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Quadshot – an aerobatic blend of RC helis and planes's video poster

Quadshot is an R/C aircraft that hovers like a helicopter and flies like a plane. Do stunts, hack it, take aerial video, or just fly! Read more

pledged of $25,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on September 17, 2011.

Quadshot is an R/C aircraft that hovers like a helicopter and flies like a plane. Do stunts, hack it, take aerial video, or just fly!

About this project

The Quadshot is a remote-controlled aircraft we have created that melds advanced Open-Source hardware and software with a unique airframe design. It can both fly forward like an airplane and hover like a helicopter - but without the usual complicated, expensive, and fragile moving parts. The Quadshot also incorporates a threaded mount so you can attach a small camera and capture aerial footage.

This is what comes to our minds when we try to explain the Quadshot:


Let’s briefly go through each part:

BRAIN - The Quadshot differs from a typical remote-controlled airplane or helicopter in a big way: it has a brain! Our brain is called Lisa/M, and here she is:

Like the flight computer on an advanced aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Lisa is equipped with a sensor suite called an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), shown above right. The IMU contains 3-axis solid-state accelerometers and gyroscopes to keep Lisa up-to-date on which way she is pointing and how fast she is rotating.

Lisa combines all of this information with your commands and then decides what to do hundreds of times per second. The advantage of being so brainy? You can tell the Quadshot to hover like a helicopter, fly slowly and steadily like a trainer airplane, or give you full control for aerobatics - all at the flip of a switch.

Lisa may be small, but she’s powerful - and hackable! Lisa’s hardware is open (OSHW), and she runs flight software based on the Open-Source Paparazzi project - which means you have the power to make changes, and also benefit from improvements made by others in the community.

AIRFRAME - We designed the Quadshot’s airframe to be lightweight, yet durable. It consists of a one-meter (39 inch) wing, four pylons with motors and propellers, an enclosure for the electronics, and a standard threaded mount suitable for a small camera. The wing is made out of EPP foam, with a carbon-fiber spar for strength. The pylons are plastic-reinforced foam, and act as landing gear, motor mounts, and tailfins. They are set farther apart on the bottom of the wing to give your camera a clear view.

YOU - The most important part! You’re in control: hover around, or improve your skills in the beginner airplane setting with assisted, graceful banked turns. Feeling adventurous? Try the advanced mode and perform exciting aerobatics. Attach your camera for aerial footage, or even a pan/tilt mount for flying with a first-person view! Want to hack the software, build a UAV, or do something no one has thought of yet? Just get an airframe and use your own gear, or join the worldwide community of Paparazzi developers!

Why Kickstarter?

We designed the Quadshot to be three things: a novel controls research platform, a fun R/C toy that combines aspects of helicopters and airplanes, and a platform for hobby aerial photography. We have made about 10 working prototypes, but hand-building them from CNC-machined blocks of foam and 3D-printed parts make them too expensive to share. To bring the Quadshot into being for everyone, we need your help! Our project goal is to get enough early support so that we can afford mass-production tooling. This will let us make high-quality parts at a reasonable cost. 

What are the rewards for backers?

We will produce different flavors of the Quadshot for people with different interests:

The Mocha: the best model for people most interested in flying - we think it is the most capable and fun R/C aircraft ever! This version will include everything you need, including the fully-assembled Quadshot, a radio transmitter, lithium-polymer battery, and charger. While ready to fly out of the box, the Mocha still has room to hack! It includes a streamlined version of Lisa (called Lia) featuring through-hole solder connectors, which make it simpler to connect up accessories like GPS or XBee modules. To keep costs down, Lia does not include some components that are not used by the Quadshot, namely the magnetometer and barometer sensors, and CAN and I2C communication support. Mochas will start to ship after the unassembled kits. Retail price will be $400 - Kickstarters save $100!

The Espresso: for R/C and software enthusiasts interested in hacking with the aircraft. It includes the airframe, four motors/propellers/motor controllers, two servos, one Lisa/M module, two XBee wireless modules (for bidirectional communication to a groundstation computer), and all necessary wires, connectors, and fasteners. You will need your own Spektrum-compatible 2.4GHz R/C transmitter and receivers. The Espresso is a kit and requires assembly; directions will be included. Retail price will be $750 - Kickstarters save $250!

The Kopi Luwak: for controls researcher and hardcore hackers. Identical to the Espresso, but with the Lisa/M upgraded to the larger and more expandable Lisa/L. Lisa/L pairs Lisa/M’s STM32 microcontroller with a piggy-backed Gumstix Overo Air computer module, featuring wifi and the powerful OMAP-3 processor. Lisa/L also expands on the sensors included with Lisa/M by adding a differential barometer for measuring airspeed. The Kopi Luwak comes fully assembled, and we even throw in a t-shirt, thank you video, and link to your site! Retail price will be $2000 - Kickstarters save $500!

In addition to complete vehicles, we will offer:

The Latte: a bare airframe kit, which is the wing, spar, pylons, winglets, and electronics housing. Unassembled and great if you have your own project in mind, or want spare parts. Retail price will be $75 - Kickstarters save $25!

The Cappuccino: Same as the Latte, but also including four motors and motor controllers, the wiring harness, servos and a set of propellers. DOES NOT include a flight computer or software. This is best for people who already have/wish to create their own flight computer or software compatible with this vehicle configuration. Retail price will be $150 - Kickstarters save $50!

The Decaf: Want to support the Quadshot, but are more fashion plate than flying ace? No sweat - get a t-shirt silkscreened with our stylin' logo, and your name on our site's thank you page.

What is the production plan?

By pledging your support, you are pre-ordering your Quadshot and ensuring you are among the first to get one. And since we can't do it without you, we're offering Kickstarters substantial discounts over future retail prices.

If we are funded, we will go into production in two phases. During phase one, we will focus on producing high quality parts and ship the Latte, Cappuccino, and Espresso rewards as unassembled kits. We will also assemble, test and ship the super awesome Kopi Luwaks ourselves.

During phase two, we will focus on the Mocha, which will be fully assembled and ready-to-fly out of the box.

Thanks very much for checking out our project, and we hope you decide to support it!

-- Piotr, Chris, Jeff, and Pranay

Websites: - homepage, FAQ, and videos - Quadshot discussion forums - announcements, links to more video - Paparazzi onboard control and ground station software - Lisa hardware, accessories, and information


  • The "Kopi Luwak" includes two XBees for telemetry and two Spektrum receivers for bind and fly capability. A battery is also provided. You will need your own transmitter and charger.

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  • We have hovered the v8 prototype with a 440g (almost a pound) payload, but we don't recommend it. The payload limit is about 220g (about half a pound) without impacting the behavior of the Quadshot.

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  • We think that the Quadshot meets the Academy of Model Aeronautics Park Flyer criteria and so could be flown in places like baseball or soccer fields. For more info check out

    Further, we strongly encourage users to ensure they are in compliance with the AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code with regard to their flying procedures and projected applications for this aircraft. These rules can be found here:

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  • First of all, thanks for supporting us to the tune of multiple rewards!

    Kickstarter will only allow a single pledge per account. To get more than one reward, first please pledge for one reward. Next, increase your pledge amount to the correct total pledge amount required for the rewards you would like by clicking "Manage Your Pledge" on the project page. For example, it you want a Mocha and an Espresso, please pledge ($300 + $500 = ) $800. Further, please let us know which rewards you would like by sending us a message on Kickstarter.

    If you are having your rewards shipped internationally, please let us know your exact address as well; we want to make certain that we can avail of and pass on any discounts for bulk shipping of multiple rewards to your destination.

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  • Kopi Luwak is one of the world's rarest and most expensive coffees. Check out and we think you'll agree - it's coffee that truly is the sh-, er, bomb!

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  • Only the Mocha, the Espresso and the Kopi Luwak come with some form of a flight computer.

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  • No problem, just visit our website and preorder one! Also, follow us on Twitter @theQuadshot for regular updates and visit for answers to your questions!

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  • When we first got the prototype flight control software working, we realized that the aerobatic capabilities of this little aircraft were really phenomenal. It goes like a shot, turns on a dime and darts around the sky like it is amped up on four shots of espresso!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    26 backers

    The Decaf - ready to wear! A Quadshot logo t-shirt to show your support, and your name on our site's thank you page. (Please add $15 for international shipping)

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    3 backers

    The Latte - do it yourself! An unassembled airframe kit with a foam wing, carbon spar, plastic electronics pod, four pylons & two winglets. (Canada or Mexico, please add $40; other international please add $65)

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    31 backers

    The Cappuccino - bring your brain and R/C radio! Includes a Latte kit + motors & controllers, servos, and props. Great if you already have some gear or your own project in mind. (Canada or Mexico, please add $40; other international please add $65)

  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    153 backers

    The Mocha - ready-to-fly! A fully-assembled Quadshot including everything you need: radio, battery, and charger. (Canada or Mexico, please add $100; other international please add $150)

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    32 backers

    The Espresso - ready-to-hack! A Cappuccino kit + the Lisa/M brain & two XBee modules for wireless telemetry. All you need is your own R/C radio and receiver. (Canada or Mexico, please add $40; other international please add $65)

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    7 backers

    The Kopi Luwak - exclusive top-flight research! A Cappuccino + the more flexible Lisa/L brain and powerful Gumstix Overo Air computer module (perfect for UAV and controls research). You also get a shirt, a thank you video, and link to your site. (Canada or Mexico, please add $100; other international please add $150)

Funding period

- (45 days)