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— Wearable Electronics

Waterproof fabric anntena could save people lost at sea

A patch about the size of the leather name tab on a pair of jeans could save your life one day – should you be stranded at sea, that is. In a project overseen by the European Space Agency (ESA), researchers from Finnish company Patria and the Tampere University of Technology have created a flexible fabric antenna, that can be sewn into life vests. Once activated, that antenna transmits its coordinates to earth-orbiting satellites, that can immediately relay the location to rescue personnel. Read More
— Robotics

Gemini-Scout mine rescue robot to lead the way to trapped miners

The Chilean and Pike River Mine disasters in 2010 highlighted the dangers of sub-surface mining and the difficulties faced in extracting those trapped beneath the Earth. Collapsed mines pose countless dangers, not just for those trapped but also those attempting to free them, such as poisonous gases, flooded tunnels, explosive vapors and unstable walls and roofs. Dealing with such potentially deadly conditions and unknown obstacles significantly slows the efforts of rescuers. To help speed rescue efforts, robotics engineers at Sandia Labs have designed a robot to provide that most valuable of commodities for first responders - information. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Calling all heroes: Fire Dept app could help save lives

Around three hundred thousand people in the U.S. are said to suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, so with survival rates standing at less than eight percent and brain death taking a grip just four to six minutes after an attack, every second counts. The San Ramon Valley Fire Department is therefore calling on members of the public who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help. A new location-aware iPhone app has been developed that notifies registered users within the 155 square-mile (401.5 sq km) San Ramon Valley, California region when their skills are needed to save lives. Read More
— Marine

EMILY rescues swimmers when lifeguards can't

Riptides can carry hapless swimmers out into the ocean very quickly – by the time a lifeguard is able swim out to rescue them, it may be too late. Using a Jet Ski to reach struggling swimmers is one option, although such watercraft can be expensive, problematic to store on-site, and difficult to launch for one person. Now, seaside municipalities can get something cheaper and easier for reaching those swimmers-in-distress: an electric remote-control motorized rescue buoy called EMILY. Read More
— Aircraft

Shape-shifting UAV designed for stormy sea rescues

People often need to be rescued at sea because of stormy weather – exactly the kind of conditions in which it is not safe to fly. Nonetheless, fully-crewed helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are regularly sent out into such weather to perform maritime rescues, endangering both the crew and the expensive aircraft themselves. Soon, however, a new type of unmanned remote-control aircraft may be able to do the job. Not only would flight crews be kept out of harm’s way, but as demonstrated by a functioning prototype, the aircraft would outperform conventional planes in rough weather, thanks to shape-shifting technology. Read More
— Good Thinking

The SeaKettle life raft will make drinking water from the sea

The thought of folks suffering from extreme dehydration whilst stranded in a life raft at sea got industrial designer Kim Hoffman thinking of a way to turn all that sea water into safe, drinkable, life-saving refreshment. She took inspiration from portable desalination tools and created the Sea Kettle concept, a colorful life raft that uses heat from the sun to evaporate salty water and collect condensed run off in containers within the raft's structure. Read More
— Good Thinking

High-rise rescue system evacuates buildings using exterior collapsible cabins

There would be few scarier places to be in the event of a fire than in a high-rise building with no means of escape. Tragedies such as the World Trade Center disaster have highlighted the vulnerability of the building’s core and emergency stairwell as the only venue for evacuation. We've seen some last resort options that cater for those individuals brave enough to rappel or even parachute from the building, but that's still only part of the equation. When escape routes are compromised it not only prevents evacuation, but also prevents emergency personnel reaching the trouble spots. Escape Rescue Systems' solution is to use collapsible cabins which can be lowered over the side of the building to transport rescue personnel up... and evacuate building occupants down. Read More
— Aircraft

Jetman Yves Rossy’s ambitious intercontinental flight falls short

Today at just after 2pm GMT Swiss adventurer - and very brave soul - Yves Rossy jumped out of a plane over Tangier in Morocco and headed across the Atlantic Ocean towards Tarifa, Spain, some 23 miles away. The jet-powered flight was to be the first intercontinental Jetpack flight and would have been a mile further than his historic crossing of the English Channel last year. Unfortunately the attempt was thwarted by heavy clouds and ended with a - thankfully uninjured - Rossy ditching into the sea. Read More
— Automotive

High-tech rescue vehicle will carry more patients

Sadly, emergency rescue vehicles get too much use. Disasters, natural or man-made, place a great deal of pressure on rescue services trying to take care of a high number of victims in a short period. To this end, a high-tech rescue vehicle capable of carrying up to four patients has been designed under the pan-European research and development EUREKA network. Read More