On Wednesday 12Feb2014, a sinkhole opened up inside the National Corvette Museum, swallowing 8 vintage Corvettes and a good bit of the SkyDome. WKU Mechanical Engineering assisted the early investigation by providing a camera-equipped quadrotor that could safely enter and inspect the sinkhole and the underside of the floor and foundation. The WKU Engineering quadrotor is a four-rotor flying machine carrying a camera. The vehicle – the quadrotor -- is controlled by a pilot using a standard RC (radio-control) handheld unit with two joysticks. The camera is controlled by a different operator who is wearing a headset that displays whatever the camera is seeing. The pan and tilt of the camera follows the camera operator’s head. If the operator looks to the right and up, the camera does that too.
The quadrotor was piloted by mechanical engineers Will Johnson and Zach Lancaster, while the on-board camera was operated by Darren Tinker and Jesse Reesor. Professor Joel Lenoir and engineering technician Troy Robertson provided technical support and safety consulting. Troy Robertson shot the auxiliary footage on his iPhone.