Dog versus drone

Dog versus drone

Kelmscott Senior High student Aimee Goldfinch will fly the drone at this year’s Drone Versus Dog event. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Students from 11 different schools will take turns next week to fly a drone through an obstacle course in a bid to win a drone for their school. 

A total of 19 students from Kelmscott Senior High will travel to the Muresk Institute in Northam next Wednesday to compete in the annual Drone Versus Dog event, which aims to expose secondary school students to the rapidly advancing agricultural industry and the exciting career opportunities it can provide. 

The pilot who completes the course in the fastest time will then be pitted against an elite working dog to test the skills of the dog against the innovation of modern agriculture. 

Agriculture teacher Elizabeth Richards said the students recently participated in a simulation drone flying activity and their names were put in a hat to decide who would shoulder the responsibility of being pilot for the annual race. 

“Aimee Goldfinch has only practiced a little with the school drone but we will definitely put a bit more training in this week now that she knows she is the pilot,” she said. 

“The training is similar to the competition in the that we practice manoeuvring the drone around a series of obstacles as quick as we can.” 

Ms Richards said the other students will participate in information sessions, watch commercial pilots fly drones, watch an agility demonstration by Jay, the seven-year-old Border Collie cross Kelpie, and encourage their classmate while she competes in the race. 

“Drones are becoming very important to farmers for precision agriculture,” she said.

“The opportunities for stock movement, aerial surveillance of crops, water holes and livestock in remote locations is endless. 

“Drones can cover hundreds of acres in one flight.

“There is even a drone that uses infrared to detect if a cow is pregnant.” 

The group will travel to the Muresk Institute on Wednesday, May 15 to take on other schools including Applecross Senior High, Kiara College and Mount Barker Community College.