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Pars prototype rescue drone is faster than a human lifeguard in testing

Although drones are mainly in the news these days for the militaristic aspects, they can also be used to save lives. RTS earlier this year showed off a flying drone, Pars, which is designed to help rescue drowning victims. The prototype of that flying rescue robot is now being tested at the Caspian Sea near Iran.
The drone is designed to be able to independently find drowning victims in the ocean and then drop floating rings to them. Testing of the prototype drone kicked into high gear after six students drowned in the Caspian Sea this past July.

The robot is capable of dropping floating rings to multiple drowning victims during a single “mission”. In its intended usage scenario, the drone would provide quick relief to a trouble swimmer by dropping flotation rings, thus allowing the human rescuer to swim to the scene to provide further assistance without being hindered [en route] by the rescue devices.
The flying drone can stay aloft for 10 minutes and has a maximum speed of 10 m/s. The design of the drone gives it a useful range of 4.5 km.
More importantly, the designers are touting their rescue drone as superior alternative to a human lifeguard. In recent testing, a person that was “simulating drowning” 75 meters from the coastline was rescued by a human lifeguard in 91 seconds. However, the Pars drone was able to accomplish the feat in 22 seconds.

Sources: RTS Ideas,

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RE: Uhhh...
By Motoman on 11/12/2013 1:15:34 PM , Rating: 2
If you're stuggling to keep your head above water for some period of time before you get your flotation device, you may be too tired to paddle back into shore after you get it.

And, you may have strayed into an area where the natural current is washing you out to sea...

Don't get me wrong - I think this is a cool concept, and obviously getting the flotation device to the swimmer is hugely important. But they're not "rescued" at that point...

RE: Uhhh...
By DanNeely on 11/12/2013 1:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's true; but in most cases once you have a floatation device you're also no longer on the brink of death either. This is potentially a large step forward, but to replace human life guards it would need to go from dropping simple rings to dropping something powered capable of towing someone to shore.

If it's easy enough for an untrained person to operate it could serve as a major safety upgrade for unguarded beaches. Fly a ring with a transponder out to keep the person afloat and then send a 911 call to get the local water rescue team out with a boat/etc to haul the person back in.

RE: Uhhh...
By GTVic on 11/12/2013 3:46:54 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they could also deploy a motivational drone to give you encouragement as you struggle back to shore.

RE: Uhhh...
By kfonda on 11/13/2013 12:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
I hear the predator drone can be very motivational in such situations.

RE: Uhhh...
By Murloc on 11/12/2013 6:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
once the drowner is floating, the rescuer can swim up to him without the flotation device, so he can reach him faster, and he also has more time before the victim drowns.

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