Prioria Robotics increases hiring to take on NASA, US military contracts

Gainesville-based drone developer Prioria Robotics announced it will hire seven more employees in response to acquiring a handful of big-name research and development contracts.

Prioria cofounder Bryan da Frota said the company recently took on projects for NASA, DARPA, the U.S. Navy and the Air Force. This pushes the company’s projected year-over-year revenue growth to more than 200 percent for 2014, according to a news release.

To keep up with demand, the company is seeking an aeronautical engineer, a mechanical CAD engineer and a software engineer, among other job descriptions. Da Frota said Prioria will likely post five more openings in the next few months.

He said research and development for the new contracts will deal with advanced autonomous behaviors, sensor integration, types of airframe design — all within the realm of the unmanned aircraft industry.

Prioria is still in the hiring process and is still receiving resumes, he said, which is a by-product of a good thing.

“Managing a fast-growing company is very hard. You make a plan, the plan lasts about five seconds, and you kind of hold on with both hands,” da Frota said. “The thing about growth is that your variables are constantly changing, which means the problem you’re trying to solve is constantly changing.”

But it’s a challenge that da Frota — and his soon-to-be-expanded team — is up for.

“My job as an entrepreneur and CEO is to find creative ways to keep everything working as it grows,” he said,.

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