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Intelligent Lifeguard Drone Rescues Victims From Drowning

Smart aerial robot prototype successfully performs search and rescue with life preservers.

Victoria Young
Victoria Young on February 3, 2014. @msvictoriayoung

The average human takes 90 seconds to reach and save a drowning victim who is 75 meters from the beach. It takes Pars 22 seconds. Unmanned robotic aerial systems, designed to do human tasks more efficiently and with faster speeds, are increasingly being deployed for emergencies ranging from delivering defibrillators to heart attack victims to helping police search for missing persons. This lifeguard drone prototype from the RTS Labs in Iran is remote controlled by a human and is able to fly for 10 minutes on a single charge to provide immediate help to those drowning near coastlines. Pars is also smart enough to track its own path by GPS positioning and at the end of its mission it can come back home without the need of user guidance. Choppy waters do not affect Pars, and if a heat camera is added, it could recognize people at night. In theory, it could also carry up to three regular life preservers at once to assist multiple people who are drowning with one flight. With added landing gears, Pars could also potentially pull someone out of the water.

RTS Lab director and engineer Amin Rigi was inspired to design the “savior aerial robot” after hearing report after report of people drowning in the Caspian Sea, with over 1,100 people drowning to their death over the past eight years. The lab first tested a sea-based robot, but soon realized that having it be airborne was more effective. Pars can fly ten minutes at a maximum speed is 7.5 m/s in its current design iteration and can be used in missions with a 4.5 kilometer radius range to rush to drowning victims and drop life preservers down from the air. This solves another key problem that faces search and rescue teams: many humans who rush to save other humans end up drowning themselves. On average 6 people have drowned together at the same time in the Caspian Sea, like the tragic story of 6 students who died in July 2013.

Pars was tested in the Caspian Sea in August 11th to the 15th in 2013 in thirteen trials that analyzed the following core capabilities: life vest releasing system performance, flight stability, search and rescue performance at day and night, and simplicity of robot’s control. These factors were compared with performance of traditional rescue methods and were analyzed for deficiencies of robots design. With further development, Pars could also be used in ships and off shore reliefs; monitoring of marine and off shore structures; and recording films and pictures from dangerous pathways for rescue missions with its precise positioning.

The creators of Pars, Iranian incubator RTS Labs, is looking for investment and financial support to continue to refine the design of Pars and bring it to international markets in the hopes of assisting lifeguards to save more lives.

Source: RTS Incubator

Images: RTS Incubator

TOPICS: Electronics & Gadgets, Science
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Victoria Young

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Victoria helps companies stay at the forefront of innovation by leading research on emerging trends. She is currently an MIT Sloan MBA student studying Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the intersection of technology, culture and sustainable design. She is passionate about helping brands and organizations identify trends, tell stories, and architect experiences by studying what connects with people and what makes things stick. Previous clients she has worked with include Disney, Rolex, and Qualcomm. Avid foodie, nap-lover, and globe-trotter.

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