Drone’s Saving Lives
A great story broke out today from Australia about a drone, “The Little Ripper” saving the lives of two young swimmers. The swimmers were stuck in rough waves with a strong current about 2000 ft from the shore. If you haven’t heard, Australia has been on the forefront of using drones alongside their first responders and they’ve been paving the way for more industries to join them.
At the time of the incident, the Lifeguards were using the drone to spot sharks as part of the New South Wale’s “Shark Strategy” program which was created after the large number of attacks last year. The drone received the distress call and within 70 seconds was able to deploy flotation devices to the two swimmers. The swimmers were then able to make it safely to shore. Within 70 seconds, their entire situation changed, and its all thanks to a drone and it’s pilots.
The Little Ripper is seriously impressive. It has a 2 and a half hour flight time and relays back a live video stream to the two person team who mans the drone. If the team sees a need to drop supplies, they can quickly drop inflatable rafts and even small GPS Beacons to greatly increase the chance of survival for someone in need. All of this is doable within minutes. The Ripper is based off the Vapor 55 drone from Pulse Aerospace, which weighs 55lbs and has a payload capacity of 11lbs. It’s a monster of a drone!
Not only is the Little Ripper impressive with it’s deployment capabilities, but it’s also equipped with technology for spotting sharks, even when they are deep in the water. The pilots of the drone, don’t have to manually try and find the sharks themselves as they fly, but can rely on the technology equipped inside the drone and have it highlight the sharks for them.
Overall, the Little Ripper is an awesome piece of technology, and I’m stoked to see different industries getting creative with UAV’s and their purpose.