Innovation and Drone Expertise: What It Takes to Build a Product for the Drone Industry • Fluidity
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Innovation and Drone Expertise: What It Takes to Build a Product for the Drone Industry

My name is Radley Angelo, and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Spark Creative. Our company’s mission has always been to push the boundaries in the world of drones and robotics. This takes many forms, including hardware, software and complex deployments around the globe. With thousands of flight hours on 5 continents, we’ve been active participants in the drone industry since its inception. We’ve swarmed drones, published in the Apple and Android App stores and, most recently, partnered with Fluidity Technologies to help bring the FT Aviator to life. 

I first met Fluidity CEO, Scott Parazynski, at the crater rim of Masaya Volcano, one of the most active lava lakes in the world. Our team worked with GE and explorer Sam Cossman to leverage our robotics expertise to build custom drones to fly and collect data where it would be unsafe for humans. Scott and I rappelled and ziplined down to the crater floor, and eventually even stood on the “shoreline” of its churning lava lake. Easily one of the most insane adventures of our lives! 

Masaya Volcano

After the project, we kept in touch and learned about Scott’s plan to revolutionize the drone industry with a state-of-the-art drone joystick derived from his aviation, spaceflight and robotics experiences. The Spark team worked alongside Fluidity over the next two years, offering valuable drone flight expertise into the design and feature set of what would become the FT Aviator flight controller. 

Scott’s vision and drive were clear, and the benefits of single-handed flight control inputs made a lot of sense to us. Moreover, with the primary flight controls into one hand, you could then take advantage of much-improved camera controls with the other. As experts in both DJI hardware and software, we helped guide the team to include other core functionality in the product that would feel natural to anyone who’s flown a drone before, and be intuitive to those that hadn’t. It’s the small thoughtful details we’re most proud of, like the sensitivity dial and situational display, and we think they come together to make a really special product. Working with Fluidity and the rest of the amazing hardware and industrial design folks involved in the project was a spectacular experience, and we’re all so proud of the FT Aviator.

An early working prototype of the FT Aviator

Once the hardware had taken shape, our dev team worked to create the bespoke FT Aviator mobile applications for both iOS and Android. These apps would act as the connective tissue between the FT Aviator and DJI hardware, translating and interpreting pilot input into drone flight. As we near the finish line and product launch, we’re excited to continue our collaboration with Scott and his team and continue to make the FT Aviator a robust and feature-rich controller long into the future. 

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