Considering that literally thousands of civilians are killed in predator drone strikes in any given year, it’s unsurprising that drones are more readily associated with taking rather than saving lives.
That being said, last year DJI estimated that consumer drones were saving, on average, one person’s life every week. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of several amazing projects where UAVs are helping keep people alive.
We’ve previously written about cool ways drones are helping the world and how Australian lifeguards rescued two drowning boys by dropping a flotation device into the sea, allowing them to swim to safety.
1. Netherlands: ‘Ambulance drones’ equipped with defibrillators and medicine rapidly respond to patients
The drone includes a defibrillator to get hearts going again in emergency situations.
When someone suddenly collapses, time is of the essence. In built-up cities, it may take a normal ambulance a significant amount of time to reach a person who may have suffered a heart attack, stroke or other calumity.
This drone prototype was designed by a student at the Technical University in Delft, Netherlands and was intended to be part of a network of drones within cities in the EU, which could be dispatched during emergencies. The drone can manuvere its way to a patient and medical staff could use equipment onboard the drone to restart the patient’s heart or give them life-saving medication.
Unfortunately, since the project first received publicity in 2014, it seems to have encountered some road blocks. However, with an idea this compelling, another company is sure to run with the concept before too long.
United States: Drones drop bombs to cause avalanches Hold on a second… This title sounds more like a dastardly plot from a James Bond villain rather than a way of saving people. However, these drones are designed to solve a very serious problem.
Every year, hundreds of skiers or snowboarders are caught and killed in avalanches. Traditionally, staff at ski resorts are tasked with manually placing explosives at mountaintops which, once detonateed, dislodge loose snow and lessen the chance of an avalanche when the mountain is full of people. The placing of bombs howevever is, unsurprisingly, extremely hazardous for staff.
In 2013, a group of mountaineers in Colorado created Mountain Drones Inc , a company which designs drones that use algorithms to precisely drop explosive payloads onto mountain slopes. Their technology removes staff from harm’s way and reduces the risk of avalanches injuring or killing people at ski resorts on mountainous roads or railways. Good one!
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United States: Firefighters use drones as first reponder In California some fire departments have begun deploy drones out to assess the severity of fires. They are quick to deploy and give the firefighters a birds eye view of what’s going on.
This image brought to you by drones.
Using a thermal imaging camera onboard the drones, the fire crew can determine what type of fire they are dealing with, where the hotspots are and, most importantly, if there are any people trapped inside the building.
The drones offer fire departments significant savings when compared to a manned helicopter, the cost of which can run into the millions per year.
Given the rapid increase in the number of UAVs being used in society, we’re likely to see more exciting innovations in the near future.
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