Calling Young Innovators in Aerospace!
What is the Aerial Robotics Club (ARC)?
Envisioned and led by Professor Hugh Liu of the Institute for Aerospace Studies of the University of Toronto, ARC is a junior researcher program that provides young inspired scientists and engineers with early opportunities to be involved in research and design. A selected group of high school students will work on projects and research topics revolving around the sciences of Aerial Robotics. The junior researchers will work with Professor Liu, graduate, and undergraduate students to hone their research skills by analyzing a project or research goal, assessing the required subject areas, and developing/verifying hypotheses and engineering designs. They will gain career-inspiring experience as future aerospace scientists and engineers.
The junior research program differentiates itself from traditional extracurricular programs in several key ways:
- The goal is to give students an experience of working like a professional researcher in the scientific community.
- The resulting work will be open-ended and up to the students’ discretion. There are no incorrect answers.
- It is NOT a design competition aimed at delivering specific results under a structured development process. We focus on creative ideas and critical thinking through a scientific approach.
- It is NOT an advanced subject course aimed at obtaining specific knowledge or training specific technical skills. We encourage rigorous research study to develop problem solving skills.
Club Activities and Topics
The student researcher teams will meet weekly to work on projects that reflect the nature of both academic research and real-world engineering design problems. The projects are selected by ARC program managers, based on individual student skills, interests and feasibility, and usually involve a variety of tasks in several subject areas. These tasks can range from theoretical-based tasks such as mathematical modelling and study of physics, to more application-based tasks such as programming/coding and engineering design. At the end of each club year, they will present the research results and demonstrate their conceptual designs.
In general, ARC focuses on the research journey, which is enhanced by choosing challenging research projects. Rather than having simple robotics problems for students to complete, students in ARC can experience exciting challenges that will bring out the best in their problem solving, critical thinking, and creative development.
For the upcoming 2024 session, multiple projects will be available, all related to aerospace or robotics. New members of ARC (Junior Members) will have the chance to participate in general club activities and select their project at a later date. Read more about our upcoming ARC session here, for important dates and deadlines.
Our work and challenges from previous years:
- 2023 Session – Autonomous Drone Racing, Fixed-wing Aerobatics
- 2022 Session – Aquatic UAS, Drone Payload Delivery, Quadrotor Path Planning
- 2021 Spring/Summer Junior Research Program – Aerial Car
- 2020 Pilot Session – RoboEMS
Beginning in 2023, ARC also offers in-person sessions, where students can spend two weeks in August at the Flight Systems and Control lab and gain hands-on robotics experience and a taste of the academic research life!
Why Join ARC?
Junior researchers will have a unique opportunity of gaining stimulating research experience and learning first-hand from university students, researchers, and guest advisors from the industry or other faculty.
Junior researchers will gain hands-on learning about flying and robotics by working on real problems. This program aims to inspire students to continue their passion in their STEM education, and to encourage students to pursue post-secondary education in science and engineering. The ARC program may offer opportunities of reaching higher goals such as publishing a research paper, filing a patent, or perhaps starting a business.
“I wanted to tell you that I am now a part of the Society of Automotive Engineers at my school… we are making an electric vehicle and I am part of the Aerodynamic Subsystem Team. I feel like Aerospace is a great heading for me… this is all thanks to the summer program.”– Micah, ARC Associate Fellow,
CBU Mech. Engineering Class of 2027
Learn more about the application process here.
- Access to advisors, undergrad and graduate coaches
- Guest speakers to give talks, ideas, and inspiration
- Guided studies on flight/robotics related basic knowledge
- Access and coaching on related hardware and software tools. These include:
- MATLAB or equivalent tools
- Other simulation software
“I had a wonderful time at ARC; it was a welcoming group and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to explore the lab and learn from all of the wonderful people working there!– Jonathan, ARC Associate Fellow,
Grade 10 Student
ARC typically meets via Zoom, from 7:30 pm ET to 9:00 pm ET every week on Thursday. This meeting time will change at the start of each year, but will remain consistent week to week.
For in-person sessions, we operate weekdays during our regular business hours (9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET).