Every year my boss asks for suggestion for a teambuilding activity to have with his staff. Past activities have included thrilling activities like bocce ball and an indoor trampoline park (tip: this is a great idea if your team consists of 8 year-olds). This year I suggested that he buy everyone some drones and that we run some drone races. My suggestion was rejected – we went bowling instead.
Well, I took matters into my own hands. I manage a team of engineers myself, and I was determined to do something a little different this year.
Step 1. Plan
Instead of the usual holiday lunch, I bought everyone on my staff a Cheerson CX-10 quadcopter. These are tiny little things – only about 2.5″ across, and they’re great for flying around indoors. Best of all, they only cost about $16 on Amazon. I gave them to everybody during a staff meeting, and scheduled another “meeting” about 3 weeks later to give everyone time to practice. Encourage them to practice – most likely they’ll need it.
|The original basic version of the Cheerson CX-10.
$16 on Amazon.
Step 2. Execute
At this next “meeting,” we had two events on the agenda:
We put 5 foam pads on the ground and on some tables. Most of them were about 8″x 8″, but one was about 4″ x 4″ for an extra challenge. The goal was to take off and land on each of the foam pads and return to the starting point. A successful landing on the large landing pad earned 50 points or 100 points for the smaller one. We had a time limit of 3 minutes to complete the course. Any crashes or other mishaps that require the pilot to touch the quadcopter (such as flipping it back upright) to were penalized with -30 points.
We setup a simple race course using a few poles as markers to make a loop. We had heats with 4 quadcopters flying at a time. Going around in a loop is harder than it looks. In both heats, the winner was the one who managed to fly three laps without crashing. Practice helps.
During the 3 weeks of practice, about 1/4 of my team managed to damage their quadcopters, so make sure that you have some spare parts available. Refer them to this repair guide.
Step 3. Profit
In addition to having a fun afternoon, I got to introduce a bunch of my coworkers to flying quadcopters, and we still fly them around sometimes (when no one else is watching).
Don’t forget this final critical step: Record your expenses and submit them under the category “Internal Meeting / Meal / Entertainment.”
Next year I think we’ll scale things up and go for a larger quadcopter we can fly outside – maybe a Hubsan X4.