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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  • I guess to ask more directly...  Is this using Pixhawk-compatible flight controller?  The 3DR GPS puck is clearly visible on top.  And is it going to use Ardupilot:Copter?

    Are both rotors actuated with a swashplate or just 1?

  • Hi Kent,

    Thanks for the kind words.  

    To answer your questions, we are currently developing with COTS and modified COTS blades, but have planned for the likelihood we would switch to a custom design.  Blade geometry, mass and stiffness are so critical to good performance it's hard to just grab an off-the-shelf pair and feel like we are doing right by Sprite and our backers.  Blades, our structural components and accessories will all be available through our website ( in December when we ship.

    As for the processor, we are developing with and will deliver an autopilot which uses the 32-bit ARM chip.  The 8-bit Arduino system was surprisingly capable, but I think its time has past.

    Thanks for the questions.

  • I am not sure what the hate is all about for the price.  The one feature that I don't think is being considered for the price point is the fact that it is waterproof and floats.  I really dont want to loose my drone and flying/filming around water is a big draw.

    Does anyone know if the props are COTS or would they be custom to that UAV and only available through Ascent Aerosystems.

    Another question... What processor is on the thing.  Is it the older arduino based or the newer ARM based platform.  I am guessing ARM but am not sure.  I will probably buy one, but I am waiting to see how things play out

  • This project seems like a very realistic and well defined one, unlike many I have seen in the crowdsourced space. I am interested to know some of the answers to the questions on the KS Comments page, such as gimbal type, and ability to direct the camera at a location on the map while performing a flight.

  • 3D Robotics

    Looks good! Backed...


    another one for comparison.…
  • The decision to include a 2-axis gimbal module suitable for a GoPro is good sweetener.

    You might want to review the text in the main blog....

    "The campaign will run for 30 days, and our target is $250,000" is at odd's with the $200,000 goal stated on the Kickstarter campaign page ;)

  • Thanks for all of the comments, friends...we read every one we receive.  We've made an adjustment to Sprite's standard equipment, a change that should make it easier to compare it to the models that we believe represent its peer group.  Specifically, we're replacing the original Camera Module with a 2-axis, stabilized gimbal.  The Camera Module will be compatible with all standard size GoPro cameras (41mm x 59mm x 21/30mm).


    Thanks for your comments and suggestions, and please...keep them coming!

  • I've been looking for updates of your projects since you presented the first concepts. It's a smart solution and hope it's gonna be a success. Good luck

  • Developer

    An interesting idea.  To the previous question asked - it MUST communicate via MAVLink as its talking to MissionPlanner and DroidPlanner (aka Tower).  Further they state they are using an APM compatible device for the flight controller so I would assume its running ArduPilot.  I wonder if they needed to modify the code to get it to work correctly.  If so I look forward to that code being posted as per the GPLv3 obligations.

    Thanks, Grant.

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