At TechCrunch Disrupt: Astral AR Developing Drones You Control With Your Mind
【Summary】Drones were on display at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt 2017 in San Francisco. One company, Astral AR is working on drones that can be controlled with the mind.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Drones have been a hot topic in the tech industry lately, and some were on display at this year's TechCrunch Disrupt 2017 in San Francisco. One company, Astral AR is working on drones that can be controlled with the mind.
Imagine thinking about making a left turn and having a drone complete the maneuver. It sounds like science fiction. At the event, Futurecar spoke with the CEO and co-founder Leah LeSalla to learn more about the company.
La Salla's startup, Astral AR, is developing drones that can be controlled with the mind using a AR headset, with a focus on drones-for-good activities, such as disaster rescue and law enforcement. Her company holds patents on a variety of drone technologies with the hope of advancing the lifesaving capabilities of agencies and teams responding to emergencies, such as police and fire departments.
By combining AI with facial recognition, anomaly detection, sensors and object detection, Astral AR can provide an educated prediction on situations a pilot is encountering. For example, a police officer piloting a drone over a crowd is able to better detect concealed weapons, identify the type of weapons, identify who the person(s) are with the said concealed weapons and thus improve their situational awareness in real time and from a safe remote location.
Astral AR's Drone, with the Movidius Neural Compute Stick
The company's artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of running standalone on each drone without the need of connectivity to a central server. It powers and touches all aspects of the drone platform. Capable of improving and assisting the pilot, the AI is a perfect partner to help get the task done safer and more efficiently. The AI comes from the Movidius Neural Compute Stick and Nvidia's Jetson TX2 module on-board the drone.
The company's drones are equipped with a variety of sensors available to collect hyperspectral data. The drone's hardware is able to integrate to sensors, such as FLIR, high definition cameras, Lidar, infrared and others on the drone. This wide sensor integration capability provides flexibility to drones to take on multiple roles. For example, a robotic arm and camera integrations gives a firefighter the ability to move some debris in a burning building with the drone.
The company's mission save lives using drones, by reducing risks associated with normal tasks as well as extraordinary ones. Thier proprietary technology and drone piloting system exponentially aid humanitarian endeavors with safety & speed.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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