Beyond video: A drone for robotic tasks.
Astria is an innovative aerial vehicle that flies a tool or sensor with hummingbird precision into difficult-to-access and dangerous places. This up-close and touch-capable inspection platform can automate robotic tasks, including inspection of bridges, wind turbines, towers, dams, and powerlines. It collapses for travel, swaps batteries for all-day operations, and has artificial intelligence cameras for added safety.
Our modern society depends on infrastructure which must be inspected and serviced regularly. Today, these tasks are performed manually by brave men and women who ascend to great heights on ropes, ladders, scaffolding, or even hang from helicopters. This critical job is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. One in 100 tower climbers die on the job in a 10-year career.
Highly-trained bridge and wind turbine inspectors rappel with ropes to reach vertical infrastructure, and electrical linemen hang from helicopters or bucket trucks to reach power lines. Existing drones on the market cannot provide the precision needed to perform these tasks as they cannot compensate for even small wind disturbances.
Pitch Aeronautics has developed an innovative aircraft to safely automate aerial inspections and maintenance. Astria can precisely position a 5-10lb payload up-close or in contact with a target by leveraging a precision cyclorotor propeller that can compensate for wind disturbances.
*These images are computer-generated demo versions. The product is still currently under development.
Astria offers an alternative to dangerous labor-intensive inspections at height. Astria can safely perform a more comprehensive inspection faster, and cheaper. This not only reduces inspection costs but also asset downtime minimizing lost revenue for the asset owner. Shutting down a wind turbine is costly, closing a bridge disrupts traffic, and turning off powerlines often isn’t an option.
The Astria can be adapted for:
Astria is a flexible platform designed to carry a spectrum of payloads. We have already built and are testing a crack-width measurement sensor and active thermography sensor. We are currently developing a payload arm to install bird diverters on powerlines. Future payloads for robotic, up-close, and touch inspections include eddy current testing, ultrasound, ground-penetrating radar, powerwashers, paint sprayers, caulking/sealant/foam guns, robotic arms, and much more.
The global inspection market is worth $200B. In the U.S. there are 617,000+ bridges, 57,000 wind turbines, 90,000 dams, 417,000 towers, and 5.5 million miles of powerlines whose inspection is mandated by law. Climbers are in high demand due to the construction of new 5G towers. Pitch Aeronautics has built the only aerial platform that can put a heavy payload in precise contact with an inspection target. It can compensate for wind gusts 10x faster than existing drones.
Here are the facts:
$150B is lost in the US from power outages. The US has more power outages than any other developed country.
¼ - the portion of power outages in the US are attributed to birds and other animals.
PROVEN, PATENTED, PRIMED FOR LAUNCH
We believe Pitch Aeronautics is out in front of any potential competition. We have demonstrated our 6’x9’ 40lb drone Astria, which leverages a suite of new technologies. Astria has already performed an up-close flight demonstration and two initial sensors are in testing. The State of Idaho was so impressed with our progress that they followed up their initial $250K grant with another $50k infusion of non-dilutive capital. We have protected our drone with a patent on our cyclorotor (awarded by USPTO) and another on our unique drone configuration (non-provisional patent pending). These patents protect our hardware designs and we are keeping our custom flight-control, active thermography post-processing, and crack measurement code secret. Astria is proven, patented, and protected.
Our aerial platform is poised to enter the commercial market. We have obtained regional testing partnerships with companies and government agencies including a rope-access bridge inspection, a part 135 drone service provider, a powerline engineering firm, as well as county and state bridge inspectors. These companies can use our drone to inspect US infrastructure because our drone is made entirely in Idaho out of almost entirely US components. We are actively pursuing a Blue-UAS certification: a cybersecurity validation by the Department of Defense to streamline sale to and use of drones by the US government. We are pushing towards initial tests of our prototype with our partners and then will transition Astria into a commercial product.
Our Business Model
Our go-to-market strategy leverages our customer’s desire to test our drone. Everyone we have asked if we could beta-test with them wanted to! After showing off our drone in the field, we plan to offer a three-tiered subscription model. For a premium, we will fly Astria for the customer on their job site. This makes it easy to leverage the capability quickly without any training. However, we expect the majority of customers to purchase a drone subscription, which includes hardware, training, basic software, and unlimited flight hours. We’ll also offer additional software packages to post-process and manage collected data, as well as a repair center for customer drones to make it easy to keep them flying. For large customers, we will provide an enterprise solution with a dedicated account manager and adaptations specific to that customer’s needs. The subscription model makes it easy for new customers to obtain the capability without a large upfront capital expenditure and allows us to update and improve our product for existing clients.
We are raising seed funding to transition our aerial inspection platform aircraft from development to a commercial product. In the next 5 years, our goal is to have a mature product produced in Idaho, and several hundred drone leases. Once we’ve successfully disrupted the inspection space, we plan to move into industrial maintenance, aerospace inspection, and defense. Join us to help keep inspection climbers and aerial lineman safe and simultaneously increase the safety of U.S. infrastructure.
Possible Tax Free Capital Gains:
Under certain circumstances this investment constitutes Qualified Small Business Stock and certain investors need not pay capital gains on stock held more than five years. Learn more about U.S. Code 1202 here.
This is not legal advice and investors should consult a tax professional to ensure that they qualify.
Pitch Aeronautics has developed and built a prototype drone, "Astria" which is currently undergoing flight testing. Astria is a new type of drone that can perform up-close, touch, and robotic tasks (not just video or remote sensing). The company has also developed initial sensor payload prototypes for use on the drone platform and leverages a patented cyclorotor for precision positioning, and a patent-pending configuration to mount a 5-10lb payload on an interchangeable payload arm. This aerial platform can replace expensive rope, crane, and helicopter access inspections, which are among the most dangerous jobs in America. Leveraging interchangeable payloads, Astria will measure cracks, detect subsurface defects, install parts, repair equipment, and keep inspectors safely on the ground. Pitch Aeronautics was founded by Air Force veterans with experience in unmanned aerial systems, professional flying, organizational leadership, flight testing, cyber security, and advanced technology development. They have accomplished $3-4M of engineering development, assembled a motivated team, and prepared a series of testing partnerships, all with $20k of funding and a $300k grant.
Flight Controls Engineer
Technical Advisor - Controls Engineering
Technical Advisor - Concrete Inspection
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Pitch Aeronautics Inc.
4458 S Silverwood Pl , Boise, ID 83716
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For any previous backers or investors in Pitch Aeronautics, when you invest in this live offering you will receive an additional 20% bonus shares.
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Pitch Aeronautics will offer 10% additional bonus shares for all investments that are committed by investors that are eligible for the StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. OWNer's bonus.
This means eligible StartEngine shareholders will receive a 10% bonus for any shares they purchase in this offering. For example, if you buy 100 shares of Common Stock at $1.81 / share, you will receive 110 shares of Common Stock, meaning you'll own 110 shares for $181. Fractional shares will not be distributed and share bonuses will be determined by rounding down to the nearest whole share.
This 10% Bonus is only valid during the investors' eligibility period. Investors eligible for this bonus will also have priority if they are on a waitlist to invest and the company surpasses its maximum funding goal. They will have the first opportunity to invest should room in the offering become available if prior investments are canceled or fail.
Investors will receive the highest single bonus they are eligible for among the bonuses based on the amount invested and time of offering elapsed (if any). Eligible investors will also receive the Owner’s Bonus and Previous Backer Bonus in addition to the aforementioned bonus.
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The Company might incur Irregular Use of Proceeds that may include but are not limited to the following over $10,000: Vendor payments. Salary payments made to one’s self, a friend or relative. Any expense labeled “Travel and Entertainment”. Inter company debt or back payments.
There are only a few hours left to invest in Pitch Aero! We are excited to have raised more than $390K from over 230 investors. Don't miss out on this opportunity to invest in a drone optimized for installations, maintenance, and up-close inspections (not just video).
We are closing our campaign in less than 24 hours! It's not too late to invest in Pitch Aero.
We want to congratulate our investors, team, and network for all of the hard work since the beginning of the campaign. We have made tremendous technical progress, focused our business strategy, and raised more than $375K from over 200 investors.
Here are a few of the milestones we achieved during the last few months:
Remember: There are only 2 days left to Invest in Pitch Aeronautics! Don't miss out!
Boise State University, Power Engineers, and Pitch Aeronautics are testing the bird-diverter deployment system with Idaho Power. The first week of December, we will test our bird-diverter payload arm and bird diverters in Idaho Power's lineman training facility. This prototype culmination demonstration will provide feedback directly from linemen, bird biology experts, and the utility unmanned aerial system department.
Did we mention that utilities currently install bird diverters with helicopters? We can make this task much cheaper and safer with a drone! Check out this video that shows off a diverter prototype and deployment arm:
Just before Thanksgiving, we upgraded the drone from 24 to 50V to provide extra lifting power! We successfully flight-tested this system alongside the direct-drive cyclorotor.
Higher voltage allows greater payload capacity, efficiency, and even better control. This change doubles our payload capacity to 20lb! This means bigger installations, new tools and sensors, and larger batteries for longer flight times.
Did you notice this is our second flight test in just a few days? We are currently focusing on proving our upgraded drone electrical system and flight control algorithms, which means more flying.
Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for team, recent progress, and our amazing network of investors.
We have been working on a new cyclorotor for Astria. This direct-drive variation is much smoother, spins faster, produces more thrust, and will increase reliability. Listen to how smooth the rotor is and watch how fast it can change the thrust direction (it produces so much thrust that the cyclorotor is bending over a bit)!
Here's a shoutout to Hugh Sheldon, who put months of engineering effort into this upgrade. We are excited to flight test this rotor soon: It will increase Astria's precision, allow it to operate in more wind, and may even increase flight time.
Pitch Aeronautics won first place (with a $4000 prize) in a Veteran's Chamber of Commerce pitch competition. We were honored to present alongside other Idaho entrepreneurs who served. Here's a shoutout to the efforts of Veteran Chambers of Commerce across the US: Thank you for helping veterans make a successful transition to civilian life.
We performed successful flight testing of a new flight code on Friday! This updated code makes Astria more intuitive and easy to fly. It also will make Astria more capable in the wind.
Data from the flight test identified that we can substantially improve the control performance with some easy electrical changes! It's great to have a successful flight that results in actionable data for our engineering team. We are excited about conducting more flight tests in the next couple of weeks.
Pitch Aero has been working with Power Engineers and Boise State University to develop a payload arm to deploy a new type of bird diverter onto power lines! See some of our initial testing in this video:
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