We wrote about the Sprite UAV during it’s crowd funding efforts – After its crowd funding success we chatted with the team to learn more
When we wrote about the Sprite UAV Kickstarter project on May 24th they had 20 days remaining and had already raised $137,000 of the $200,000 goal. It was clear they would be a crowd funding success story.
By the time their campaign completed they had 532 backers who pledged $406,061. They not only met their goal, they smashed it.
Q. Could you tell our readers a bit about the Sprite UAV?
Sprite is an ultra-portable, compact and durable sUAV designed to fit seamlessly into a user’s life. It provides a simple to use, stabilized aerial platform for applications ranging from photography to tracking, all while not burdening the user with transport boxes and lots of support equipment.
Sprite merges two already proven technologies: a co-axial rotor configuration and the APM:Copter autopilot and they are perfect compliments to each other. The co-axial rotor allows for a form factor that is not only convenient for packing and transporting, but is aerodynamically efficient, while the APM autopilot gives it the power of the most capable open source firmware available with an army of developers.
Q. We love the tagline that it is not a toy but a tool. While drones like the Cheerson CX 10 are clearly toys, most people would consider higher end drones (such as the Phantom 3) tools. What will, in your opinion, make the Sprite UAV a tool that is different like any other?
An ideal tool is one that is always on hand, flexible to your needs and yields maximum results with minimum effort… and this is what Sprite is all about. Its compact and rugged design means it can be thrown in an equipment bag or the backseat of a car, always being within hand’s reach. Sprite’s capabilities and payloads are also highly flexible thanks to its modular design. Payloads, mounts and cameras can be easily swapped in and out depending on the user’s need. We are even designing a universal, payload mounting bracket so users can integrate sensors and payloads that best fit their needs. Lastly, users can effortlessly fly preloaded autonomous missions from a simple push button interface allowing them to leave everything else at home while still capturing stunning video.
Q. You claim the Sprite UAV will be water resistant and very durable. It looks like a great tool for those that love the great outdoors, will it work well for those that make their living on the sea?
Sprite is water resistant, buoyant and designed to survive a water landing whether that’s in a puddle or the Pacific. We’ve had a lot of interest from fishermen wondering about integrating Sprite with a fish finder or underwater camera and I think there are a lot of good applications there
Q. Have you been surprised by the positive reception by the crowd funding community for your idea?
We are blown away by the reception and support we received. I’d like to say a big thank you to all our Kickstarter backers, fans and supporters.
We’ve been working on Sprite for a little over 2 years now and knew it was something to get excited about, but didn’t anticipate how positively we were received. I think people are tired of seeing quadcopter after quadcopter and when people look at Sprite it sparks their imagination, gets their creative juices flowing.
Q. What countries, in you opinion, are best prepared for leading in the drone marketplace? China is clearly a leading manufacturer, the UK and Canada, and even South Africa, look poised to potentially lead the regulatory charge in our opinion. What do you think?
We’ll have to wait and see. We’ve had a ton of interest from all the countries you’ve mentioned. UAV technology will be such a force in the coming years that it’s hard to see the US sitting on the sidelines for very long. Once the technology is more common and people become more understanding and educated I think many countries will be quick to embrace it.