Technology Kicks Me in the Butt, Yet Again

by wjw on September 12, 2009

For my current project, I invented some cool drone aircraft. Then reality went and invented something even cooler.

I refer to the Maveric UAS, made by Prioria Robotics. This little drone can be carried by a single person, folded up in a six-inch tube, then thrown in the air to see what’s over the next hill. The drone can have a human operator, or operate on its own via GPS, and can carry two video cameras.
Capitalizing on advanced composite materials and patented technology, Maveric’s bendable-wings allow for the unparalleled ability to store a fully-assembled airframe in a six inch tube. Designed as the first smart customizable UAV, Maveric utilizes Prioria’s proprietary processing platform, Merlin®, to enable image processing and vision-based control to be performed on-board and, in general, aims to reduce reliance on ground station communication. This unique airframe design, combined with Prioria’s proprietary Merlin® gives Maveric the ability to fly in more complex environments and perform more effectively in those environments.
Or, to put it in words anyone can understand . . . Oooh. Shiny.
Here’s a video of a guy taking his Maveric for a stroll.

Guess I’ll have to go back into my head and invent something even cooler.

robp September 12, 2009 at 7:42 am

So, it flies, it takes pictures, and it returns to where it was thrown from? It doesn't eat babies? It's dumber than an eagle.

halojones-fan September 12, 2009 at 7:47 am

I think that my favorite UAV, thus far, has been a tiny drone that pops out of the back of the bomb and surveys the explosion, to make sure that you blew up all of the Enemy Combatants. And this UAV can have its own explosive charge, in case all else fails and something out there is still alive.

So it's like Xzibit pimped your cruise missile. "yo dawg i heard you like bombin', so i put a bomb in yo' bomb so you can bomb while you bomb!"

Ralf the Dog September 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Useless for anything practical. Can it be used to spy on the ladies shower room? No. The best you could do with is is getting some shots of a private swimming pool.

Just living up to my name.

Ralf the Dog September 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I don't think you need to invent something cooler, just invent a cooler use. I can picture two cells in an urban warfare setting. sending messages back and forth. They don't want to use radio because it would be too easy to track.

They use the drone late at night from the tops of tall buildings. Neither group knows where the other is. They just toss the drone in the air. It flies a random pattern, then the GPS takes it to the other location.

Just a Ruff Idea (TM). I am sure you can clean it up.

john_appel September 13, 2009 at 3:28 am

As a former Army recon type (Scout, Cavalry, one each) I gotta say – wow. And a plus – watching that video I found myself going "Yeah, they either had an actual groundpounder on the design team, or spent a lot of time talking to some." Unlike some of the whiz-bang stuff I've seen over the years this actually looks practical for carrying – and using – in the field. Though I'd like to know how much prep time wasn't actually shown on the video, the endurance of the batteries, and the total weight.

Jason September 15, 2009 at 2:42 am

If you think this is cool, check out some of our videos on YouTube:

or our blog at:

or our twitter at:

To answer the question about deployment time, it is actually faster now. That video needs to be updated badly. The plane is stored fully assembled (with battery) and it can be launched without a mission planned. In this situation it will orbit about its launch position until it is tasked with a new mission. We've done some operational events when a remote sensor is tripped and we launched then had eyes-on-target in under 2m (target was 2km out).


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