The three-rotor SwitchBlade, a small, collapsible drone that’s already raised $32,810 on Kickstarter, is designed to compete with radially symmetric quadrotors in the realms of search and rescue, infrastructure inspection, aerial photography, research, and (of course) recreational flight. According to creators Vision Aerial, the tricopter has better balance while flying forward compared with a quadcopter; it’s also easier to determine the orientation of an asymmetrical drone while in flight.
The SwitchBlade comes in both regular and pro models. Neither include cameras or other special sensors right out of the box, but both have mounts for them. Both have on-board flight computers that keep the trirotor stable in the air; the pro’s system allows for programmable missions. Radio controllers are included with each model. The regular SwitchBlade goes for $949 on Kickstarter, while the pro costs $1,549.
After years of quadrotor domination in the commercial drone market, we’re excited to see new designs emerge. Watch some SwitchBlade-captured aerial views of a motocross track below.