ATLAS Air Transportation

Help us build a drone that is large enough to carry a human!

  • $2,590

    pledged of $5,000

    • 17


    • 0


This project received pledges on Mon 20 Jan 2020


Advanced Transportation through Leading-edge Aerial Systems (ATLAS) is raising $2,500+ with the intention to automate and modernize the multipurpose air transportation industry through drone technology. Our team of engineers and business specialists are passionate about bringing this industry into the 21st century while solving issues ranging from air pollution to traffic congestion. All contributions will be used to purchase parts and supplies needed to produce a drone capable of transporting a passenger. We have recently received a seed grant from NASA to further our progress, and through building upon existing science and developing new forms of flight technology, we intend to place South Dakota State University at the front of innovation in the transportation industry.

Who are We?

Our team is made up of four SDSU mechanical engineering students, one electrical engineering student and two business/marketing/finance students.

Our Story:

     ATLAS is centered around producing a multipurpose automated drone capable of comfortably lifting the weight of an average person. This is a concept that we believe the industry of transportation could benefit greatly from, and with the enhancement of technology we will see this market grow.  We will build upon current drone technology to bring a new multipurpose unmanned aircraft to fill current and upcoming transportation needs. Very few companies are attempting the development of large autonomous air transportation systems utilizing multi-rotor aircraft, and none have been able to develop a commercially available aircraft capable autonomously transporting a human passenger. We are taking on this challenge because we believe that it is time for a new method of air transportation. 

    We believe that this type of technology is important in the advancement of aviation and transportation. The current social and technological environment is ready to adopt a new form of multipurpose transportation, and ATLAS aims to be at the forefront of this crucial step. Not only are we interested in changing the face of aerial transportation technology, but we look to reduce the amount of gas and diesel motor emissions, expanding on the path of electric cars. In contrast to electric cars, however, we will address the problem of traffic congestion by creating a new method of consumer transportation.  

      This development began as a senior design project and has transformed into a feasible business idea. We are currently working full-time on a small-scale prototype capable of carrying 25 pounds of weight and running tests with it to determine the feasibility of our final model. Your donation will go towards further development and tests to make this plan come to fruition, as well as allowing us access to pledged funding from NASA, helping further assist us with supplies and parts. This money will be directly accessible by the team through the SDSU Foundation. As a team of SDSU students, we look to make our school and community proud.


Present: Initial testing of our small custom-built drone Hummingbird. If we can make a normal drone fly, why not something bigger? 

Jan-Feb: Preliminary designs and part purchasing of the full-scale drone Albatross.

Mar-Apr: Assembly and safety tests of Albatross

May-Jun: Finalized flight tests of Albatross and public showcase. 

Find us here

Facebook: ATLAS Air Transportation

Instagram: @ATLAS_AT20

Twitter: @ATLAS_AT20

Help us succeed!

Your generous contribution will help us transform our goals into reality. We would also appreciate you sharing our mission with your friends, family, and neighbors. We are sincerely grateful for your help, in whatever form it takes!


This material is based upon a proposal tentatively selected by NASA for a grant award of $79,995, subject to successful crowdfunding. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.