Friday, February 23, 2018

TATTS is a 501(c)(3)

We are excited to announce that we received approval from the US Government to be a 501(c)(3).  This designation expands our ability to fund-raise as all donations made to TATTS (for US citizens) can be written off on taxes.  Please consider donating!

TATTS has historically offered its programming free of charge to participants and hopes to continue to do the same.  Funds raised through our 2018 campaign will be used in 3 main areas; 1) hardware replacement, development of TATTS In-A-Box (TATTS IAB), and procurement of supplies for outings.  Each of those needs is described in a bit more detail below.

I. Replacement of critical hardware.

  1. Laptop. We need a laptop to run the flight simulation software during our outings, collect manage and edit the footage collected by TATTS team members during our outings and to revise curriculum, communicate with members and update this blog.
  2. Drones.  Our drones are worn out.  Most have been decommissioned and with the improvements in technology there are units out there that are easier to fly, have built in cameras and will better support our member's needs and the organization's mission. 
  3. TV.  We need a large monitor/TV during our outings to host the flight simulation training station and to display footage captured that day.  We view footage together and pause it to pose questions such as "what do you think he is currently thinking as the drone looks down upon them?" 

II. Supplies to support outings.

  1. T-shirts for participants
  2. Snacks during outings

III. TATTS In-A-Box (TATTS IAB).  TATTS IAB is our solution to expand the TATTS program to other locations throughout the US and the world.  Over the years we've received numerous inquiries from people wanting to do something like this in their hometown. TATTS IAB will include instructions, tools, checklists, parent surveys, and the curriculum to allow others to implement TATTS.

We are currently implementing ways to support donations through this blog and our FaceBook page.  Should you want to donate in the interim, please consider writing a check to TATTS, Inc. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pro Bono Flight for Architectural Design

Over the 2017 Labor Day weekend TATTS performed a pro-bono flight and imagery collect for Arc Studio 3D in support of a conceptual redesign of a vacation home outside of Wisconsin Dells in south central Wisconsin.

The flight was completed with our last remaining Phantom 2 using a GoPro Hero 3 Silver edition with an after market 5.5mm lens that eliminates the significant "fish bowl" distortion common with GoPros.

Architects at Arc Studio 3D will take these images to inform and support their design.  We were glad to help out - and we got to swim afterward on a beautiful day!

Reach out to us should you have the need for an imagery collect.  The TATTS team will do what they can to help!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

ICYMI: Some other fun footage

We have so much footage of TATTS team members practicing on the simulator, flying, and video editing its hard to post it all.  Here are a few video and stills from the archive.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TATTS Founder wins Jefferson Award for Volunteerism

TATTS is excited to announce that its founder - Paul Braun - has been awarded the Jefferson Award for volunteerism.  Congratulations to Paul and to all who have helped make TATTS possible!

"I'm honored to receive this award and to be recognized by the Jefferson Awards Foundation especially when there are so many people giving of their time and talents." said Braun. "The journey we have been on with TATTS has been filled with wonderful moments including the incredible generosity of our crowdsourced financial sponsors back in 2012, our awesome volunteers that make it all happen, and the diverse TATTS participants and their families that make it all worth while."

Jennifer Kliese and Amber Noggle from the south central Wisconsin ABC affiliate (WKOW) put a wonderful story together about the work that Paul and TATTS have been doing over the last 5 years.  Click the image below to see the story.

The Jefferson Awards for Public Service and the Jefferson Awards Foundation were founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr, and Sam Beard to establish a Nobel Prize for public and community service.  Recipients come from local nominations all over the country.  Wisconsin's monthly winners will all gather next spring where one nominee will be chosen to represent Wisconsin at the national awards banquet in June.  Paul will be among them.

TATTS gives its participants an opportunity to work with cool technology and do something truly unique.  This award offered one of it's participants - Mitchell Braun - an opportunity to get on TV.

Paul and Mitchell being interviewed by TV anchor Amber Noggle

Mitchell demonstrating his flying skills

WKOW's Jennifer Kliese in the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival parade

Back in the fall of 2014 Jennifer Kliese interviewed TATTS and put together a short story about us.  Thanks WKOW for helping spread the word about our organization!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mario Drops In

An oldie but a goodie...  Paratrooper Mario caught a ride on one drone with a garbage bag parachute.  The kids were enamored waiting for him to be released and guessing where he'd land.

Movie Making - A Key Employment Skill

Making movies from all of our footage is a key component to TATTS.  We  work hard and enjoy gathering footage but it's also fun to review and compile it to personalized videos.  

Members love to see themselves and their teammates out flying as well as enjoying the views from the drone.  This is also a key way in which TATTS members get to develop employment skills.  Video editing is a highly marketable skill these days.

Finished videos are on our YouTube channel here.

Contemplating the best shot 

Getting moving making advice from a volunteer - or maybe giving it

Watching each other's videos - parents, siblings and service animals too.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

TATTS Submits Entry to Governor's 2017 Business Plan Contest

A quick post to let all of our supporters know that we submitted an entry to the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest.  The mission of the contest is:
"to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup state of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin.  The context links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice, high-quality education, management talent and possible sources of capital."  
Phase 1 submittals are very limited in scope and word count.  We are sharing our submittal below in the spirit of openness and to solicit feedback from our supports. Wish us luck!
Product/Service Description
Drones provide stunning imagery & video. TATTS, Inc offers drone services with a unique twist; employing young adults on the autism spectrum. Unemployment among this group is estimated to be >70% . TATTS employs them to fly drones as a service & process the results into quality video & 3D data products. TATTS began in 2012 as a volunteer organization funded through crowdsourcing and has served nearly 50 young adults. TATTS has proven that those on the spectrum can maintain & pilot drones as well as process the data into quality end products.

Customer Definition
TATTS will initially focus on the business-to-consumer (B2C) market in southern Wisconsin with a particular emphasis on personal services (weddings and parties).  Secondary customers would be in the agriculture, construction, and insurance markets.  Drone enthusiasts have purchased consumer-grade drones only to realize that flying is difficult and requires safety procedures.  In addition, the data is large and difficult to manipulate.  With formal documented procedures and quality tools, TATTS resolves these issues.

Market Description, Size and Sales Strategy
The FAA released commercial use drone regulations in 2015 and they have been a catalyst to the market. Industry advocate AUVSI estimates the economic impact of the market to be $13B in the United States between 2015-2017 and an additional $82B through 2025. TATTS will sell direct to consumers via the web and wedding conferences and through a partner channel including DJs, public relations firms, social service agencies, engineering firms and insurance agents. Sales will emphasize our unique story, team skills, and product quality. 

Several commercial drone operators exist in Wisconsin but they tend to be highly specialized.  National providers exist as well but our core market focus typically can’t bear the cost to fly crews and equipment in.  Drone enthusiasts are also competitors but the market is already turning as they realize the full lifecycle is not easy. 

See our blog (here) for more information on TATTS, Inc.