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New Rescue Drone Demonstrates Outstanding Capabilities

May 15, 2019 / i-HLS

Drones have been increasingly deployed in search and rescue in recent years. However, it is hard to find a solution that could cover great distances and run for hours beyond the sightline of a human operator. Swiss air rescue service Rega, a private non-profit company, developed a new drone after failing to find a suitable solution for the search for missing persons – a drone that can autonomously scan large areas and identify potential targets. The heat-seeking drone is designed to help its human rescue teams find people who are lost, injured or ill in the mountains of Switzerland and Lichtenstein, where the rescue service operates.
According to dezeen.com, the small drone is equipped with infrared and daylight cameras, as well as a mobile phone tracking function, which can spot a phone within an uninhabited area from hundreds of meters away – and therefore usually its owner. Software developed together with university ETH Zurich transfers the pixel pattern of collected images and relays information on any presumed humans back to the operator on the ground. The software incorporates a machine-learning algorithm so it will become more accurate over time.