Meet Spiri: Hackable Autonomous Drone and Platform

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Spiri launched today on Kickstarter with a very strong entry into the world of programmable, hackable drones.

There’s a lot of awesome in this project. For one, they’ve designed in two separate processors so that flight apps you run happen separately from low-level flight control.  This means that a lot of the difficult (and annoying parts) of hacking drones is abstracted away so you can focus on your apps.  They’re building an app-store like model for users to load and share their flight apps.

As for the drone itself, it’s light and strong, built with carbon fiber strands and protective plates.  There’s a slot on top to attach sensors.

The base is enclosed in a smooth case that reminds us a bit of Rapiro, the cute and cuddly Robot we wrote about last month. In fact, there’s something quite “organic” about the way Spiri looks.  In listening to the designers’ Kickstarter video, you can see they’ve set out to build something with personality.  Spiri isn’t just a set of electronics that flies; it’s a piece of technology with personality.

Want.

As for specs, Spiri has a 1GHz processor, 4G memory and runs Ubuntu Linux with ROS (Robot Operating System.  At $520 it’s not cheap. On the other hand, it makes the AR Drone and Crazyflie look like toys.  Unlike those products, Spiri could be used as the underlying platform to support full-fledged drone startups. TacoCopter, anyone?

Check out Spiri on Kickstarter today!

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