Lab rules and safety in Brin Drone Lab

Violation of these rules will result in the lab access removal.

General lab rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in the lab with the only exception of drinking water from a sealable water bottle.
  • Proper attire: full toed shoes and no loose clothing which can get stuck in moving parts and equipment.
  • The lab's first aid kit should be kept on the counter near the sink.
  • Cabinets labeled as “Not for public use” should not be used or opened by users.
  • Do not take any tools/equipment from the lab. Return all tools back to their places.
  • Do not modify layout of the lab without consulting with the lab manager first.
  • Users can bring specialized equipment for the experiments in the Brin Drone Lab. Do not leave your equipment in undesignated storage space after the tests. Please notify the lab manager and if reasonable, they will provide storage until the related project is completed.

Drone test rules

  • Wear safety glasses when handling any powered robot/vehicle. Please return the safety equipment after usage.
  • When operating your vehicles inside the Brin Drone Lab:
    • stand behind the netting;
    • everyone must be mentally alert;
    • never attempt to fly the quadrotor outside the netted area;
    • never attempt to fly the quadrotor while anyone is inside the netted area;
    • never fly the quadrotor alone, make sure a lab-mate is ready to hit the kill-switch in case anything goes wrong;
    • disconnect the main battery to your vehicle as soon as you can after the vehicle is landed;
    • before every flight, check that the nuts/propellers are finger-tightened properly so that they don’t come off during the flight. Losing propellers from the quadrotor during the flight can result in fatal accidents.
  • All vehicles operated at the Brin Drone Lab must have a preflight checklist, a fail-safe setup, and a kill-switch setup.
    • Preflight check: a check list of states of your robot system before you should arm and operate the robot.
    • Fail-safe setup: when the vehicle loses connection to the controller, the vehicle should stop moving.
    • Kill-switch: when the kill-switch is engaged, the vehicle should be disarmed and all moving parts should stop.
  • In case of a crash use extra caution, at first disarm the vehicle from the transmitter and then remove the battery before inspecting anything.
  • Vehicles that weigh more than 500 g or have larger than 4" propellers must only be armed inside the netted area. It is highly recommended to have another user present in the lab while working with these drones.
  • Vehicles that weigh more than 1500 g or have larger than 6" propellers must get permission from the lab manager to be used in the Brin Drone Lab. It is required to have another user present in the lab while working with these drones.

In case of fire

  • Use the fire extinguisher to completely cover the burning part with powder and stamp out the flame.
  • Use the fire blanket to wrap around the part and if possible remove it away from flammable materials, especially from the foam mats.
  • If possible, place the battery in the flammable storage cabinet to burn out. Make sure to remove all of the stored batteries from the cabinet prior to that.
  • Perform the above tasks only if you feel capable and can do so safely.
  • If it isn’t safe, evacuate and wait for the Fire Department.

Even though lithium is a combustible metal and would normally use a class D extinguisher, National Fire Protection Association so far has found using a regular dry chemical or powder extinguisher will often work. Letting a Li-Po battery burn will likely cause more damage than using an extinguisher, will produce toxic byproducts and sometimes even explode.

Flammable storage cabinet and fire blanket are located in the Brin Drone Lab under the sink. Fire extinguisher is mounted right by the entrance.