When we first saw Emily, the remote-control robotic lifeguard, we were treated only to a single glamour shot. Now she's patrolling the Malibu shores, and she looks great. But does she stand up to David Hasselhoff and Pam Anderson?
Emily, short for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, is a 1.2m long robotic buoy that uses a jet ski-like propulsion system to race out to swimmers at speeds of up to 40km/h. The idea is that giving stranded swimmers something to hold on to while lifeguards react could make all the difference, and tests in Malibu this summer have been successful enough that Hydronalix, the company that created Emily, is planning the release of a commercial version including sonar and acoustic sensors next year.
But are we as a society ready for a robotic lifeguard? Can she fit in amongst those bronze beach gods and goddesses with whom we trust our safety in the summer? There's only one way to find out.
Oh yes, I think Emily will do just fine. [CNN}