We’re always in awe at the rate in which technology improves for the better and gee, this one really tickled our fancy! We just love the way this simple task has exponentially improved the way we do things. It’s efficient and productive, potentially safer than a traditional approach and it really is saving lives!
A couple of Australian teenage swimmers became the first surf rescue … by drone! A world-first, the boys were caught in three-meter swell, 700 meters offshore while swimming off Lennox Head in New South Wales. Someone close by reported the sighting and within a couple of minutes, the fresh-out-of-the-box drone was up and delivering an inflatable floatation device directly to the boys.
The pair caught their breath and were then able to swim to shore unharmed, albeit thoroughly puffed, quicker than it would have taken them to be rescued in a typical surf rescue.
It’s technology advancements like this that are improving tasks in such a positive way, its not like surf patrols will be fully automated any time soon, as there are lives at stake and removing the human element just isn’t practicable. However, having the ability to add eyes out over the water at a potential height of 60 meters at quite a speed, can only be for the better good of the community.
As well as the ability to spot swimmers in trouble and deliver life saving devices faster than traditional lifesaving techniques, such as launching rescue boards or IRB’s, drones are being used in Australia to easily spot our underwater ‘friends’ such as sharks and jellyfish.
There are also teams dedicated to developing expert systems using thousands of images captured by these drone cameras to build algorithms that will identify the difference between various objects. The software will be able to recognise sea creatures such as sharks, with over 90 percent accuracy, compared to about 16 percent with the naked eye.
How amazing to think how far this has come? What’s next?