Path: EDN Asia >> Product Centre >> Industrial/Mil/Aero >> Rugged drone takes on professional, consumer apps
Industrial/Mil/Aero Share print

Rugged drone takes on professional, consumer apps

08 Jun 2015  | Julien Happich

Share this page with your friends

US-based start-up Ascent Aerosystems developed Sprite, a cylindrical shaped drone designed for professional and consumer use, which is now up on KickStarter seeking for crowdfunding.

Sprite is the feat of two brothers, Jonathan and Nathaniel Meringer, both keen climbers but also qualified aerospace engineers. They got their first idea of designing their own drone around 2010, when they couldn't find an easy to pack and rugged-enough product to withstand repetitive harsh landings in rocky and mountainous Arizona where both enjoyed finding new routes for rock-climbing.

They had once considered a quadcopter drone with a camera, but none of what they had seen on the market was compact nor tough enough to be stuffed in an equipment bag with rope and water bottles. They had their first prototypes flying in 2013 and many design iterations later, they successfully launched a campaign on KickStarter in May (still some days to go, but Sprite has already raised more than the original $200,000 goal).

Quadcopter1

Sprite comes with most of today's consumer drones features such as fully autonomous autopilot with GPS and high-definition 1080P video, but it was more engineered as a tool, with more sophisticated features such as inflight telemetry, 2-axis stabilised gimbal for video clarity, a range of up to 6km, and most importantly, all its components enclosed in a compact, rugged and water resistant airframe.

The cylindrical form factor has two purposes: it allows the blades to fold along the body when not in flight to form a tight, damage resistant package, and the same folding mechanism is used for landing from a safe altitude (a brake stops the rotors in less than 0.5s and the blades retract), letting the rugged drone drop onto whatever terrain.

Quadcopter2

Another interesting feature is the rugged push-button interface allowing for autonomous operation without an external controller, a hand-launch is enough for the drone to follow preloaded autonomous missions.

Modular by design, the new drone allows users to easily change its payload to suit a specific mission with stackable modules, and the two brothers plan to make optional components, accessories and parts available by the end of 2015.




Want to more of this to be delivered to you for FREE?

Subscribe to EDN Asia alerts and receive the latest design ideas and product news in your inbox.

Got to make sure you're not a robot. Please enter the code displayed on the right.

Time to activate your subscription - it's easy!

We have sent an activate request to your registerd e-email. Simply click on the link to activate your subscription.

We're doing this to protect your privacy and ensure you successfully receive your e-mail alerts.


Add New Comment
Visitor (To avoid code verification, simply login or register with us. It is fast and free!)
*Verify code:
Tech Impact

Regional Roundup
Control this smart glass with the blink of an eye
K-Glass 2 detects users' eye movements to point the cursor to recognise computer icons or objects in the Internet, and uses winks for commands. The researchers call this interface the "i-Mouse."

GlobalFoundries extends grants to Singapore students
ARM, Tencent Games team up to improve mobile gaming


News | Products | Design Features | Regional Roundup | Tech Impact