Ascent AeroSystems's Posts (6)

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We're not quite halfway through our campaign, and we are absolutely delighted by the enthusiasm Sprite is getting!  Thank you to ALL of you for your interest and support!

Today we're introducing a new Reward, the Sprite Payload Developer Kit, to make it easier for everyone to make Sprite do what you want it to do...whatever that is.  Want to make a grappling hook?  Do it.  A cellular network relay?  Knock yourself out.  An emergency locator transmitter?  Do it.

This package will include all of the digital files you'll need to design and print a custom bulkhead.   It will attach to the bottom of Sprite's Main Module, interface with other modules like the optional Light Ring and LaunchPod landing gear, and provide a watertight seal to keep things dry inside.  There's also an accommodation for power and data connections, and once performance testing is complete on Sprite, we'll include weight and final dimensional limitations.

So what will it cost?  Not much.

All current and future backers will receive the PDK as part of their existing pledge.  There's no need to do anything else.  Backed us with a Sprite Explorer commitment?  You'll get the PDK.  In line for a tee shirt?  You'll get the PDK also.  Donate a buck?  Yep, you get the PDK, too.  If you haven't donated yet, we're creating a new Reward that will allow you to select the PDK separately.  It's going to have a Reward level of $25.  Now you're probably thinking...well, if I can get the PDK for a "No Reward" donation of $1, why would I select the $25 PDK Reward?  Well, just because.  You don't have to.  But every little bit will help us bring Sprite to life that much faster, and that much better.

Anything else?

Any development done with the PDK needs to be done under a non-commercial, open source license.  We'll ask you to post your designs to Ascent's website for distribution to other members of the Sprite community to use.

THANK YOU for your support so far, and please keep the questions and comments coming!

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At long last, Ascent AeroSystems is pleased to announce that “Sprite” will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter beginning at 12:00AM midnight EDT (04:00 GMT) on Friday, May 15.  The campaign will run for 30 days, and our target is $200,000.

To our friends here on DIYDrones we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you for all of the comments, suggestions and words of encouragement we’ve received over the last six months or so, both posted here and e-mailed directly to us.  We’ve considered each and every one, going all the way back to our days as “Backcountry Drones”, and we hope that you find Sprite represents the very best in what a portable and durable UAV can be.  We’ve posted the Kickstarter video here, a day or so in advance, to give you a preview.  Please be sure to watch it all the way through to the very end, and please pass the word on to your friends.

Thanks, and fly safe.  

Jon, Nate and Peter

Updated: Kickstarter Link

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Greetings friends! It’s been a few months since we introduced “Backcountry Drones” and the concept of the coaxial “Scout” backpack drone to you here on DIYdrones, and although it may have seemed we’d gone quiet…we’ve been busy. Very busy.

We’ve gotten some amazing input from many of you, feedback that we’ve taken to heart as we’ve worked to design a production-worthy vehicle. Next month we’re going to reveal the fruits of our efforts in a Kickstarter campaign. But before we do, we wanted to get some more input. 

We’ve watched with interest as other sUAV designs have met (or even smashed) their funding goals, only to have a slew of unpleasant issues emerge afterwards. We’d like to avoid as many of those as possible. Between the three of us, we’ve got more than 40 years of RC experience, and while we’re really confident in our design and we think you’re going to love it, we want to run some thing by you before we go “really” public.  Features of the new model include:

  • Stacked two-blade rotor system
  • 10cm diameter, 35cm length, about 2.5 lbs
  • Pixhawk control
  • Mobius HD standard, with interchangeable GoPro module
  • Optional FPV

A video highlighting two years of early proof-of-concepts is attached.  The production prototype is flying, and we'll be posting photos and video in the coming weeks leading up to the launch of the Kickstarter campaign.

We’ve read all of the comments for the X-plusOne, AirDog and the Zano. Those are some interesting designs with some really great features, and they've had some terrific backers and candid comments. We’re going to do our very best to under-promise and over-deliver when it comes to performance and delivery date. Our control board is well-proven (you’ll agree), and we’re only using aerial footage shot from our vehicle. Without post-processing to remove jello.

But what else? We’d love to get a discussion going here to try to cover as many things as we can before we finalize the details of our campaign. We've posted a video here with footage from our early development.  The new model is bigger, more versatile, and more're going to love it.  Thanks for your continued interest and input, and please be sure to visit our new website at!

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