Drones and aerial work in Italy. Despite some difficulties of a regulatory and bureaucratic, dictated by the regulation on unmanned aircraft, now almost every day ENAC recognizes operators and means to do the non-critical and authorizes (in number sharply less) to mixed critical operations. 

Currently there are 232 operators SAPR. Of these, those who use drones Italian counted on the fingers of one hand. In fact, the means that are all the greater in non-critical actions are based on systems of DJI (70% of the total), suitably modified to be recognized, of which 20% are constituted by DJI Phantom.



In this scenario stands recognition ENAC achieved today by 'very Italian VirtualRobotix that for the first time enters the Olympus of Drones that  can perform aerial work It is quadcopter SPARK 350. It is a true Italian product made ​​in almost all components from VirtualRobotix. Only motors and controllers (ESC) are not made "in house". Not for long, however, the reality of Bergamo is also planning the ESC.
Even the design is Italian, the body is designed by Flavio Taborelli, printed in SLS, made ​​with a mix of ABS and composite materials to have a proper balance between flexibility and rigidity.
Inside the autopilot is called VrBrain 5.2: a flight control 32bit made ​​in VirtualRobotix whose hardware and sensors have also been taken as an example by the Pixhawk3DRobotics who had initially chosen another type of accelerometers and gyroscopes getting bad results forced to run for cover immediately after choosing the same path of VRBrain. And the GPS? He also designed by VirtualRobotix, updates the previous VR GPS module which now uses the NEO 8
The Italian news are not finished, the SPARK has no wiring. Inside the frame using a particular card that serves as integrated modular distribution board and connects esc and motors. The standard version also mounts an OSD with tx and video room integrated fpv navigation and you can switch between the cam navigation and video preview of the room installed on the gimbal
VirtualRobotix, in the person of Roberto Navoni, was the founder and contributor of codeArducopter now called APM: Copter. The version of firmware that runs on VRBrain is properly optimized for the hardware VRBRain but has the exact same functions of the official version. For these reasons we can say that the firmware is made in VirtualRobotix even if the project is actually open source.
The SPARK recognized by 'ENAC weighs 1.8 Kg and has terminator flight andparachute. It can be considered the Italian answer to DJI Phantom , a 'statement that from now on it is also valid for the professional field. 
For more information on SPARK 350: 

Original Blog post by Danilo Scarato Quadricottero News :
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  • Wow nice! that really seems like an affordable and very useful drone, I like the parachute, that is a smart idea

  • Hi Roberto,
    Excellent Italian product, excellent work.
    I'm suggesting SPARK to every italian professional operator I meet, simply because it maximizes the ROI in the italian scenario; furthermore it's fully compliant with the upcoming ENAC regulations.

  • Moderator

    Hi Nick , the brushless gimbal for QX 10 could be presented the next month.



  • Hi Roberto,

    Greetings from Australia! Do you have any more information regarding the QX10 gimbal?

    Kind regards,


  • Moderator

    Federico thanks for your comments. 

    The flight time depend of payload and is between 15 to 20 min. 

    Yes the 10'' is maximum kind of propeller but for this kind of drone is enought . 

    Actually we are working on 3 different payload : gopro 4 gimbal , QX10 gimbal and Thermographics sensor based on flir develop inside VR LAB.



  • This is a great news for every person who try to do something with drones in Italy. I'm studying now the ENAC regulation and the first thing i've thoght is "well, i can't do it with my iris+ (very sad face)

    The spark is amazing, the design seems very good. How about the flight time with gimbal and gopro? The 10" propellers are the maximum size the spark could mount right?

    Btw, congratulation for you works!

    (proudly owner of a Vrbrain 4.0)

  • Moderator


    thank you Gary :)



  • Moderator

    @Marc Dornan,

    I agree with you the price point for this version of Spark  is not for consumer market. It's for market of professional operator that want to use drone for aerial work. In italy the regulation ask as to add some component as an indipendent termination system a parachute , a lot of document about the operator , drone , kind of operation that we can do with the drone and how we do that. 

    So we decide as virtualrobotix italia to going inside the market of the service and start to work with our end user instead only to sell the drone. We can sell service with our drone. 

    So about the opportunity to develop a entry level Spark for consumer market upgradable to pro version we are try to going in production with first 250 pcs with the help of our OEM customers. 

    We don't have venture capital that support our company we develop our product for our customers and if they like our project can support us buying our products like electronic component VR Brain / GPS  and why not VR Spark 350 for professional application , we can support for 333 in U.S. :)

  • Congratulations Roberto,

    I know your team and you personally have done lot of hard work to get you to this milestone.

    And it is a beautiful and very pro quadcopter.

    I wish you all great success.

    Best Regards,


  • Terrific little machine. Unfortunately way out of the consumer/prosumer price-point. Have you thought of licensing a consumer model to a manufacturer that could build in scale? Last time I looked it was $3-4k for one of these. (I have VR uBrain and VR M8 GPS, love it).

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