Meet Our Team
- Michael W. Piasecki
Senior Systems Architect and Owner
Michael W. Piasecki founded Dragonfly Pictures, Inc. (DPI), in 1992 to develop new image acquisition tools. At the time, he was working in the technical side of the film industry where he specialized in remotely controlling and stabilizing cameras on moving platforms. Along with other prestigious cameramen, he worked with Garrett Brown, the inventor of the SteadyCam*, which was used in blockbuster movies such as Rocky and Star Wars. Combining his expertise in image stabilization with his work in aviation and aerial mapping, Piasecki designed new cutting-edge image acquisition tools…Read More
About Dragonfly Pictures, Inc. (DPI)
DPI is the industry leader in small rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the U.S. DPI UAV have successfully flown thousands of hours, are military proven, and are now available for industry. Our UAV are ideal for critical missions where stable precision flight, self launch/land, high payload capability are key. DPI is recognized for robust low-cost UAV, world-class innovative rotorcraft design, extensive testing, and successful UAV deployment.
This recognition is part of a long heritage with rotorcraft that dates back over 70 years to 1942, when Frank N. Piasecki flew the second successful helicopter in the U.S. With U.S. Coast Guard sponsorship, Frank Piasecki’s team was soon flying the first military tandem helicopter in the U.S. — and the largest helicopter at the time.
Fifty years later, in 1992, his son, Michael W. Piasecki, started Dragonfly Pictures, Inc. (DPI). With a background in both helicopters and camera stabilization techniques, Piasecki focused DPI on designing and building small, cost-effective autonomous UAV that deliver precision photography, advanced data acquisition, and multi-mission capabilities. DPI UAV are designed for tactical applications in near-earth environments, complex terrain, and restricted environments, such as urban, jungle and mountainous areas where the oblique perspective is required.
DPI tandem and multi-rotor UAV designs are ideal for agriculture, forestry, wildfire life & safety, fisheries, geochemical discovery, precision photography, precision mapping, search and rescue (SAR), infrastructure assessment, and other industries where precision flight; self launch/land in unprepared terrain; and simple, one-person, fully autonomous operation are key capabilities.
The company has been awarded twenty SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research grants), including a Phase 3 SBIR. Research topics include precision autonomous flight, dynamic obstacle avoidance, realtime path planning, small long-range multi-mission UAV, autonomous casualty evacuations, and precision medical resupply in austere and complex environments.
DPI partnerships with cutting edge researchers and organizations help move advanced autonomy and payloads onto DPI rotorcraft. DPI partnerships and customers include NASA, DARPA, Boeing, BAE, SAIC, L3, AAI, Northrop Grumman, Harris Corporation, Carnegie Mellon, Wintec, MicroPilot, Pegasus Servos, CloudCap, LIDAR USA, Isolair, and other respected developers of aircraft systems and subsystems.
Clients and Partners
US Air Force