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drones inIn 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that decimated much of its infrastructure and left many under rubble. An extraordinary group of 62 teams approaching some 1,800 people were able to rescue 132 victims in an 11-day period, and while those efforts are amazingly commendable, there’s a future in which drones could assist in those missions.

But not just one drone: Imagine a swarm of drones.

“Imagine having a large area that you should monitor as fast as possible looking for survivors or victims. Using many UAVs instead of a single drone helps you a lot in this case,” Carmine Recchiuto, a research fellow in the department of informatics, bioengineering, robotics, and system sciences (DIBRIS), at the University of Genova, tells Inverse. Indeed, you can adopt some strategies for terrain-covering that involve a cooperative behavior between the robots. They can share a common map, communicating to each other the position already monitored and choosing in real-time the next position to be visited.”

Recchiuto specializes in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the use of post-disaster assessment, which basically means he wants to use flying robots to help find and rescue people caught in a disaster. We’re not far off from a future where these drones are outfitted with thermal sensors or other tracking devices that could help teams on the ground with search and rescue operations.

These bird-like formations would be highly desired for scientific monitoring as well as everyday agricultural uses, but Charlton Evans, commercial aviations projects manager with Insitu, the independent drone subsidiary of Boeing, says regulations won’t allow it yet.

“The FAA is not yet comfortable with the concept of one pilot being in control of multiple aircraft up in the national airspace,” Evans tells Inverse. “The agriculture world wants that, search and rescue wants that, it’s cost-efficient if we can fly multiple aircraft off one guy, that makes sense to everybody. But, then doing that in the national airspace in a way that does not increase risk is a hoop we’ll have to jump through.” To read more click here.

SAR technology will be discussed at the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference (ANZSAR); Land, Sea & Air will be held at Jupiter’s Hotel, Gold Coast on the 1 June 2016. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE to view the Conference Program with an impressive line up of keynote speakers and targeted forums it makes this the premier conference to attend in the Oceania region.


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