Sprite Drone Looks Like A Flying Thermos Bottle… Really

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The quadcopter design has long been identified with consumer drones, since, practically, every single one in the market has embraced it as their form factor of choice.  That doesn’t mean flying drones always have to be quadcopters, as evidenced by the Sprite, a drone that looks more like a flying Thermos bottle (or an inverted ceiling fan) than what we’ve been accustomed to.

Made by Ascent Aerosystems, it does the things most any traditional drone does, flying autonomously, operating a camera, and capturing aerial footage.  Unlike those traditional drones, the propeller blades can fold flush by its Thermos-like body, making it as portable and convenient to carry as any vacuum bottle, since they can slip inside a backpack without any problems.

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The Sprite uses coaxial rotors for flight in a contra-rotation configuration, with non-rigid propellers that make them stronger than those on conventional drones.  Designed for durable operation, it boasts a waterproof body, a high-impact airframe that’s way more durable because it has no arms, and a design that allows it to float when it accidentally lands on water.  During landing, it descends to within a few inches off the ground, then automatically shuts down the rotor and folds in the propellers, so it simply rolls off as soon as it hits the surface.

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It can fly up to 12 minutes on a freshly-charged 11.1-volt LiPo battery, at speeds of up to 22 mph, allowing it to cover a lot of ground within a short time.  There’s no need to invest in an extra GoPro, either, as it comes with an integrated camera that can shoot 1080p video, complete with a two-axis stabilized gimbal (although a later accessory will allow you to pair it with a GoPro).  More impressively, this is a drone packed with advanced features, including autonomous flights (via flight paths or waypoints), orbit mode (where it circles a target while keeping the camera trained on it), and the popular “follow me,” which has the drone following an individual user all on its own.

A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Sprite drone.  Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $799.

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3 Responses

  1. Maddie

    This is such an amazing device and I wouldn’t get much use out of it but others with different lifestyles could definitely get a plethora of use from it.

    Reply
  2. William

    This is a very impressive piece of technology. While it’s a bit on the higher end of cost, at the same time we appreciate you get what you pay for.

    Recently I read an article on how local businesses are beginning to develop drones and aviation (approved) routes that assign drones to deliver fast-food, such as pizza, and even Chinese! It makes me wonder what the future holds in terms of other forms of delivery service. For example, Amazon recently started shipping it’s orders to it’s customers personally with it’s own vehicles. Do you think that companies like Amazon will also start shipping it’s products to customers via drones in the near future?

    This Drone looks much more sturdy than the ones I’m used to seeing on different websites, and recently the only ones that look like they’re built well are upwards of $1,500.00, so I guess this pricing is practical and desirable. Definitely on my list!

    Reply
  3. Ann Marie

    i wonder how government agencies like law enforcement could use this sort of technology to monitor and protect it’s operations on the streets in big cities like new york. i agree that this is very pricy for a drone, and it’s unfortunate that the battery doesn’t last longer. can it hold, carry, and be used to deliver items and things to different people, places and locations? is there another remote or device that can command this uav to go between targets or locations?

    Reply

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