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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  • Swashplate/servos vs. Extra motors/ESCs.

    Some see added complexity with the linkages, others see simplicity with the reduction in electric motors (and their EMI).

    Maybe it’s a wash… but there is an efficiency increase if you were comparing Sprite to a similar weight quad.  Sprite replaces two motors with lightweight, low current servos.  Sure, Sprite’s two remaining motors need to work a little harder, but they drive rotors which are larger and therefore more efficient that your average quad prop.  Additionally, there is increased efficiency inherent in the co-axial configuration (greater inflows) and due to the fact that no part of Sprite impinges on any of the rotor downwash, giving a nice clean flow.

  • for ä799 it is prob. better to wait for a 'full' project - being able to verify what will be delivered.

    somewhat disapointing.

  • I really like the idea and design and would buy something like the Sprite; $800 is too much for me. Especially considering that every time you pledge to Kickstarter youre gambling on if the product will actually be delivered and if it will it work as promised.

  • Hi Ascent,

    I can tell that you guys have put a lot of effort into the detailed design of the Sprite and it looks like you have already completed most of the development.

    It is a really excellent design and definitely demonstrates what a simple coax helicopter can acheive.

    I think it is a bit large for the intended easy carry / back packing use and that the numerous small quadcopters also preparing for release like the BeBop and maybe the Lily will give it a run for the money in the size department.

    And I also agree with Kev above that the price is at the very upper limit and will make acheiving your goal more difficult.

    The BeBops base price of $499.00 similarly equipped as your $800.00 version means you are facing stiff competition.

    And there are more coming.

    (I think China is going to beat this market to death and that prices will be in the $200.00 to $400.00 price range for this kind of capability within 6 months.)

    Still it is a unique and nifty design and I wish you luck.

    Best Regards,


  • I don't consider it a reversion, rather an enhancement. :)

  • I hate the concept of reverting back to a servo actuated swash plate.
  • Ouch... $800 for a Pathfinder Sprite reward.... (or $950 with the addition of Tx/Rx LiPo charger)

    IMHO the $800 is far too high, you are seriously limiting the number of potential backers by having such a high threshold, sub $600 would have been more enticing... 330x backers at $600 is much more likely than 250x at $800.

    I don't know what contribution you are looking to achieve from the 'sale'  of each Sprite, but with the main COTS being Mobius $70, Batts $50, FC $100, motor $70, props $10 leaves  >$500 for packaging, the body and your IP, tooling costs etc. With this representing far more than 50% of the basic COTS cost, it follows that you would have been in a better situation by obtaining a greater number of backers by enticing them with a lower reward threshold?

    It is a novel design, and I wish you well, but suspect that your $200k target is a wholly inadequate sum to go from a working prototype(s) to a market ready product. Extrusion tooling, moulds, assembly and packaging will see that figure dissolve in under 3-months... and as demonstrated above .....the $200k, is actually represents only ~$125k for you to use after the purchase of COTS items.

     As of time I type this, 12x backers have pledged for Pathfinder or Explorer packages (within the first 10hrs), so there is interest in Sprite. Time will tell if you pitched it right at $800... but as a backer of other Kickstarter projects, even with an active interest in the product and what it represents the risk/reward threshold is not appealing to me. For a potential backer that knows little about UAV's etc, my fear is that they will see the $800 and move straight on to the next project that catches their eye.

  • Is there a live view feed from the vehicle in flight?

  • Pretty cool but a Lot of questions im excited to see the answers for... Type of Flight controller... Flight times... Also looks like you leave the radio tx at home so how do you fly it ... Through your phone? Pre programmed? Looks like the camera shield will get pretty scratched unless you stand under it and catch it (not a fan of rotating blades that close to my face). Fold out legs would have been neat. Is there a awash plate with linkage/ball joints? Those tend to wear out in short time and need replacement.
  • Congrats on your launch ! It is refreshing to see teams looking beyond the quads and trying to bring innovative designs and ideas to the market.

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