Teenager flying high
Tauranga’s Callum Riddington has won the Baldwins supreme award at Bright Sparks 2014 for his invention, Kiwi Drones.
Kiwi Drones is a control system for a working drone. It includes GPS mission plotting, stability control and a super-friendly user interface. Callum designed it all from scratch.
The 17-year-old Otemotai College student also hacked the code in an X-Box controller to use in Kiwi Drones, after deciding it was a more familiar, user-friendly device.
His inspiration came from a dissatisfaction with current drone control systems.
“I tried out exisiting f light controllers and discovered they were expensive and bulky. I didn’t like the functionality, so I created my own,” he said.
Bright Sparks manager Ross Petersen said Callum’s invention stood out due to a high degree of complexity and its integration of hardware and software.
“Callum’s entry was incredibly sophisticated. He continued to refine it and his attention to detail was very impressive,” Petersen said.
“This fully functional project was created by a young inventor who strives for excellence in every direction.”
Callum says he often meets up with his mates to f ly his drones and is always looking for ways to improve the technology.
He was presented the Bright Sparks 2014 Baldwins Supreme Award at a ceremony in Auckland on October 30, hosted by Michelle Dickinson and attended by educators and industry representatives. He received a mentoring package from Baldwins as part of his prize.