The jury is still out on the ethics of drones, but this is one use case I can definitely get behind. Lifesavers on Queensland’s beaches will be handed the controls to unmanned drone aircraft this summer to patrol beaches and keep people safe.
The drones are a metre in diameter and they’ll be carrying floatation buoys that they’ll drop on people struggling to swim. They’ll also have a big loud horn attached so that lifesavers can spot potentially dangerous wildlife — like sharks — and warn people to get out of the water from the air.
Brett Williamson is the head of Surf Life Saving Queensland, and he told the ABC last Friday that the drones are currently being trialled on Stradbroke Island to identify those struggling to keep their heads above water.
This is incredibly cool and so forward thinking of lifesavers, but as always, there’s a huge potential for abuse here.
Are you pro- or anti-drone tech? [ABC]