upsideEpisode 47
UP032: Astral AR // drones that stop bullets and prevent tragedy (live from CES 2019)
UP032: Astral AR // drones that stop bullets and prevent tragedy (live from CES 2019)
By Jay Clouse and Eric Hornung • View the Website

Interview begins: 07:40
Debrief begins: 58:25

Leah La Salla is the co-founder and CEO of Astral AR.

Leah is a self-taught, polyglot software architect and inventor. She spent much of her free time during high school years working in her dad’s super-precision tool-and-die machine shop – and got started in tech long before there were any initiatives trying to bring women into development.

She studied CAD design in college and then spent a decade in software engineering – including five years as a Federal employee – while teaching herself to program in an additional 9 languages, and mentoring around a hundred in women in coding. Leah’s worked on wide range of technically unusual products including fabrication application development, industrial printing, and more conventional app development and app security.

She built Astral’s original prototype in between assembling the company team out of the personal and professional network she has built over the course of the last fifteen years. As the inventor of neuromechanical drones with a permanent patent filed on 9 inventions, she hacked NASA with a toaster.


Astral AR builds drones that stop bullets. Their integration of technologies is unbiased by design and exclusively for deployment by uniformed first responders (police, fire, emergency managers) on behalf of lifesaving public safety and search & rescue at scenes of potential or active gun violence.

They bring situational awareness, anomaly detection, and an autonomous bullet-stopping flying shield to traffic stops, schools, large public venues, structure fires, and hostage rescues as well as in disaster zones.

Astral AR was founded in 2015 and based in Austin, Texas.

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