Who is Astral AR?

ASTRAL AR is an early-stage technology company that offers original, patent-pending technologies that combine OEM commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with augmented reality visors, EEG-controlled piloting, and long- life batteries. Our drones are fitted with various sensors for specialized commercial and government applications.

We are the ONLY American-owned and operated company that can deliver these integrated UAV systems and secure the related data on US-based servers as required by the Department of Justice. Our drones are constructed with weatherproof shells that far exceed current regulations.

How it all began

Founders

Leah LaSalla

Leah LaSalla

CEO / Co-Founder

Leah LaSalla is a polyglot software architect. While a tax examiner at the Internal Revenue Service, she taught herself to program in nine languages and launched a career in software programming. Leah is the LAMP/Js curriculum advisor for the Ada Academy and rated in the top 10% on Stack Overflow. Prior to inventing a drone you can fly with your mind, Leah led a wide range of technically complex projects like fabrication application development and industrial printing as well as more conventional web-based app development. She attended National American University, where she won an exclusive internship developing for the American Cancer Society.

José La Placa Amigo

Jose "Chango" La Placa Amigo

COO / Co-Founder

José La Placa Amigo is a United States Air Force veteran who served in Afghanistan. He is a dedication LAN/WAN backbone and media distribution expert. José has worked with high voltage since he was nine years old. While in the U.S. Air Force, he specialized in installation, maintenance, fault isolation and reconstitution of fixed cable and wireless distribution systems, LAN and WAN in support of tactical and strategic operations. For Astral AR, José establishes and oversees all international strategic partnerships and heads up all WAN network engineering for line-of-sight development. He is a longtime volunteer and foster parent with the Santa Rosa Dog Den Rescue, helping countless dogs find forever homes.


Q&A with our technical founder, Leah LaSalla

What led you to develop an interest in the UAS industry?

I'm a self-taught polyglot software architect. Perhaps thanks to my early industrial fabrication background in my father’s super precision tool & die workshop, I've had the amazing opportunity to work on a wide range of technically unusual projects. From fabrication application development and industrial printing to more conventional application development and security, my specialties eventually led to several patents.

The realms of software development and drones completely merged for me when I was experimenting with the Parrot AR drone around the same time that I bought a pair of neural cat ears. The EEG capability of the cat ears led me to start exploring with an (uncomfortable and insufficient) EEG sensor created by Neuroskies. This led to the first Astral AR prototype: a drone I programmed to be controlled with the mind, no joystick/tablet required.

Once I learned that this combination of technologies was not available elsewhere, I started patenting and figuring ways to apply the technology where it would be most needed: wide-area Search and Rescue, disaster management, fire-fighting, small space navigation, environmental remediation, and public safety.

What do you strive to accomplish in the UAS industry?

I strive to establish worldwide familiarity with Astral’s capabilities. Disasters are happening every day, and in their remediation, human lives are constantly lost or put at risk in ways they don’t need to be considering the emerging tech tools available in the world today.

The drones I program already can achieve the lifesaving feats of stopping bullets, covering expansively wide and impossibly narrow areas, and entering places unsafe for humans due to extreme temperatures, unsafe radiation levels, or dangerously remote locations.

However, due to red tape, bureaucracy, and the fact that Astral AR is still a startup company working to prove itself, it is taking time and exposure to get the technology in the hands of those who need it. We’re making great progress though, having attracted early investors who believe in us to the tune of a half million dollars. We will soon complete a venture capital Series A funding.

How have you had an impact in designing drones for humanitarian uses?

My company’s motto is, “Diversity, Transparency, and Saving The World.” We’re aiming for a positive, holistic impact. The unique integration of augmented reality with drone technology--an easy-to-use neuromechanical/cognitively-driven drone piloting platform--is configured for maximum data-gathering & real-time reporting for the benefit of logistical leadership and human survival.

Astral AR’s humanitarian aid drones deliver payloads of help to survivors. The oceanic assistance platform includes deployment of a life-raft, water, and meal rations; wilderness fire assistance includes deployment of a payload of fire retardant. Both search & rescue and firefighting drones relay human communications to survivors (including translation capability!) and summon other drones for assistance as well.

This invention is beyond important: it appropriately uses technology to exponentially enhance the lifesaving capacities of agencies & teams responding to emergencies while also enormously increasing safety and speed for these parties as well as each event’s survivors.


Crunchbase Description

We didn't just create a product, we invented an industry: mind-flown drones.

Our Augmented Reality drone piloting systems integrate EEG reader biometrics, smartglasses/visor, and a small flying UAV to give pilots the powers of shared reality, holoportation, and telepresence- exponentially increasing human safety, maximizing team coordination, and greatly speeding production of humanitarian endeavors such as Wide-Area Search & Rescue, Firefighting, Disaster Management, Large Venue Security, Telecommunications boosting, and public safety.

The Problem With How Things Are Currently Done: Many human enterprises & humanitarian missions are inefficient, time consuming, expensive, and risky for workers. Equipment is clunky, counter-intuitive, and uncomfortable. VR, the present “current” tech, involves vertigo/sea-sickness. Needless environmental destruction and time delays plague many tasks.

Our Solution and Competitive Advantage: Shared Reality drone piloting flight at the basic level, that give pilots the world's best flight: safety & speed. Our patented solution offers realtime reporting, hyperspectral sensors and thermal sensors that cover wide-areas, and payload capacity for supplies & assistance. Astral AR means reduction of human risk, optimization of team leadership, a whole new level of cost-effectiveness, and eco-efficient corporate responsibility. We give drone pilots Superpowers for a wide range of tasks and goals.

We're a U.S. State & Federal Vendor, and affiliated with both FEMA's Emerging Technology Initiative and the IAEM for UAV/UAS SME.

We're the only ones doing this – as our patents and unsolicited LOIs can attest.

In order to fulfill our sales requests and take us to the next level of team productivity, we are taking investors and offering an extremely favorable IP outcome for all investors involved.

Visit our Crunchbase Profile


IAEM-Global Awards Competition

Leah LaSalla invented a patented integration of technology, effectively creating a highly intuitive, holistic, and easy-to-use neuromechanical/cognitively-driven drone piloting platform. Astral AR’s drones are configured for maximum data-gathering & real-time reporting for the benefit of logistical leadership and human survival.

In addition, these humanitarian aid drones deliver payloads of help to survivors. The oceanic assistance platform includes deployment of a life-raft, water, and meal rations; wilderness fire assistance includes deployment of a payload of fire retardant. Both search & rescue and firefighting drones relay human communications to survivors and summon other drones for assistance as well. This invention is beyond important: it appropriately uses technology to exponentially enhance the lifesaving capacities of agencies & teams responding to emergencies while also enormously increasing safety and speed for these parties.

Astral AR deserves this award because of its leading-edge technology used to create a utility for humanitarian relief purposes. Rather than do what many in tech are doing--inventing toys--LaSalla invented an industry: Augmented Reality (AR) drones for lifesaving purposes.

IAEM 2017 Awards Compeition

IAEM - International Association of Emergency Managers

Women And Drones

Leah has been nominated as a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Women To Watch In UAS Competition

Women And Drones in partnership with Drone360 Magazine and the ASCEND Conference & Expo, is conducting a worldwide search for women who have made an impact on the drone industry via achievements in business, technology, journalism, education, government relations, agriculture, law, advocacy and others.

Leah is a semi-finalist and awaiting word to see if she made it to the finalist round. The finalists will be featured on Women And Drones website and at the ASCEND Conference & EXPO, which is set for July 19-21, 2017 in Portland, OR.

In summary, Leah has placed a patent on what could potentially be one of the most important lifesaving innovations in recent history - one which will be implemented expanded upon heavily by governments and aid organizations across the globe. Using various hardware and software innovations combining the powers of brainwaves, minute muscular movements, augmented reality, and drone robotics, Astral AR has developed and patented drones for immediate use in disaster and crisis management.

Being selected is an honor and acknowledgement of her contribution to the UAS industry.

Women to Watch in UAS Normation Page

Women and Drones
drone 360 magazine

Products

Charlie Firedrone

Charlie Firedrone

Firefighting S&R assistance with the primary mission to seek out survivors - relays environmnetal conditions & physical geography data.

Annie UAV Search & Rescue Fleets

Annie UAV Search & Rescue Fleets

Commercial/Gov't customizations designed for non-stop patrol fleets of remote and wide areas to maximize Search & Rescue & human survivors

Clementine Surveying Drone

Clementine Surveying Drone

Optimizing surveying & prospecting with minimal impact - x-ray sight detection of metals, minerals, and artifacts. Hugely speeds production.

Angel the Flying Jaws of Life

Angel the Flying Jaws of Life

Angel's primary purpose is to improvise an entry or exit route regardless of topography, and has a vise grip & cutting tool.

Gidget Maintenance Drone

Gidget Maintenance Drone

General Purpose assistant, for dangerous work such as skyscraper & oil rig repairs, minefield ordinance, and landfill resource reclamation.

Medusa UAV Swarms

Medusa UAV Swarms

Public Safety UAVs: stop bullets, absorb incoming rocket fire and deal with nuisance drones in a controlled, safe, and non-intrusive manner.

Jenny

Jenny

Jenny is our Droneside-Assistance service drone which includes basic drone maintenance and towing.


Specifics about Astral AR’s development and involvement in Cascadia Rising

After researching the status quo on public drones and determining that an immersive, augmented reality piloting system had yet to be invented, Leah LaSalla tested her hypothesis with a mentor, and with $50K in seed funding proceeded to create a working prototype in six weeks.

LaSalla’s startup company Astral AR has a team of 22 along with 4 advisors, 10 small investors, and various humanitarian fans & friends who have invested their time, energy, and/or funds into the project of building this industry as a startup company. Those involved in Astral AR are united in the belief that the best emerging tech on the planet should maximize life-saving and minimizing negative environmental impact.

In Spring of 2016, Astral AR was invited by FEMA and IAEM to be officially affiliated as a Subject Matter Expert. This further strengthened tactical plans for coherent focus on the business of disaster management. The budget has developed according to investments, with most monies going into Research & Development, procurement of hardware & software, marketing materials, and travel for presentations and attendance at events like Cascadia Rising.

At FEMA’s request, Leah LaSalla/Astral AR designed immersive AR drone use-cases with patented technology to optimize ocean search & rescue and rural/wilderness firefighting. The tools that LaSalla designed maximize survival with unprecedented 3D situational awareness & realtime reporting--utilizing toaster-sized UAVs that go places humans can’t.

Astral AR was invited by FEMA to Cascadia Rising, a high-security training exercise, additionally pre-screened by ARNG Major General Wells for the event. Astral’s humanitarian drones are specifically case-planned for disaster management logistics.

When Astral AR demonstrated at the Cascadia Rising weekend in 2016, the event was attended by 6000 emergency managers, first responders, military personnel (both domestic and foreign), medics, and government officials--all of whom benefit from best practices and leading edge/holo-edge tools.

Astral AR’s representation at Cascadia Rising was through the technology itself, piloted by the Director of International Business Development, Craig Davidenko.

Leah LaSalla invented a patented integration of technology, effectively creating a highly intuitive, holistic, and easy-to-use neuromechanical/cognitively-driven drone piloting platform. Astral AR’s drones are configured for maximum data-gathering & real-time reporting for the benefit of logistical leadership and human survival.

In addition, these humanitarian aid drones deliver payloads of help to survivors. The oceanic assistance platform includes deployment of a life-raft, water, and meal rations; wilderness fire assistance includes deployment of a payload of fire retardant. Both search & rescue and firefighting drones relay human communications to survivors and summon other drones for assistance as well. This invention is beyond important: it appropriately uses technology to exponentially enhance the lifesaving capacities of agencies & teams responding to emergencies while also enormously increasing safety and speed for these parties.


Contact

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In Person

301 Chicon St.
Suite C
Austin, Tx 78702