Human Side(s) Of UAVs – Drone Strike That Spreads Optimism
Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.
As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.
In May 2013. the world has been witnessing the completely new purpose and role of the UAVs in conventional exploitation. UAV proved its usefulness in search&rescue operation, in unfavorable circumstances rescue officers were experiencing, under severe weather condition which could have compromised the mission, and put human life at risk. Great steak was in the game.
DraganFly Innovations’ X4-P quadcopter was probably the first drone that has been ever deployed in one search&rescue operation. Luckily its mission was successfully accomplished just before his batteries got dead. A lot of good fortune for the victim.
The drama that was unfolding in Canadian town of Saskatoon could be described as something which brings optimism and hope in this underrated devices. This could be confirmed by the driver who got lost and disoriented after car crash in the middle of freezing winter night,. Not even the ambulance helicopter, which was dispatched, with night vision binoculars couldn’t locate unfortunate guy. Not a promising and bright beginning of the story. However, our lost driver managed to call 911 service which further contacted the mobile operator in order to locate the victim as quick as it is possible. Police did not get a precise information just a rather rough area of some 3.2 square kilometers where the victim’s cell phone signal has been triangulated. Than the authorities decided to engage the future hero, to test it on its limits.
Namely XP-4 made and fully developed by DraganFly Innovations, company which resides in Saskatoon appeared as a perfect alternative in the respect of efficiency, costs and organizational issues compared to conventional search and rescue tools and methods. Drone mounted FLIR thermal camera was crucial to the overall success of the mission.
Video of the rescue, as shot by the drone’s FLIR camera, can be seen below.
In the official statement local authorities claimed following: Without the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and FLIR, searchers would not have been able to locate the driver until daylight.
This event was perhaps the world premiere and landmark case of drone aided search&rescue operations. Since then, UAV supported search&rescue operations are slowly becoming mainstream worldwide, except in the USA where it is prohibited by the FAA. Maybe the opponents of the civil engagement of UAVs should ask the driver who/what saved his life that tragic night. But one thing is rather clear: one human life has been saved which makes UAV, previously known as “killing machines”, worth developing and exploiting in civil purposes. After all, dronologista is here for that reason among many: to share any update on this particular topic in the future.