compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
The pilot-less technology, which is usually a feature of war zones, will be
trialled to save lives on the Lake District fells. The ‘Aerosee’ drone relays
back 100 images a second, allowing people who have downloaded the app
to click on any area of the image where they think they have spotted an
injured person on the mountainside.
These images are then relayed to the rescue team.
Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, who are trialling the drone next week,
said the technology could help searches by bringing in a potential army
of volunteers. Team leader Mike Blakey said: "Mountain rescue is changing
as new technology is available. Drones may be really useful in some
scenarios and the idea of getting people to help with the rescue wherever
they are in the world is really interesting. It taps into all the social media
ways that people are using digital technology."
The technology has been developed by scientists from the University of
Central Lancashire, and will be tested on July 25. Paul Egglestone, director
of the aerospace and media innovation studio at the university, said -
"Drones get lots of bad press as they're usually associated with the military.
The unique thing about our approach is that we're inviting civic-minded
people to give up 20 minutes of their time to help save a life on the
mountainside. It turns the whole drone debate on its head."
Unmanned aircraft have been used to target terrorists in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, but now the technology is being utilised to rescue lost walkers in
the countryside. Drones have also been deployed to track suspected
rhino poachers in South Africa. What began as pilotless, robot aircraft for
the military has graduated to a program designed to explore the feasibility
planes and Britain’s skies could soon be buzzing with pilotless drones
fighting fires, assessing storm damage and delivering transplant organs
as companies seek to persuade regulators to lift controls on their use.
To take part online, follow the instructions at http://www.aerosee.org.