Infrared Sentry drone stays hot on the trail of missing hikers

With the ability to scan areas beyond the reach of human eyes, camera-equipped drones are emerging as a valuable tool for rescue efforts of all kinds. Now one startup is tuning the technology to the rugged Canadian wilderness, launching a portable drone that can be quickly unpacked and unleashed to capture thermal images and sniff out hikers that have wandered off course.Read More


Drones could follow trails to find lost hikers

It's becoming increasingly likely that in the not-too-distant future, a drone may be what finds you if you're trapped in rubble at a disaster site. Now, it's also looking like one might come to your aid if you should get lost in the woods. That's because scientists have developed machine learning-based software that already allows quadcopters to follow forest paths better than humans.Read More


Crash-proof drone put to the test in jagged glacial crevasses

Early last year a team of Swiss technologists was awarded US$1 million in prize money for a crash-proof drone designed to maneuver through confined spaces. With drones that detect landmines, replant forests and service slums to contend with, the Gimball rose above its competing entries to take out first prize in the United Arab Emirates' Drones for Good competition. Now the drone's real-world durability and potential as a life-saving search and rescue aid have been put to the test in deep the crevasses of the Swiss Alps. Read More


Underwater haptic feedback glove gives users "dolphin power"

Rescue workers searching flood sites have a unique challenge – they need to know what's under the water, but invariably that water is going to be very murky. Well, that's the main scenario for which the IrukaTact was created. It's a submersible haptic feedback glove that lets users "feel" what's below the surface, without having to dive down to actually touch it.Read More


Search-and-rescue robot could give locusts a better name

Despite the fact that locusts are held in fairly low regard by us humans, there's a chance that you may one day be rescued by one … or at least, by a robotic locust. Working with colleagues at Israel's Ort Braude College, researchers from Tel Aviv University have created a tiny locust-inspired robot that can reportedly jump over twice as high as other similarly-sized devices. They say that it could ultimately find use in search-and-rescue operations at disaster sites.Read More


Drone attachment scans disaster zones for breathing and heartbeats

Getting drones into the air to aid in search and rescue missions is becoming one of the technology's more promising applications, with infrared cameras and even artificial intelligence offering valuable new tools in combing areas for humans and objects. But one company is looking to add yet another layer of sophistication to robotic rescue teams, launching a drone-attachment that can detect the heartbeats and breathing of people trapped under rubble.Read More


RECCO streamlines helicopter search and rescue

RECCO is well known within skiing and snowboarding circles. For decades, the Swedish company has been supplying ski patrols and rescue agencies with an avalanche rescue system that helps locate buried victims. It is now working on a more versatile, year-round system designed to make helicopter-based search and rescue faster and more efficient.Read More


Lockheed Martin's drones widen the net for search and rescue missions

Spreading eyeballs as widely as possible can make all the difference in the early stages of search and rescue operations. With the recent rise of drones, this has come to include getting eyes up into the sky to give some first responders an aerial perspective. The latest move to enhance search and rescue efforts comes from Lockheed Martin, which will team up with non-profit Project Lifesaver to help locate people with cognitive disorders that wander away from their home. Read More

Good Thinking

New maritime monitoring system would draw on existing satellites

According to a scientist from the University of Leicester in the UK, the search for missing ships and sea-crossing aircraft – such as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – would be much easier if existing satellites were simply used differently. Dr. Nigel Bannister is developing a system in which spacecraft that already keep an eye on the land could also turn their attention to the sea. Read More


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