You may remember the name Prioria from a few years ago when they received positive press coverage in stories like this one, “Prioria Robotics to provide drones to Army in $4.5 million deal” Now Prioria Robotics is at the center of a major drone-related scandal.
After winning some major government contracts, Prioria went on to sell their Maveric “microdrone” for $240,000 each. However, it has been alleged that the technology in the Maveric is on par with or below consumer drones that can be purchased for under $5,000. To make matters worse, Prioria has also been accused of selling refurbished hardware as new.
A breach-of-contract squabble has spiraled into broader allegations of misconduct against a drone manufacturer with millions in US military contracts. A motion filed last week in Florida civil court claims that Prioria Robotics misrepresented specs for its flagship “microdrone”, and also sold refurbished units to the Army as if they were new.
I’m not really sure what the government is complaining about. According to the “Prioria Robotics Maveric” Wikipedia page, the Maveric retails for $500,000. Considering the retail price, $240,000 is a great deal.
Here are a few of the key specs of the Prioria Maveric microdrone:
- Top speed: 63 mph
- Range: 9.3 mi
- Wingspan: 2′ 4″
- Length: 3′
- Weight: 2.6 lbs
- Cruise speed: 30 mph
- Max speed: 63 mph
- Endurance: 45-60 min, depending on configuration and conditions
Would you pay $500,000 for a fixed wing drone with those specifications? I know I wouldn’t.
About Prioria Robotics
Prioria Robotics is a developer of small unmanned aerial vehicle systems and related technologies, most notably the Maveric, a breakthrough composite carbon fiber UAV. We continue to innovate through the development of new products and the underlying embedded technologies that power them, and we seek to drive forward a vision that a smarter system is more useful, more efficient, and most importantly, makes our customers’ lives easier. We are proud to deliver high-tech products and services to civilian and commercial markets and to our nation’s military.