Life Saving Drones

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DRONES are being programmed with Artificial intelligence to recognise drowning swimmers in a breakthrough set to revolutionise surf life saving.
In scenes reminiscent of science fiction, the same technology now being used to enable Westpac Little Ripper drones to identify sharks in the water is being adapted to pinpoint beachgoers in distress.
The news comes as Surf Life Saving Queensland statistics this week revealed last year was the deadliest on record for the state’s beaches with 21 suspected drownings.
CEO of Westpac Little Ripper Ben Trollope (right) with Japanese tourists Chinatsu Suzuki and Etsuko Matsuo. Picture: Nigel Hallett
CEO of Westpac Little Ripper Ben Trollope (right) with Japanese tourists Chinatsu Suzuki and Etsuko Matsuo. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Drones are fast becoming one of surf life saving’s most valuable resources with the devices already capable of assisting in rescues by dropping flotation devices to swimmers in trouble as well as performing other key tasks in rescue operations.
However, the latest innovation takes the technology to a whole new level by reducing the onus on lifesavers to spot a swimmer in distress from a drone control monitor.
By feeding thousands of images in to a complex computer algorithm, drones can now pick up on the telltale signs of a swimmer in difficulty and lock in on them to rush to the rescue.
The Ripper Group has signed a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal with a Japanese consortium known as the General Foundation for International Disaster Countermeasures in the hope the technology can be used to rescue survivors from natural disasters in the Asian nation.
A Japanese delegation is already on the Gold Coast receiving training on how to use the new technology, with plans for more than 500 Japanese drone pilots to follow suit over the next three years.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s lifesaving operations co-ordinator Jason Argent said the new adaptation could be a massive asset in the relentless battle to keep beachgoers safe.


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“While drones won’t replace the need for surf lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach, they will definitely add significant value to our existing services,” he said.
“We’re really excited by recent advances in drone technology and look forward to further findings produced by Surf Life Saving Australia’s research and development partner, the Ripper Group.”
Westpac Ripper Group CEO Ben Trollope said the amazing technology was like something out of a science fiction show which would help save lives.
“Lifesavers are under enough strain as it is, so this will help take the pressure off the humans,” he said.
“It’s like The Jetsons in 2020.”
Japanese test pilot Etsuko Matsuo from the GFIDC said the Little Ripper drones had enormous potential to help recovery efforts in her homeland where tsunamis and earthquakes can cause devastating damage.
“We have a lot of disasters in Japan, so this is very exciting,” she said.
 
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ianzone

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DRONES are being programmed with Artificial intelligence to recognise drowning swimmers in a breakthrough set to revolutionise surf life saving.
In scenes reminiscent of science fiction, the same technology now being used to enable Westpac Little Ripper drones to identify sharks in the water is being adapted to pinpoint beachgoers in distress.
The news comes as Surf Life Saving Queensland statistics this week revealed last year was the deadliest on record for the state’s beaches with 21 suspected drownings.
CEO of Westpac Little Ripper Ben Trollope (right) with Japanese tourists Chinatsu Suzuki and Etsuko Matsuo. Picture: Nigel Hallett
CEO of Westpac Little Ripper Ben Trollope (right) with Japanese tourists Chinatsu Suzuki and Etsuko Matsuo. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Drones are fast becoming one of surf life saving’s most valuable resources with the devices already capable of assisting in rescues by dropping flotation devices to swimmers in trouble as well as performing other key tasks in rescue operations.
However, the latest innovation takes the technology to a whole new level by reducing the onus on lifesavers to spot a swimmer in distress from a drone control monitor.
By feeding thousands of images in to a complex computer algorithm, drones can now pick up on the telltale signs of a swimmer in difficulty and lock in on them to rush to the rescue.
The Ripper Group has signed a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal with a Japanese consortium known as the General Foundation for International Disaster Countermeasures in the hope the technology can be used to rescue survivors from natural disasters in the Asian nation.
A Japanese delegation is already on the Gold Coast receiving training on how to use the new technology, with plans for more than 500 Japanese drone pilots to follow suit over the next three years.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s lifesaving operations co-ordinator Jason Argent said the new adaptation could be a massive asset in the relentless battle to keep beachgoers safe.


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“While drones won’t replace the need for surf lifesavers and lifeguards on the beach, they will definitely add significant value to our existing services,” he said.
“We’re really excited by recent advances in drone technology and look forward to further findings produced by Surf Life Saving Australia’s research and development partner, the Ripper Group.”
Westpac Ripper Group CEO Ben Trollope said the amazing technology was like something out of a science fiction show which would help save lives.
“Lifesavers are under enough strain as it is, so this will help take the pressure off the humans,” he said.
“It’s like The Jetsons in 2020.”
Japanese test pilot Etsuko Matsuo from the GFIDC said the Little Ripper drones had enormous potential to help recovery efforts in her homeland where tsunamis and earthquakes can cause devastating damage.
“We have a lot of disasters in Japan, so this is very exciting,” she said.
Very cool and should have been in use ages ago instead of people moaning at drones,,it would certainly increase survival time not having to wait for life guard,,,I say great stuff being surrounded by water in which we most are :)
Ps lots drownings here too,take care
 
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Very cool and should have been in use ages ago instead of people moaning at drones,,it would certainly increase survival time not having to wait for life guard,,,I say great stuff being surrounded by water in which we most are :)
Ps lots drownings here too,take care
I agree but better to say it will improve the possibilities to find the victims not directly to save them as the drone at least till now can't do nothing to help the victim.
 
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Nice step up from phantoms. But our birds have dropped a lot of life-saving gear over the past few years. Time in the air has been lacking and I’m sure this new drone will carry a lot more weight. Good on um.
 
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Went to the website, it’s quite an incredible drone. No prices listed and I don’t believe it will be available for hobby consumer use, anytime soon. It can identify anything, (non alien) in the water.

They have a pilot training center and they fly phantoms in that course. Interesting
 
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I agree but better to say it will improve the possibilities to find the victims not directly to save them as the drone at least till now can't do nothing to help the victim.
Drones are dropping flotation devices to swimmers here in Oz already.
 

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