The way Australia rescues stranded swimmers off beaches is about to change.
Two Wollongong University students have won an innovation award for coming up with a drone that will bring help to a distressed swimmer very fast.
Nicolas Roach and Leo Stevens have developed a drone which carries a floating device above the sea using magnets, which is then released via a remote control to a swimmer in distress.
“I think where this drone will shine is in really big swell,” Stevens said.
“[In] rough conditions where it is very difficult for a very strong swimmer to make [their] way out through the surf. Having this to be able to fly over and deliver the tube straight away gives you the time to perform the rescue as you want.”
Professor Geoffery Spinks said the drone is a ‘brilliant invention bringing technologies together to potentially to save lives’.
The beach patrolling drone was awarded top prize at the Australian Institute of Innovation at Wollongong University Campus and has already caught the attention of Surf Lifesaving Australia.
The boys are hoping this state of the art drone will be dropping life saving floatation devices on Australian beaches this summer.
“I think it has absolutely got a place on Australian beaches,” Stevens said.
“If it gets there on the coming months ,that would be fantastic, but certainly sometime in the future these drone technologies will make their way into every day life.”