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3D Robotics congratulates John Blaske, an aerospace engineering student at San Diego State University, who spent a spring internship at 3DR successfully designing and building a waterproof, submersible quadcopter — an amphibious drone he calls the Aqua Quad.

John (pictured above; that’s him on the left) started his career with the Marine Corps’ surveying detachment. Following an honorable discharge in 2013, John, an abiding RC and flight enthusiast, enrolled in SDSU’s Aerospace Engineering program and soon developed an interest in drone technology.

“My first real encounter with fully autonomous drones was through 3DR,” John said. “Joe and Grant took me out to test fly the Aero. I was impressed with the precision of its autonomy and the versatility of Mission Planner. I immediately got hooked.”

The Aqua Quad started with the long-term goal of making a drone that could be submersible and controllable underwater, but could then surface, take off, and fly around. That’s a tall order, and John had little more than a month to work with, so he started with designing a waterproof quad. 3DR gave him an Iris to modify, and by SDSU’s Engineering Design Day — one month’s time — John had proved the waterproof concept and delighted the Dean of the Aerospace Department.

3DR hopes to further develop our internship program to empower more talented and passionate students like John, offering them a forum to apply learned concepts beyond the classroom. “There’s going to be a huge need for engineers like myself once the market takes off,” John said. “I’m already a step ahead with what I’ve done here at 3DR.”

Please join us in congratulating John on his hard work and success!