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Drone takes flight from Harris steps

11 September 2013

Rachel Atkinson

Wannabe pilots tested skills on Preston landmark using UCLan’s pioneering Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Photo: courtesy of the LEP

Young pilots had the chance to fly drones in Preston as part of the Harris Flights exhibition.

Researchers from the Media Innovation Studio and University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Aerospace Centre were showcasing their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which have been used in pioneering rescue operations.

Visitors were able to pilot the quad-copter drones, fitted with high definition cameras, using a mobile phone app.

Clare Cook, Social Media Researcher at UCLan, said: “We were delighted to see so many people interested in drones and so eager to try out their piloting skills."

“It was a real educational opportunity for them to interact with this technology and also ask lots of great questions about what they should be used for.”

Clare continued: “It was a real educational opportunity for them to interact with this technology and also ask lots of great questions about what they should be used for.”

The technology was used in a mountain search and rescue test event in the Lake District in July. A virtual team of mountain rescuers were mobilised to help the Patterdale Mountain Rescue team find a missing walker by tagging images.

The Harris Flights showcase was part of a larger commitment from the researchers to test drones for good civic uses.