Germany's Water Rescue Robot & Drownings

 Robot Designed to Prevent Drownings

                                 Source:  Fraunhofer Institute

Rescue Aquatic Robot

German researchers have created an autonomous, underwater robot to rescue people in danger of drowning.  The team of scientists and roboticists are from the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation in Germany.  The robot, called DEDAVE, is said to be a world robotic first.  DEDAVE is a prototype now under development

Advanced Technologies

When used at a pool, DEDAVE uses surveillance cameras mounted on the ceiling above the pool to spot the movement patterns of someone in danger of drowning. The movement is identified by artificial intelligence based computer system. The robot is stored in a docking station at the bottom of the pool.  The camera sends coordinates to the robot that pinpoints the location of the person in distress. The robot releases from the docking station, uses its onboard cameras to locate and then rescue the drowning person by securing them on a stretcher like surface and get them out of the water. 

Lakes & Other Outdoor Bodies of Water

When used in lakes and other outdoor bodies of water, drones and balloon systems are expected to work in tandem by being equipped with cameras to do the surveillance and provide the alert to the robot.  Also acoustic sensors would be fitted to the robot and soundwave echoes, particularly in murky lake waters, would locate the person in distress.  In Germany, just in 2019 alone, 420 people drowned.  One reason is that there are few trained lifeguards.  Rescue aquatic robots clearly could mean the difference between life and death.


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