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Question Your World: Can Drones Save Lives?

There are a lot of concerns over technology taking human jobs, but in many cases, technology can actually help humans be better at their jobs. One quick example is drone technology used for disaster and emergency rescues. This technology has already been used to help find earthquake and hurricane survivors that are trapped or isolated in places that we can’t easily see, but now drones are also being used to save lives at the beach! 


Little Ripper is an unmanned automated vehicle drone that was just tested off the coast of Australia. This robotic flying lifeguard is a result of the Australian government’s partnership with a private surfing and beach safety group

Two teenagers were spotted about a 1/2 mile off the coast, struggling with turbulent 9-foot swells. Human lifeguards were able to quickly launch the drone, get to the distressed swimmers, and drop a flotation device, thus saving their lives in under 70 seconds! They even have video proof of this awesome robotic rescue operation! 

Not only can this drone drop a reusable flotation device, it also comes equipped with a personal safety kit and electromagnetic shark repellant. Initially the primary goal was to monitor for sharks near the coast, but saving lives along the way is a pretty excellent side result as well…especially considering it was the drone’s first day on the job. 

So what can we expect from this technology in the future? First of all, we can expect more beaches and safety organizations will take on this technology since the proof is no longer just theoretical. This event off Australia's coast is a great example of a theoretical ideal being turned into a tangible reality. The two teenagers could be the first of many lives saved at beaches around the world if this technology becomes more readily available. 

Secondly get ready for the eventual remake of Baywatch with an all drone cast! Just what everyone’s been waiting for…super attractive drones flying in slo-mo across a beach. Move over Hasslehoff, there's a new lifeguard on duty! 

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