    Droids in Star Wars


    A hint of the drone reality that was to emerge later can be seen going as far back as the late 1970s with the movie Star Wars. The term "droid" was trademarked by George Lucas and differentiates itself robots with its extreme AI.  AI has a long way to go before it catches up to the world Lucas imagined but   When Star Wars debut on May 25th, 1977 it opened up the publics imagination of potential uses for drone technology that appeared to be hiding in plain sight.  For example, when Luke Skywalker is being trained to use a lightsaber, he does so with help of the lightsaber training orb known as a Marksman-H combat remote.  In another scene,  Leia Organa underwent her mind probe with Darth Vader.  The orb injects her with a powerful mind-altering hallucinogen making her especially susceptible to suggestion. Leia imagines herself in unbearable pain without undergoing any physical harm from as Darth Vader asks her questions.  In Empire Strikes Back, an imperial probe droid is used militarily for scouting and surveillance.


    After the Rebel Alliance is chased from their secret base in Yavin 4 they set up a new base in the remote planet of Hoth. As part of Project Swarm, the Galactic Empire sends out imperial probes to locate their hidden a base.  Eventually,  a XJ9-CS14, Viper model arrives from its carrier, begins to transmit a live feed of what appears to be a power generator to the Empire, which leads to an attack on Echo Base a short time later.  After the probe droid is discovered by Han Solo it initiates a self-destruct sequence and the Rebels are just barely able to escape before the Empire arrives.


    Drones technology has the potential of being a reliable medical delivery platform for microbiological and laboratory samples, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, emergency medical equipment, and patient transport.  In the world George Lucas imagined, two 2-1B surgical droids were used by Emperor Palpatine to resuscitate Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, after his vicious scarring and dismemberment on the volcanic world of Mustafar at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, replacing much of his body with bionic prosthetics.   Another droid, known only as 2-1B, defected from the Galactic Empire to serve the Alliance to Restore the Republic. This droid nurses Luke Skywalker back to health by keeping him in a tank full of bacta to rapidly heal wounds.  Later, he outfits Luke Skywalker with a prosthetic hand that is able to feel pain after his hand got chopped off by Darth Vader.


    Astromech Droids are a type of repair droid that served as an automated mechanic on starships. These compact droids used tool-tipped appendages stored in recessed compartments. Many starfighters relied on astromech copilots to control flight and power distribution systems. The most famous one of these is R2D2 and most recently BB-8. A recent study looked at how NASA could look to Star Wars for building better space-bound robots for repairs. Most NASA bots resemble protocol droids such as C-3PO.  One exception is SPHERE (short for Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) which is used to help astronauts with docking operations, along with satellite servicing, assembly and emergency repairs. The bot resembles the Marksman-1 that helped train Luke Skywalker to use a lightsaber.  On the desert planet of Tatooine, these astromech droids helped farmers to harvest moisture.  Today, drones are being used by farmers to gather data, automate redundant processes, and improve efficiency. Raptor Maps, an agricultural analytics startup uses drones to help farmers predict their potential harvest. Drones are also used for the cultivation of crops, a process that can be repetitive, time-consuming, and detail oriented such as autonomously picking produce and planting seeds.  Drones have also been used to pollinate, an approach that could be helpful in compensating for the declining bee population.


    Today, drones are revolutionizing how films and television shows are shot.  If for nothing else, the most recent Star Wars movie, Rise of Skywalker is notable for its use of an XM2 Drone for shooting some truly breathtaking scenes such as the one shown in the trailer below:


    Borg in Star Trek


    Borg in Star Trek


    Star Trek has also had a profound influence on the way we think of drone technology, especially when it comes to the Borg Collective. A Borg drone is an assimilated being within the Borg Collective. Borg drone technology includes an assimilation tubule (Injection tubule), a cortical implant, exo-plating, extraction tubule,  ocular implant, proximity transceiver, and a vocal subprocessor. These beings are enhanced through the use of Borg technology, connecting them to the hive mind and stripping away any individuality.


    There are several types of Drones in the collective.   Labor or "Worker" drones are the most common type of Borg and they perform the majority of the tasks on a vessel or complex, as well as beginning the assimilation process when facing other lifeforms. They are equipped with standard drone enhancements and technologies.  Maintenance drones are assigned to perform repairs and maintenance on Borg structures or recently assimilated vessels. Aside from standard drone enhancements and technologies, the Maintenance drone also has one mechanical arm for engineering tasks and increased body armor for work in hostile conditions. Tactical drones are assigned to combat operations, assaults and situations where heavy force is needed to assimilate a resistant species. Aside from standard drone enhancements and technologies, the Tactical drone also has a heavy disruptor mechanical arm as well as a shoulder armature with beam weapon energy and emitters. This type of drone also employs heavy armor and shielding. Assimilation drones make up a smaller portion of the Borg population and are assigned for the sole purpose of assimilating other lifeforms into the collective. Usually confined to cyber-conversion chambers, these drones are sometimes dispatched on the field along with Tactical and Transport drones for on-site augmentation. Along with standard drone enhancements and technologies, the Assimilation drone has two, long mechanical arms with precision tools and needles for their specialized tasks. Medical Repair drones are grouped with a single Labor drone (for protection). Their assignment is to repair damaged drones or dismantle them if needed. Medical drones can also heal biological lifeforms in the event they are injured before assimilation. Along with standard drone enhancements and technologies, the Medical drone has a mechanical arm for healing and employs light armor.  The mysterious and unique Borg Queen drones are the specialized figure-heads of the Borg Collective, possibly the "leaders".




    Your Chance to Win


    Be Original
    Stick to the Theme
    • You could come up with a clever name that make's your project memorable!
      • This project is your baby! Part of the fun of bringing something new into the world is coming up with a name.
    • Your project could introduce something new or that is not commercially available or affordable!
    • If you have an idea for a project that doesn't fit the current theme then submit your idea in the comments section of the monthly poll.
    List the Steps
    Submit Video Proof
    • Provide the steps you took to complete your project (text, video, or images).
      • This could be a step by step how-to-guide, vlog, schematics, coding, napkin drawings, voice narration, or whatever you think will be useful!
    • If it doesn't work that's fine, this is more about the journey than the end product.
    • A short video is all that is required but you can shoot as much video as you like.
    • You are encouraged to be creative and have as much fun as possible!


    Your Project Examples


    Attack of the Drones
    Mini Quadcopter The Nanodrone




    Your Prizes


    One Grand Prize Winner Wins a $400 Shopping Cart!Three First Place Winners Win a $200 Shopping Cart
    • One Grand Prize Winner Wins a $400 Shopping Cart!
    • 3 First Place Winners a $200 Shopping Cart!


    Some Terms & Conditions Apply:  How to Redeem Your Shopping Cart for Project14


    Your Project, Your Ideas!


    About Project14

    Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.


    What are Monthly Themes?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) a new theme will be posted on Project14.
    • Submit your ideas (proposals) for your projects to get feedback from the rest of the community.
    • Submit a project entry in the Theme space once you start working on it.


    What are Monthly Theme Polls?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) there is a project theme poll.
    • Vote on which project competition you want to see for the following upcoming theme.
      • The themes voted on during the previous poll decided the upcoming theme.
      • If you submit an idea for a theme that is not used then it can still be used in a future poll.
    • Themes comments and ideas from the comments section of the project theme poll.

    Step 1: Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month.  You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.


    Be sure to include video proof of your project!


    Visit:  Attack of the Drones or tag your project blog AttackoftheDronesCH


    You have until May 25th End of Day to submit your completed project!





    A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!



    In the Comments Below: Let Us Know Your Drone Project Ideas!   Use the Hardware of Your Choice! 


    As a Bonus: We Will Be Sending Out a Limited Number of MKR 1300 WAN Boards for Project Proposals that Use Them!